's-Hertogenbosch, a city in the south of the Netherlands, was dominated by strawberries yesterday (January 9). Delphy, BVB Substrates and ZLTO organized there the 16th edition of the Strawberry Day at the 1931 Congress Centre Brabanthallen.
The program included ten presentations and a fair with about 100 exhibitors who are engaged in strawberry cultivation. “The program ranges from substrates and cuttings to marketing”, said Eric Boot (BVB Substrates). The presentations were about novelties in the Dutch strawberry cultivation. The focus this year was sustainability. "It's a bit of a buzzword, but that's what it comes down to. For example, we will talk about substrate varieties that are environmentally friendly. We will also look into extending the season to a winter crop with the help of LED lighting under glass, which is also sustainable, because in that case less product has to be imported from abroad during the winter period. Practical issues such as new regulations on labor will also be addressed.”
At the end of the Strawberry Day there was a Strawberry Dinner for the first time. “It is a small world in strawberry cultivation; everyone knows each other and you have to do it together. The Strawberry Day is a bit like a New Year's reception, a lot of growers want to catch up. Dinner is therefore the ideal time to network. We have received 150 applications, a good number for the first edition,” added Eric Boot.
INTERNATIONAL SOFT FRUIT CONFERENCE
The International Soft Fruit Conference is held one day after the Strawberry Day. That event takes place for the 9th time and also includes a large number of presentations on soft fruit cultivation. Simultaneously, there is a trade fair in which the related companies present themselves. “Particularly, cultivation techniques will be discussed on this day: how you can best grow at lower costs and with modern techniques. Think of robotics,” said Boot. “Soft fruit cultivation is still in an early stage in many countries and those countries are happy to see how we do it here in the Netherlands.’ The organization expects visitors from all over Europe, but also from Canada, Peru and Bolivia.
Photo credit: Horti-Images
*Edited and translated by Daltry Gárate based on information from Goedemorgen Groente.