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November 27-30

Dutch Agriculture Minister to visit California

Martijn van Dam, the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, will visit Sacramento, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley in California November 27-30. The Minister’s visit will focus on the strong collaborative relationship between the Netherlands and “The Golden State” in the areas of agricultural technology, food, and innovation.

While Minister Van Dam is in California, a parallel program is scheduled for a delegation of Dutch businesses in the agtech and food innovation sectors. At times, the business delegation will overlap with the Minister’s program. The business delegation program and complete list of businesses participating can be found here.

The Minister’s visit follows a visit by California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross to the Netherlands last year. At that time, the Netherlands and California agreed to work together on shared objectives, including cooperation in climate-smart agriculture and environmental issues. The United States and the Netherlands are committed to innovation in agricultural policy. The US is the largest exporter of agricultural products, while the Netherlands, with 80 billion euros worth of agricultural exports, is the second largest.

Agricultural technology and innovation
“The Netherlands and California are recognized for innovation and agricultural technology. Both know the critical importance of information sharing and partnership to strengthen innovation in startups and in the agricultural sector. Our cooperation bears fruit for the Netherlands, California, and the United States,” said Minister Martijn van Dam.

While in California, Minister Van Dam will meet with elected officials, leaders in the business community, startups, and academics.

The Minister’s program includes a follow-up meeting with Secretary Ross where the two will discuss collaboration on a climate smart agriculture roadmap, and food innovation.

The Netherlands and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) enjoy a strong partnership. In 2015, Secretary Ross led a California delegation to the Netherlands on climate-smart agriculture to see first hand how the Dutch protect food security during a time of climate change. Additionally, the CDFA and the Netherlands have organized a series of webinars with experts from Wageningen University (in the Netherlands) and California on climate smart agriculture. The first webinar, held this summer, addressed the challenges and opportunities presented in saline agriculture. The second webinar will take place during the visit of Minister Van Dam and will cover “Sustainability in Dairy.”

Research collaboration
Minister Van Dam will also visit the University of California Davis for a presentation on a research project between UC Davis and Wageningen University on the early detection of mosquito-borne diseases. UC Davis and Wageningen University, two of the leading agricultural universities in the world, share a history of collaboration on agrifood.

Innovative startups, venture capitalists, and accelerators will also be a part of the Minister’s visit. Minister Van Dam will meet representatives from Caribou BioSciences, RocketSpace, IndieBio, Google Food, Planet, Impossible Foods, Perfect Day, and Endura Bio.
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