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sector entry most successful pavilion

Huis van de Smaak enjoys the Floriade

Last Sunday was the last day of the Floriade. During the closing ceremony it was announced that over two million visitors visited the world horticultural exhibition in Venlo over the last seven months. The Dutch fruit and vegetable sector was also extensively represented during the Floriade. The 1.4 million people who visited the Huis van de Smaak made the sector entry the most successful pavilion, which means it automatically won the Floriade Award and the 10,000 Euros that go with that. A few well known faces from the Huis van de Smaak look back on the Floriade with satisfaction: "It became what we hoped it would be," say Ad Berends and Ton Janssen.

Ton Janssen

"Every day we tried to surprise the thousands of people who came past here every day with the innovation of our sector", says Ton. "And every day we got nothing but positive reactions. They were seven fantastic months, no day was like another. But we were a little surprised. Of course, not many people knew there was so much diversity among the supply of tomatoes. But there were many people who thought that peppers start out green, turn to yellow, then orange and finally red. This astounds me."

The Baan brothers surprised thousands of people every day with special taste experiences

"The visitors have been able to meet the sector in a unique way. Growers who didn't take this opportunity to promote their product really missed out," says Ton. "That's the flipside. We put a different product in the spotlight every week. The number of growers who have contributed to this, was a little disappointing. Of course, a number of people did do it, all credit to them, but it's still disappointing that a number of product groups didn't use this chance."

Ad Berends

Ad Berends, the brain behind the sector entry, is also happy with how the Floriade went. He also emphasises the importance of the growers presence. "It's a missed chance for the grower who wasn't present here," he says. "I have a lot of admiration for those who were here for the last few months. It was great to see how many people grew into this. There were some growers who were too scared to open their mouths at the start, and stayed in the background. During the week I watched them grow and they visibly enjoyed surprising people with information on the product. Some were even sad to go back to their company!"

Ton Janssen managed to win over the attention of many kids with an educative story and the necessary hilarity.

It was proven during the many events of the Floriade that the involvement of the growers is very important in promoting the product. "We saw that 90% of the children happily ate their asparagus when they went with the grower to cut their own asparagus," says Ad enthusiastically. "Of the group of children who didn't do that, but had prepared the asparagus themselves, a large number ate their asparagus, albeit with reluctance. This shows the importance of that facet. Storytelling creates value which benefits everyone. It offers unique chances, and we should hit the shops with that perspective!"

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