Food for thought Vision

Mathijs Plas, Strategy Officer at Modiform, shares his vision on 2021.

Monday, 22 March 2021

“One of the central challenges for the global horticultural industry in the coming years is to maximize circular use of materials and resources”.

I make an effort to this lead to being the first fossil-free industry. This is a long term vision, but we will take the first steps in realizing this in 2021.

I am convinced that intensified cooperation within the complete supply chain is needed to succeed, from breeder to consumer. What we see at the moment is that most companies do have the intention to do business in a sustainable and circular way, but that the goals and solutions are a chosen lack of collectivity. This leads to fragmentation and as a result stands in the way of true and scalable innovation and change towards the future. And that is a pity, because it is a great opportunity for the industry to be in the lead of shaping its own future. If we fail to do so, external forces will drive this change, and we will be left to follow.

Those companies in horticulture that are able and willing to look outside their current scope of influence to shape sustainable practices in the industry, are those that hold the future. And technology will play a big role in this; from data-driven operations, closed growing systems, circular business models to (e.g. Modiform) developing and applying innovative materials.

We should realize that the value of, and thus willingness of consumers to pay for, horticultural products increasingly shifts from the physical product itself to the way it is produced and traded. Driven by the awareness of the COVID crisis the world faces, 2021 is the year to make technology drive circular horticulture to the next level and capitalize on the hidden value of our products.

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