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Representative of Dutch greenhouse horticulture visits AlmeriaHer name is Marga Vintges and she is a strategy consultant for Westland, the Dutch region that includes the triangle formed by the cities of The Hague, Rotterdam and Hoeck van Holland. These days, she has been visiting the Spanish province of Almeria to learn about the local fruit and vegetable production model. Her first stop has been the municipality of El Ejido, where she has held a meeting with the mayor, Francisco Góngora, and the councilman of Agriculture of the municipality, Manuel Gómez Galera.
The Westland region accounts for more than 50% of the Dutch horticultural and cut flower production in greenhouses. There are a total of 2,450 hectares of crops, with 800 producers and 60,000 jobs created. Cutting-edge companies in the sector that produce, trade, distribute and process horticultural products are also based in Westland.
Just like the Poniente almeriense, Westland is one of the most important greenhouse horticultural production regions in the world, known for its excellent infrastructure, good exchange of knowledge and efficient logistics. Therefore, the Westland horticultural group can reach almost 500 million consumers in Europe.
Similarities between El Ejido and Westland
The public representatives of El Ejido have been able to verify that the agriculture of Westland and El Ejido share the same challenges and priorities, such as attracting young people to work in the field and offering them adequate training, the implementation of a circular economy that guarantees the sustainability of the sector, and the promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption.
Marga Vintges has stressed that the cultivation of greenhouse vegetables has a great role in Westland due to the temperatures in winter and the growing demand from consumers in the surrounding large cities.
Góngora stressed that "there are great similarities between the region of Westland, also known as the 'glass region', and the Poniente almeriense, as they both host a huge number of high-end greenhouses, have a highly developed leading auxiliary industry and share a great interest in biological crop protection for their certified quality crops, which are characterised by their extraordinary flavour."
El Ejido and Westland, as well as other competing production areas in Europe, are constantly exchanging knowledge and information in order to face the challenges and problems that arise throughout the season.
Publication date: 1/17/2018
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