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Work to increase tomato production in Holland

One of New Zealand’s most innovative agriculture technology companies is working to increase tomato production in Holland.

Indeed, Autogrow is seeking to spread its influence even further, and looking to appoint a new Sales Director Europe and UK, who will be based in the Netherlands, to push the company’s digital farming solutions FarmRoad and Folium.

Autogrow CEO Darryn Keiller admitted the expansion into Europe was counter-intuitive given the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he pointed out that the challenges facing agriculture, far from disappearing because of Covid, had in fact been exacerbated.

“We think now is the perfect time to introduce solutions that will help growers with productivity, gain greater economic benefits and transform the market,” said Mr Keiller.

“Added to which, with cross-border restrictions and travel limitations likely to remain in place in the foreseeable future, establishing a local presence is the right move.

“The Netherlands has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a leader in efficient and sustainable agriculture and, after the United States, is the second-largest exporter of agriculture in the world.

“By establishing a role in the region, we create strong ties with growers and, like our partnerships in the United States, introduce our new digital farming solutions FarmRoad and Folium.”

Autogrow is working alongside one of the most prominent farming cooperatives in Holland, Joost Van der Voort.

Van der Voort, co-owner of the cooperative, said: “We have been growing tomatoes for over 50 years and technology has always played a pivotal role in our success.

“With multiple farms and increasing production, we look for solutions that are leading the AgTech market.

“The work the Autogrow team are doing with sensor technology and farm management solutions is cutting edge and we are excited to be working together.”

Autogrow has the backing of the New Zealand government for its expansion into Europe.

Ariane Gonzalez, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to the Netherlands, said: “It’s exciting to see AgTech innovation developed in New Zealand supporting growers here.

“New Zealand is recognised on the global stage for producing efficient and effective agricultural solutions that work in a range of climates, and this is another great example of that in action.”

The Dutch regional economic development agency for the province of South Holland, InnovationQuarter, is also backing the New Zealand company.

Its Head of Internationalisation, Chris van Voorden, said: “The Netherlands, and Rotterdam – The Hague area specifically – is the worldwide centre of horticulture.

“We are eager to attract and facilitate innovators with exciting solutions as Autogrow.

“They are a great addition to our region and the sector and support our regional economy.

“Next to that they benefit and contribute to strengthening our ecosystem of innovative companies in horticulture, impacting the societal challenge for feeding and greening the mega-cities of the future.”

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