How will commercial horticulture develop in the future? And how do we find good and sustainable solutions now to feed the growing world population? These are the questions the organization “Eat This” is asking themselves and to get answers they are building a network with the different companies in the horticulture industry. We are already part of this network and Renee Snijders, who is part of the management board of “Eat This”, already presented the organization’s mission at our Innovation Summit in January 2021. We invited her for another interview and wanted to know a bit more about her ideas.
Kpoint: Why is the collaboration with substrate companies so important for you?
Renee: For us, substrate is the foundation in which healthy plants grow. The fruits and vegetables provide people with the nutrients they need. By growing in substrates, we end up with healthy plants that have strong growth and low failure rates. Less resources such as water are needed to grow the fruit and vegetable plants, which is why it is more climate-friendly and sustainable. We also want to raise awareness and make society sensitive to this issue.
Kpoint: What successes have you been able to celebrate with your work?
Renee: Last year was a successful year, despite the fact that our original plans were thrown out because of COVID-19. We were able to see our vision come to life at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The impressive exhibition “Countryside, the Future” took place there and we were allowed to set up a mobile greenhouse in front of the building. This was very well received by the residents of New York, and out of the exhibition the platform “Eat This” was founded.
We bring together the pioneers in horticulture in an international network to develop solutions for the future together with them.
We’ve also been able to connect with creative thinkers outside the sector and gather their thoughts on the future of food, which has resulted in an online webinar series in 2020 that will continue this year.
When I think about what our start looked like and where we are now, it’s pretty amazing. At first, we were in contact with six companies, and now we have over 40. Our goal is to have 100 companies from 25 countries in our network by the end of this year.
Kpoint: How do you envision the future of horticulture?
Renee: In the future, horticulture will be recognized and valued as an innovative sector that contributes greatly to solving problems in different areas of our world. I envision there being healthy food for everyone, produced in a sustainable and efficient way. Also, less energy needs to be used and the use of valuable resources, such as water, will be minimized. We must realize that the power of our planet is the power of plants and we depend on both.
Kpoint: Why should everyone follow “Eat This”?
Renee: We want to drive change together. We need sensible and good solutions that think far into the future and don’t harm the Earth -there’s no time to waste. The more people who follow us, the better we can spread the important message.