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Friday
May202011

Growing Horticulture and Agriculture Between Holland and Canada

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), in partnership with HAS Den Bosch University of Applied Sciences and the Netherlands Consulate, held the "Growing Horticulture and Agriculture Between Holland and Canada" symposium at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel on March 23, 2011. The event was a huge success, with over 150 people in attendance.

Speakers included:

Johannes Vervloed, Netherlands Consul General;

Dr. Mark Evered, UFV President and Vice-Chancellor;

Brian Minter, UFV Chancellor and International Horticulture Expert;

Esther Vennekens, HAS Den Bosch University Professor, spoke about Greenport(s) Holland - a network representing the Dutch cluster of businesses related to horticulture, including arboriculture and floriculture, to promote local and remote food production, innovation, knowledge, research and development, food technology, wholesale, international trade and export, food logistics and renewable energy supply. Greenport(s) involves close cooperation between industry, knowledge centres and government, and forms a vital part of the Dutch economy, representing 40% of total Dutch agricultural value and 90% of world flower bulb trade;

Dave Woodske, Floriculture and Nursery Specialist for the BC Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted current innovation in the greenhouse and nursery sector. The presentation provided an overview of past and future innovation in the production of greenhouse crops, and the critical role played by creative-thinking researchers from public institutions and private businesses;

Christine Koch, BC Agriculture Council, discussed the environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability and how the three must be in balance to achieve sustainability on the farm.

UFV and HAS Den Bosch University signed an impromptu memorandum of understanding between the two universities. The event ended with a panel discussion, which was moderated by UFV Agriculture Professor, Tom Baumann, and a closing reception featuring Dutch fare, sponsored by Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.

A video of the event has been made available by UFV and can be viewed here.