Provincial Executive Hall signs horticultural pact – province of North Holland

(June 15, 2022)

During the annual conference of the European ERIAFF network, Deputy Ilse Zaal signed a horticultural pact with a number of other European parties.

Ilse Zaal was previously in Thessaloniki, Greece, where she gave a presentation on Dutch horticulture and the food vision. Together with deputy Jan-Nico Appelman (Flevoland), she also explained the protein transition.

Since 2015, the province of Noord-Holland has been a member of Eriaff, an EU network representing the interests of European regions that have agriculture, forestry and food high on the agenda. Eriaff organizes an annual conference where topics such as horticulture and high-tech agriculture are on the agenda.


During the conference, the Provincial Executive, together with a number of other European horticultural regions, signed the pact “The role of the gift sector in a sustainable EU food system”. This pact (pdf, 300 kB) symbolizes the commitment that people want to make to make people aware of the position, the opportunities and the solutions that horticulture offers in Brussels.

Ilse Hall at the conference

Ilse Zaal: “The greenhouse horticulture has great potential to be a frontrunner in energy-efficient and circular production of high-quality vegetables, flowers and plants. This requires an acceleration of the energy conversion. It is a task that we must solve together at national and international level. ”

The themes of the pact include making the sector more sustainable (by, for example, reducing CO2 and reducing water consumption), circular operations management (less waste and less use of plastics) and improving transport.

Food vision and protein transition

Ilse Zaal: “I took the opportunity of the conference to also tell something about North Holland’s food vision. How will we work on a sustainable food system together with the entire food chain? It requires a lot, because we are ambitious: healthy income models for entrepreneurs, but also to do what is good for people and animals, the climate, the soil, the water and biodiversity. In order to achieve a sustainable food system, it is necessary that all parties in the food chain contribute. It is not only the turn of agriculture, for example, by switching to circular agriculture, but also food processing companies, retailers, retailers, consumers and waste processors must act. In short: cooperation is important, and therefore I want to share our story with other parties as far as possible. ”

An important topic in the food vision is protein conversion. It’s about switching to a diet with more vegetable / less animal proteins. This turnaround makes it possible to provide the growing and changing world population with sufficient food in a sustainable way.

In 2020, the government will develop a National Protein Strategy (hereafter NES), which aims, among other things, to reduce European dependence on imports of protein-rich crops. The Netherlands can contribute to this, within and outside its borders, for example by growing more protein-rich crops and extracting more protein from sources such as algae, seaweed and insects. The North Holland Agri & Food sector can make an important contribution to these goals at national level.

The province of North Holland, together with a number of other parties, has recently commissioned a study (pdf, 5.73 MB) on protein transfer in North Holland. The purpose of this study was to identify which organizations in North Holland are involved in the protein conversion, what the biggest challenges are for these companies and what potential opportunities there are for the protein conversion in North Holland. The study provides a number of recommendations that will soon be discussed with North Holland protein stakeholders, experts and national parties.

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