Netherlands set as the Stage for Growing Moves to tackle Global Food Challenge

PRESS RELEASE. August 8, 2016

European food producers and policy makers are set to play a growing role in harnessing global efforts to provide enough safe, nutritious food to an expanding population, one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.

The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) will be launching its European edition in The Netherlands from 9-10 May 2017 at the Jaabeurs Expo Centre in Utrecht.

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When GFIA was launched in Abu Dhabi in 2014, it was borne out of the passion of 40 influential organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank, that wanted a platform to start a globally significant dialogue on how we feed nine billion people.

GFIA has since evolved into the world’s largest dedicated showcase of sustainable agriculture innovations. It not only comprises a forum for key stakeholders to discuss policy, strategy and solutions for a food secure future, but also a large exhibition where 300+ suppliers meet thousands of farmers and procurement managers from government, food producers, agri businesses, NGOs and cooperatives.

“GFIA has received enthusiastic and vocal support from the Dutch Government since its launch in Abu Dhabi in 2014 and we are delighted to stage a regional edition in Utrecht with their continued support in 2017,” says Nicola Davison, Project Director of GFIA.

“Dutch food producers are embracing technology that is delivering some of the most intensive, sustainable and efficient farms in the world and we look forward to showcasing these innovations at GFIA in Utrecht.”

One company with grand plans to showcase innovation in Utrecht is Evergreen Farm Oy. Inventors of a controlled, self-contained direct feed vertical hydroponics (DFVH™) greenhouse, Evergreen Farm Oy will be building and demonstrating a working vertical farm at GFIA Europe. Using a combination of hydroponics, aeroponics, and drip irrigation methods, early tests indicate that this system will produce 3,000% more products than conventional hydroponics businesses, and 20,800% more products than traditional soil grown businesses in a 1000 m2 space.

Alongside Evergreen Farn Oy, Geocledian will be showcasing their latest geospatial solutions for integrating satellite data into ICT systems; and ecoRobotix will be presenting their revolutionary robot that can destroy more than 95% of weeds and offers a ROI of less than 5 years.

Other companies also confirmed to showcase innovations within the exhibition include Bluelab, Bom Group, Dudutech, Dutch Plantin, Evolve Growing Solutions, GreenGrow Ventures, Heliospectra, Koppert Biological Systems and Pix4D.

After the USA, The Netherlands is the largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, exporting €65 billion of agricultural produce annually. But with land at a premium, the Dutch agriculture sector has had to focus on sustainability to remain competitive.

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“No organisation alone has the ability to solve food production challenges,” said Davison. “The key is to bring public decision-makers, private sector champions and civil society leaders together – through cross-sector collaboration, we can bring about a food-secure future, and the prominent role The Netherlands has taken on this issue makes Utrecht a perfect stage.”

Held in cooperation with Proagrica, GFIA Europe is supported by Wageningen UR, CEMA, CGIAR, LTO Nederlande, UK Trade & Investment, CTA, GlobalG.A.P, GODAN, SAI Platform, World Farmers’ Organisation and World Resources Institute. Find out more at www.gfiaeurope.com