A top level delegation from the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development kicked off a three-day working tour of the Netherlands with a visit to Koppert Biological Systems to inform itself of the latest innovations for sustainable solutions for horticulture and agriculture.
The delegation which visited the company’s headquarters in Berkel en Rodenrijs, was led by European Parliamentarian, Jan Huitema. 'It was a great pleasure to show a large delegation from the European Parliament how a Dutch company makes innovative use of nature. Koppert is a company that is ahead of the rest and we need to ensure that (EU) legislation does not lag behind. It was evident that my colleagues were impressed by the innovative power of Koppert, a company that makes it possible to produce more and safer food with less impact on the environment, he said at the close of the visit.
The delegation was introduced to the history of the Koppert family business and informed about the company’s innovative products, such as beneficial insects for pest control, microorganisms to combat plant diseases and promote growth and resilience in crops, and bumblebees that ensure pollination for a better fruit set and richer yields.
Addressing the delegation, Koppert’s Managing Director, Henri Oosthoek, said he wanted to ask the delegation a favour. ‘It’s a simple one, but a strong one: Please make the voice of nature heard in Brussels. We, as ‘Partners with Nature’, know that there are many natural solutions that can be turned into proper regulations. Nature can use your help,’ he stated.
A look behind the scenes at Koppert
‘It was an honour to receive the delegation today and show them what we have achieved here at Koppert. We gave them a ‘behind the scenes’, tour of our laboratories to explain how we create our microorganism and other biological products. We also showed them our bumblebees which are now used for pollination in crops worldwide. It was important for us to explain how we work in partnership with nature for the better health of people and the planet,’ added Koppert’s Managing Director, Paul Koppert.
The Director of Koppert Cress, Rob Baan, also gave a presentation on innovation in horticulture for future food production. ‘An over-populated country like the Netherlands is capable of producing healthy products in a sustainable way and in harmony with nature. We are the world’s healthiest delta,’ he said.
The European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development was scheduled to visit the Dutch Parliament in The Hague to meet with Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, and Minister Martijn van Dam on the same evening. This is a key stakeholder networking event between the European Parliament delegation and representatives of the Dutch agro-food sector.