The European Union wants to achieve climate-neutral food production by 2050. This means that a continued and largescale acceleration of sustainability efforts is needed over the coming years.
I am often surprised by how many people do not know about the significant contribution that the greenhouse horticultural sector is making to this. For example, did you know that, compared to other cultivation methods, a high-tech greenhouse saves half of the water and up to 75% of the land? If you ask me, these are great figures and I feel that this story is not being told enough yet.
As Grodan, we want to be recognized for this cultivation method. That’s why, together with Wageningen University, we carried out research on the sustainability of tomatoes grown in the high-tech greenhouse. The final results of this study are promising: tomatoes grown in the high-tech greenhouse scored highest on 7 out of 8 relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs), compared to other cultivation methods. Now we have concrete data to show that we can grow fruit and vegetables sustainably in the high-tech greenhouse. Fortunately, this story has been published by several media outlets.
The aforementioned media attention for sustainability in the high-tech greenhouse is desperately needed, but this attention is not enough. I see many opportunities for the sector which can, and must be, utilized to further accelerate our sustainability efforts and to increase knowledge about them. The sector must therefore include sustainability unconditionally as a focal point in its strategies. Additionally, the government will have to stimulate and regulate the sustainability efforts that are made in the horticultural sector. All in all, it is important that consumers ultimately pay a fair price for the end product. Supermarket chains will have to play a prominent role in this as well.