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PATS Indoor Drone Solutions, Delft - Theme Award (2022)

PATS Indoor Drone Solutions is a young business that exploits the ability to detect and eradicate harmful insects in greenhouses using drones. PATS helps growers in greenhouse horticulture to reduce crop losses, limit the use of crop protection products and automate a labour-intensive process. The system consists of a small drone, a charging station and a camera system. The camera system can search for pest insects, after which the drone eliminates the insect. The more data the software acquires as input, the better it can provide the growers with information about pest insects and the drones can do their work.

The jury said: PATS drones is a company with a high ‘charm factor’: technology that appeals to the imagination and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. They are striving to translate the possibilities offered by technology into answers to the grower’s challenges.

With technology from the aerospace engineering faculty at TU Delft and input from horticulture businesses, they are working on new, valuable developments for sustainable and chemical-free crop protection.


Pats Drones has been nominated by Greenport Duin- en Bollenstreek


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Blue Radix, Rotterdam - Theme Award (2022)

Blue Radix is an AI tech business with a focus on international greenhouse horticulture. Blue Radix develops Artificial Intelligence solutions for the full automation of daily activities and processes in greenhouse. They are thereby solving the problem of the labour shortage, and bringing about a better and more sustainable production result. With a diverse multidisciplinary team of 20 employees, Blue Radix is working on the Crop Controller, a data-driven solution for autonomous cultivation. Cultivation experts are working side-by-side with data scientists and data engineers on the development. The Crop Controller thereby makes it possible to reduce growers’ manual activities and routine thinking to almost nil. Based on the cultivation strategy, smart algorithms integrate enormous quantities of data and control the systems in the greenhouse autonomously and 24 hours per day. The greenhouse climate is constantly balanced and optimised in order to achieve the grower’s goals in terms of yield, quality and sustainability.


The jury said: Blue Radix is a pioneer in the development of technology for autonomous climate control. The company came third in the WUR’s first autonomous greenhouse challenge, and was thereby described as the business with the most rapidly usable potential. They have certainly confirmed that in recent years by steadily progressing in the development of their data-driven technology. It is good to see that they are managing to reach both foreign growers and increasing numbers of Dutch growers. Growers abroad often already see added value in the product from the start due to the lack of local horticulture knowledge. Over the past year increasing numbers of Dutch growers have also been signing up who want to follow the developments up close, use the Crop Controller for their cultivation process, and use the system for upscaling.

Blue Radix has been nominated by Flynth adviseurs en accountants and Rabobank.

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Royal Brinkman, 's-Gravenzande - Theme Award (2022)

In order to optimise cultivation processes in the production of vegetables and make them more sustainable, Royal Brinkman has developed a harvest forecasting robot for tomatoes - the Plantalyzer - in collaboration with WUR, LetsGrow and Berg Hortimotive Group. The robot travels through the greenhouse autonomously and takes targeted photographs of the tomatoes. Algorithms assess the fruit for ripeness, and translate the images into a reliable and accurate harvest forecast. The collaboration is unique thanks to high quality hardware and intelligent software. A measurement protocol has been developed for reliable random sample data collection, and photographs taken at three different heights in order to be able to track the crop and fruit development.

 The jury said: The Plantalyzer from Royal Brinkman/Hortikey is a clear example of a ‘first mover’ in the field of autonomous systems for harvest forecasting. The practical introduction of the system is being developed as part of Royal Brinkman. What is thereby notable is that they are working on the automation from greenhouse to packing as part of Hortilogics, a partnership for full-service turnkey automation, and are therefore having an impact on a large proportion of the supply chain.




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Zentoo, Honselersdijk (2022)

A colourful collective

This collaboration of chrysanthemum growers started in 2007 with 4 growers and 20 hectares, and has now grown into an association of 15 growers with over 100 hectares. The chrysanthemum growers’ collective offers more than 100 innovative varieties, and together they produce 330 million stems a year. With ever more far-reaching forms of concentration and upscaling, Zentoo is now a brand. This form of collaboration is unique within the floriculture sector. The growers each have their own ‘garden’, but share knowledge with one another and sell under a single brand name and trade with a single account. Zentoo makes use of sustainable energy sources such as CO2, a waste product from Rotterdam. The greenhouses are heated using geothermal heat and heat pumps instead of natural gas. They also generate a lot of electricity with large numbers of solar panels. In order to be able to ensure good quality all year round, Zentoo is increasingly using LED lighting to reduce its energy consumption.

The jury believes that Zentoo is an engaging, ambitious and sustainable business that has given chrysanthemum cultivation a boost over the past 10 years with effective marketing activities. It have shown itself to be a reliable innovator, including through the use of LED lighting, biological crop protection and data-driven cultivation, so that cultivation is being optimised sustainably.  The far-reaching collaboration both with the growers in the collective but also with others in the sector is at the heart of Zentoo’s business model.

Zentoo has been nominated by Royal FloraHolland.

