2022: Wijnen Square Crops wins Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize 2022
Wijnen Square Crops is the overall winner of the 35th edition of the Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize. These growers from Limburg will act as ambassadors for the horticulture sector for a whole year. Managing director Pieter Wijnen was presented with the prestigious prize at the well-attended event at Floriade in Almere on 21 April.
Four companies were nominated for the 2022 Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize. Wijnen Square Crops, Zentoo, Niels Kreuk BV and OVATA all display outstanding entrepreneurship. They show that the horticulture sector is strong and innovative, and that horticulture always finds solutions, whatever the times may demand. The companies are resilient, with a constant drive to improve. They are also seeking to develop the sector by working with partners to create a sustainable and circular horticulture sector.
Each of the nominated companies shows in its own way what good entrepreneurship in the horticulture sector can achieve. The jury ultimately opted for Wijnen Square Crops because of its efforts to achieve fossil-free cultivation, sustainable growing solutions and the creation of good living and working conditions for its (international) employees. The jury was also struck by the market focus and attention to business continuity at the Limburg-based growers of bell peppers, cucumbers and mini cucumbers. That makes Wijnen Square Crops a worthy successor to the 2020 winner, Prominent, and a good ambassador for the horticulture sector over the coming year.
Gearbox wins a theme prize
This year there was also a theme prize for ‘Robotisation and data-driven horticulture’, which was won by Gearbox Innovations. The company from Maasdijk is developing the smart horticulture workers of the future, of which the GearRover is the winning concept. The GearRover provides harvesting assistance during cultivation and insight into the harvest volume, and thereby combines robotics and vision with artificial intelligence in order to simplify, improve or speed up the daily work. With this theme prize, the horticulture industry is showing that the sector is making big advances in the automation and digitisation of processes for the cultivation and harvesting of healthy and safe products.
Tomatoworld and Fruit Tech Campus were given a special mention for the Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize, because they are ensuring the development of knowledge and provide a place where young people and entrepreneurs can discover the latest innovations.
Resilience in times of crisis
These are not easy years for the horticulture sector. High energy prices and geopolitical developments mean that there is increasing pressure to supply high quality products, whilst resources are constantly becoming more scarce. That is why it is important for the Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize to show that many businesses have the resilience to get through this. Their innovations and creativity mean they are actually becoming stronger despite the conditions. Thanks to this strong entrepreneurship, the sector is in good shape. The Horticulture Entrepreneur Prize is proud to be able to put the spotlight on this resilient entrepreneurship.