Priva is a high-tech company that develops hardware and software for climate control, energy saving and optimal reuse of water. We do that for horticulture and vertical farming, but also for utility building such as offices, retails, hotels and hospitals; and we started making robots. Horticulture, or rather said protected crops, are on the rise and I think the amount of high-tech greenhouses in the world will double within the next 10 years and we will see a big increase in indoor farms without daylight. And the reasons for that are:
1. Climate change and urbanisation
2. Growing demand of fresh produce and flowers
And the latest trend…
3. Growing crops for medical purposes like we see with cannabis in North America.
Our sector used to be a niche driven by many growers, but today’s growers are becoming large professional marketing organisations and also investors from outside our business are discovering horticulture and fresh produce as an interesting investment. I think you can find business opportunities for fresh produce and flowers anywhere in the world, but it is very important to start with the market; what do people desire, what do they want to pay for and then you have to make exactly what those people want. If you ask me about threats, I think it’s two things: It’s projects that are badly planned and projects that are badly managed. If this happens too often, it could discourage people to invest in the horticulture industry. And this can be avoided by working with the right partners, with the right expertise and reputation, so think twice, come over and look for the right network.
One of the main reasons for our success is our network and our collaboration. Priva’s headquarters, is here, right in the middle of the dutch greenhouse delta, where you can find the highest concentration of suppliers, advisers, plant breeders and greenhouse builders in the world. Recently we did a project with water purification and disinfection in Senegal through a huge food producer with 11 of our Vialux units and we did that together with a French installer. And here just around the corner, we are busy helping to complete the world horti-centre, in Naaldwijk, which is a collaboration of around 90 companies and the goal is to create a landmark project for education, innovation, research and demonstration of the state of the art of horticulture.
IT and big data will revolutionise horticulture. The sun provides free electricity in the future. LED lights will eventually be more effective for plant production than the sun itself and robots will take over all the hard repetitive work in greenhouses. I also think that plants are the future medicines and plants have the power to replace meat which is an unsustainable food source. We also see developments in cities and buildings, we see entirely new megacities and they will become greener and healthier and every mega city in the world will have its own greenhouse delta and we’re excited to help them build it.
For the next interview, I would like to propose charlotte Langedak from Viscon group. I think their company is one of the most inspiring companies in our business at the moment is bursting with young talented people and creativity. Their approach to innovation is ground breaking. They make machines, but they start with the consumer. So Charlotte, you’re invited and I look forward to listening to you.
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