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OVATA, Bleiswijk (2022)

In harmony with nature

Passion, sustainability and experience are very important at OVATA. Since 1987, Hans Ammerlaan’s family business in Bleiswijk has been growing over 30 million succulents originating from all over the world every year on 10 hectares. The entrepreneurs’ focus is on quality, the environment and good social working conditions. The vision for a future of sustainable entrepreneurship is clear: hence OVATA wants to be growing entirely organically next year, and use only peat-free substrate by 2025. The goal is to achieve the Skal certificate within 6 years.

The trade jury believes that OVATA is an ambitious, innovative and sustainable family business with a clear vision for sustainable development into the future. OVATA has an eye for innovation in terms of cultivation, and shows how niche products - of which 75% come from its own breeding programme - can do well through excellence in processes. Big steps have been made in recent years in terms of the sustainable ‘natural’ cultivation of succulents. The trade jury appreciates the social engagement, both internationally in Uganda with the ‘Because we care’ project and locally with work for people struggling to engage with the labour market.

OVATA has been nominated by MPS.

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Niels Kreuk, Andijk (2022)

Pioneers in new cultivation systems

When he took over the tulip nursery from his parents in 2005, Niels Kreuk knew that he wanted to automate and update the nursery in Andijk to the latest cultivation methods. Reducing the use of energy, crop protection and water were thereby the goals. Niels Kreuk was the first tulip grower to apply the New Cultivation principles in a greenhouse with three layers. He also invested in the latest technologies for air distribution in the storage of the bulbs.  In addition, he introduced automated internal transport with the goal of working more smoothly, more flexibly and more easily and thereby achieving a better end product.

According to the trade jury, Niels Kreuk b.v. is a company that has been successfully transformed in recent years into a sustainable and innovative tulip nursery with courage and ambition; a real pioneer in the tulip business. Alongside multilayer cultivation, innovations have also been implemented in recent years in the storage of bulbs. The entrepreneur’s focus is on sustainable improvements such as reusing water and LED lighting. The entrepreneur has a vision of small-scale entrepreneurship which enables him to spot opportunities for growth by adding value. Niels Kreuk does that with the production of fresh mixed bouquets for regular customers.

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Plantanious, Honselersdijk (2020)


Twin brothers Joost and Freek Jansen run Plantanious, a pot plant nursery that has been in their family for three generations. The young entrepreneurs grow houseplants and flowering seasonal products on 4.5 hectares under glass in Kwintsheul. The production involves open, transparent and long-term collaboration with other businesses at home and abroad. This enables Plantanious to offer a wide range of surprising products for both the day trade and retail customers, and it is thereby able to boost the productivity of the business. 

Jury’s opinion:

Plantanious have a clear vision. That vision is green, and focuses on long and sustainable relationships. That is shown by - amongst other things - the fact that the greenhouses are heated with geothermal heat and that the business is virtually self-sufficient in its power consumption thanks to the use of solar panels. This has dramatically improved the carbon footprint in recent years.  The young entrepreneurs have drawn up a strategic plan which is constantly discussed and adjusted where necessary. In 5 years’ time they want to occupy a unique innovative position in the market, whereby customers are constantly surprised with new green concepts. These are being developed with partners in Costa Rica, Spain and the Netherlands. The final steps for 100% circular operations will soon be implemented, whereby Plantanious want to be a role model for the horticulture sector.  The jury was impressed by the way in which the entrepreneurs collaborate enthusiastically with partners in the supply chain in order to achieve optimum quality, range and sustainability every time. The entrepreneurs have vision, and goals are translated into actions that create the ability to differentiate.  The use of Big Data helps them make the right decisions. Hats off for what the entrepreneurs at Plantanious have achieved in a relatively short space of time.

Plantanious is nominated by Rabobank

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SK Roses, De Lier (2020)

The very best roses grown under optimum conditions

SK Roses in De Lier is a successful family business where a new young generation has taken over the reins. Brothers Marc, Bas and Tom Koene are responsible for the operational management of the business, which consists of three locations with a total of 65,000 m² under glass and just one goal: cultivating high quality Avalanche roses all year round.  More than thirty million stems a year are produced, which are supplied to more than fifteen European countries.

Jury’s opinion:

The jury was impressed by the young entrepreneurs’ daring, vision and persistence. The processes are continuously optimised, including through the use of Big Data.  The very best quality is thereby produced very efficiently for the top market segment. The in-house R&D department is currently investigating whether the Avalanche+ roses can also be grown under LED lighting, with minimal light emissions and as much retention as possible of the correct climatic conditions.

SK Roses is an example of a family business in the horticulture sector that is working hard and investing continuously in optimising the operational processes. There is a lot of technical expertise within the business which is used for automation and logistical processes. The entrepreneurs play a significant role within the sector. SK Roses was recently an instigator of discussions around the sustainable energy tax. The company’s employees are offered attractive fringe benefits and remuneration systems. SK Roses’ focus is on continuing to make the business more sustainable. The aim is to be able to cultivate without emissions by 2025. Initiatives are currently being developed to package sustainably, or even supply without packaging.

