Yes sexy it is! It seems to become fashionable to say that horticulture needs to become sexy.
Horticulture IS sexy and to communicate that has been our mission since the year 2002. It is our WHY and we know HOW we want to do it and WHAT we need to do.
If you want to go right to the core of sexiness, click here to find out what we have been doing with National Geographic and what we are working on in 2018 together with world famous architect Rem Koolhaas and his agency OMA. But do yourself a favour, continue reading, before you start clicking!
Traditionally, horticulture is a sector that does not reach out to consumers. Marketing and communication are usually organised in a B2B way. Consumers are simply too far away.
But times are changing. Nowadays, consumers are more and more interested in food. In food safety. In the way food is produced. Its origin. Consumers want to know where their food comes from. The rapid increase of vertical and urban farming initiatives are clear and visible examples. These subsectors have been rather successful by linking themselves directly to consumers and their interest in healthy and sustainably produced food.
But isn’t that exactly what we do in our greenhouses? Producing healthy and sustainable food? Absolutely. Apparently, greenhouse producers are still not able to reach out to consumers. Bridging this gap is all that is needed.
The WHY is clear …. But how? And what should we do?
The answer is as simple as can be. Make sure that prominent opinion makers understand WHY horticulture is so sustainable, produces extremely healthy food and does that in a way that can help solve some of the major issues this world is facing.
Who are these opinion makers? There are many, but we started with maybe the most influential of all, National Geographic. The chief editor of NatGeo in the Netherlands, Mr. Aart Aarsbergen, visited several horticultural companies in the Netherlands with us and shared his experiences during a webinar (Jungle Talks) in 2015. He was impressed by the horticultural sector and its entrepreneurs. He then shared ‘our’ story with colleagues around the globe. National Geographic in the USA picked it up and published a wonderful story on the Dutch agri- and horticultural sector titled ‘How a tiny country feeds the world’. It was the very first time that Dutch greenhouse producers read such a positive story written by such an influential magazine. We then knew we were on the right track.
Early 2018, we were lucky. Angelique de Wit, director of Westland Marketing, introduced us to architect Rem Koolhaas. We told him that we felt ashamed. Mr. Koolhaas had been living and working for most of his life in the city of Rotterdam, surrounded by greenhouses, Westland and Oostland, but we had never been able to motivate him to visit us. It was a sincere apology from our side.
However, Mr. Koolhaas told us we were completely wrong. He was the one feeling ashamed. He had been concentrating on urban development for all of his life without paying any attention to rural development. This two minute conversation again proved what was written above. We do want to get to know each other, we just never knew how to communicate with each other.
Mr. Koolhaas was appointed by the Guggenheim museum in NYC to put together an exposition on ‘the countryside; rural development around the globe’. His view an horticulture is as simple as it is striking. Horticulture provides solutions for some of the major issues this world is facing. Where did we hear that before?
It is our task now to connect Mr. Koolhaas to some of the most inspiring horticultural entrepreneurs in this world. And that is exactly what we will continue doing. Follow us to stay informed.
This is just the start of our way of ‘Making horticulture sexy’. We inform international opinion makers about the beauty of our sector and let THEM tell our story. As a sector, we will just need to prepare ourselves. Innovative and sustainable horticulture will soon become the next big thing on this planet. It will soon become SEXY!