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Dutch lessons in ag innovation

by Croydon2132
14th September 2018

Small on space, but big on industry collaboration. Netherland’s agricultural industry is focused on bringing government, businesses and research organisations together to enable and drive innovation in this sector.

Referred to as the triple helix, and The Anvil recently had the opportunity to learn more about this structure by speaking with the Netherlands Consul-General to Australia, Frank van Beuningen.

“It means that everyone can come together, sit around the table and talk about how they best can organise the production and transport of agricultural products,” Frank said.

“This has led to a lot of innovative practices. For example, 20 years ago we needed 22 litres of water for one kilogram of tomatoes and now we only need four.”

Mr Van Beuningen said that Australia can learn from the Netherland’s strict planning and transportation of agricultural products.

“When agricultural products come either by lorry or by train to the Port of Rotterdam or to Schiphol Airport Amsterdam for example, it is unloaded very quickly and then flown straight to the consumers,” he said.

While Australia’s and the Netherlands ‘ agricultural systems have different strengths, both industries feel pressure from consumers on how agricultural systems operate.

“Most of the people in the Netherlands do not only want to eat healthily, but they also want to eat products that are environmentally friendly,” he said.

The Anvil is a video series that brings together influential figures and thought-provoking conversation. Each episode explores a current issue or topic relating to the agricultural industry or wider Australian industries.

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