The 10th edition of our Breeders and Young Plant Producers Conference took place on 28-29 November at the A4 Schiphol hotel near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This year’s event main theme was the Future in Ornamental Breeding.
On day one, Desch Plantpak and Floramedia opened the Conference with an overview of upcoming trends in sustainability in packaging, labels, pots etc. Henk van Wielink then introduced the new initiative Seed Experience in Enkhuizen. Company presentations are always a well appreciated part of the programme and this year, the Israeli breeder Danziger presented its current structure and activities. The final speaker of the day was Dr Jolanda Maas, behavioural scientist and Assistant Professor at the department of Clinical Psychology - VU University Amsterdam. She is specialized in research about the relationship between green space and health and advised how our industry can use this to our advantage.
Day two of the programme kicked off with Anke van den Hurk of Plantum giving us an update on the Nagoya Protocol, followed by an interactive panel discussion between captains of industry. Four speakers represented the breeders, distributors, retail and growers: Thomas Bousart (Dümmen Orange), Jacob Schneider (Schneider Young Plants), Rob Olsthoorn (OK-Plant) and Luc de Bruyne (Belgian retail expert) exchanged their views and expectations for our industry in 2025.
This year's keynote speaker was Dr James Bellini, a leading futurologist and author with a considerable reputation as a thought-provoking speaker around the world. Originating from the UK, James has spent more than twenty-five years as a respected TV broadcaster, future analyst and writer with a strong focus on social, economic and technological trends over the next ten to twenty years. He describes himself as ‘an historian of the future’, using the perspectives of history to analyse current realities and explore the shape of things to come.
As last year's company visit was very well received, the programme again foresaw a networking excursion. Waterdrinker is one of the largest global exporters of flowers, house and garden plants in the Netherlands. Its Cash & Carry is a showroom for the entire ornamental plant sector. The company's key customer groups are florists, garden centres, wholesalers and chain stores. Currently, the company is building a brand new Green Trade Center, an inspiring meeting place for the entire industry. The visit included presentations on Waterdrinker's view on how to improve their relationship with breeders and growers.