The participants were from eight different countries, making for a high degree of international diversity. Besides two Dutch growers there were growers from the UK, Finland, Denmark, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia and China. Altogether 29 growers from 14 different companies took part in the full program. Despite the diversity within the group, clear interaction immediately occurred between the participants. This was only natural, of course, since the entire group, with the exception of one cucumber grower, was made up of tomato growers. So it did not take people long to find a common interest.
As well as the visits to Jami and Kwekerij Wim Peters, a visit was paid to the Philips LAC (Lighting Application Center). This visitor center is specially equipped to demonstrate the possible uses of light, for instance in a supermarket or a production hall. In the course of the tour due attention was also given to research into growth using LED lighting with a visit to the Improvement Centre/GreenQ in Bleiswijk, where a trial with LED interlighting in combination with LED toplighting is currently being conducted. And of course an event like this would not have been complete without a visit to Tomatoworld. The growers were absolutely fascinated by the different tomato varieties on display here. Like children in a sweetshop they examined and tried the various cultivars.
Since this was the first time that this event had been organized by Philips, great attention was paid to the preparations. The program was well filled with practical visits, but there was also plenty of time for exchanging know-how and experience. According to Esther Hogeveen, a plant specialist at Philips, it was interesting to see how the participants immediately hit it off together. “There was a constant and open exchange of experiences, sometimes relating to cultivation using LED lighting, but also relating to other matters such as how local sales are arranged by area. And indeed this is precisely what we had in mind. We wanted to bring together this select group of innovative growers to enable them to achieve even better results together by learning from one another. And we certainly succeeded in doing this. All the participants said that they would like to stay in touch with one another and get together again next year for a similar event. We at Philips are of course keen to help bring this about so that we can give our customers a considerable lead over the rest of the market!”