SK Roses is nominated by Rabobank

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Wim Peters Kwekerijen, Someren (2019)

Family business Wim Peters Kwekerijen produces, grows and packages Roma tomatoes and other special and exclusive tomato varieties over 16 hectares in Someren.  The company is progressive, independent and forward-looking and sees many opportunities for tomato cultivation.

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Dekker Chrysanten, Hensbroek (2019)

Family business Dekker Chrysanten is one of the leading chrysanthemum breeders and propagators in the world. The internationally oriented company develops and markets new varieties and has production facilities in Hensbroek and Tanzania.

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Opti-Flor Monster (2019)

The mission of the family business Opti-flor is 'to let the customer enjoy special Opti-flor orchids to the full'. Entrepreneurs Marco and René Hendriks and Raymond van der Knaap do this with a team of committed and young professionals in an entrepreneurial and inspiring environment.

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De Lepelaar, Sint-Maarten (2018)

On their 70-hectare fields and nursery greenhouse operation, a group of dynamic organic growers -- Jan, Inge, Reinout Schrijver and Joris Kollewijn -- cultivate cabbage, beets, carrots, potatoes and corn. With the size of its operation, they offer ‘forgotten vegetables’ and cultivate herbs. Sustainability is thematic throughout the company, including their most important mission, soil fertility. In their pursuit of sustainability these entrepreneurs have an ongoing relationship with nature.

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OK Plant, 's-Gravenzande (2018)

OK Plant specialises in the cultivation of little Kolibri Orchids (Phalaenopsis Kolibri), along with various seasonal products such as Campanula, Primula obconica, Aster and Cyclamen. Since 1990, Rob and Désirée Olsthoorn have been the proud owners of this growing, ultramodern pot-plant nursery in Naaldwijk. 

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Green Specialties Holland, Lierop (2017)

Adrie and Hennie Van Den Einden built Green Specialties Holland (GSH) from a traditional vegetable nursery into one of the leading suppliers of high-quality leafy vegetables, including spinach, rucola, baby-leaf and lamb’s lettuce. The activities of Green Specialties span all links in the distribution chain – from cultivation on 150 hectares to harvesting, processing, packaging and sales. In this way, the company guarantees the quality of its products.

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Bunnik Plants, Bleiswijk (2017)

In the horticultural area of Bleiswijk you simply cannot miss seeing the Bunnik Plants. On 25 hectares, this innovative pot-plant nursery produces sustainable grown, green plants at seven different locations. Its various production lines, which give Bunnik Plants added value, have helped establish the company’s sterling reputation.

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Ebben Tree Nursery, Cuijk

Ebben Tree Nursery’s slogan, ‘know-how to-grow’ refers to 150 years of experience in cultivating unique trees and bushes in shapes, colour and application. With the cultivation of 450,000 trees per year, Ebben Tree Nursery is a world leader in this field. The family company is extremely market oriented. The innovative projects that Ebben Tree Nursery developed with landscape architects are both sustainable and unique. The greening of landscapes is a desire that runs deep in the Ebben family.

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Eosta / Nature&More, Waddinxveen

Eosta is a distributor of fruit and fresh, organically-grown vegetables. It specialises in international fruit and Dutch greenhouse vegetables on the premise that ecology and economic activity can go hand in hand. They have been proving this point for the last 25 years. The company has expanded internationally into a leading importer and exporter in this segment, offering a continuous flow of innovative products. Eosta functions as the chain director for more than 1,000 growers on six continents. Responsible, Together and Authentic are the core values underpinning Eosta enterprise. With its brand, ‘Nature & More’, Eosta offers consumers complete transparency of its organic products.

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Ter Laak Orchids, Wateringen

he innovative family company, Ter Laak Orchids, stands out for its results-oriented approach and traditional Dutch trading mentality. The cultivation of high-grade Phalaenopsis takes place on an area of 125,000 square metres, with the latest technology. The company’s core values are: ambition, respect and simplicity. These Phalaenopsis growers are leading innovators, using the new, energy-efficient (and, in the future, even energy-neutral) daylight greenhouse for cultivation. With its production location in Guatemala, which is currently under construction, Ter Laak Orchids aspires to become an established name in the (Central) American market.

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Royal Brinkman, 's-Gravenzande

Royal Brinkman has been a supplier, consultant and installer for professional horticulture since 1885. They have also earned the right to use the title ‘Royal’ in their company’s name. Whereas, in recent years, many suppliers have been in a difficult position, Royal Brinkman has determined its own international course. Brinkman, which has achieved a strong local presence in the most important horticultural countries in the world, invests in good personnel to ensure the supply of their specialist products and services. Moreover, Royal Brinkman enters into strategic partnerships and joint ventures to find new solutions for its customers.

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