More than 100 fun and exciting food-related activities

Dutch Agri Food Week

Most people barely know where their food comes from and how far it has travelled before it reaches their plates. The Dutch Agri Food Week is designed to change all that, as food, food innovation and food production will be front and centre in more than 100 events and activities organised throughout the Netherlands during this 2-week event.

During the Dutch Agri Food Week (held throughout the Netherlands from 12 through 25 October), more than 400 companies, scientists, government authorities and farmers will demonstrate how they work to improve food health and safety worldwide. Ruud Huirne, Rabobank's Director of Food & Agri Netherlands and a member of the event board: 'The Netherlands are home to the most productive and innovative food and agri sector in the world. We are the second major exporter of food, knowhow and technology, and in addition the sector accounts for 10 percent of our economy and employment, making it our country's largest 'manufacturing' industry. It's really an exciting and innovative sector we can all be proud of, and we would like to share that with as many people as possible.'

Greater convenience for visitors

The Dutch Agri Food Week coincides with the annual World Food Day on 16 October. Huirne: 'There have always been all kinds of activities organised throughout the country during this period, focusing on issues such as food waste and the importance of good nutrition. We set up this event with the objective of linking together all those disjointed activities. At the same time, we were also looking to launch new activities in all parts of the country – as part of our efforts to showcase the strength of the Netherlands as a country with a very strong food and agri industry. This set-up also makes the event easier to navigate for visitors: there is now one dedicated website where anyone interested can easily find a full list of the more than 100 activities organised as part of the event. There's also a map that clearly shows all the locations. And since the event takes place over two weeks – and not one, as the name misleadingly suggests – we also cover the autumn half-term holidays in different parts of the country, since the dates of school holidays in the Netherlands vary by region.'

Tasting and cookery classes

Rabobank is one of the partners involved in the Dutch Agri Food Week. Ruud Huirne: 'Our involvement in this event is part of our goal of becoming a leading bank in food and agri worldwide. We are a financial partner to many companies operating in this industry, as well as having in-depth knowledge of this area and access to an extensive network. This provides us with the resources to support businesses in areas such as innovation and export.'

The bank is organising a number of activities in association with partners such as supermarket chain Albert Heijn, LTO Nederland (the Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture), dairy company FrieslandCampina and the 'Healthy Food' SME group. Ruud Huirne: 'These activities include tasting and cookery classes at primary schools and the Food Valley Expo, which will be held in Arnhem on 13 October. The most innovative food and agri company in the Netherlands will receive the Innovation Award at the Innovation Summit scheduled during this event.'

More evenly spread

This is the second year the event is being held, and Ruud Huirne feels there is plenty of opportunity yet to further expand on the Dutch Agri Food Week in the future: 'Next year, for example, we plan to do an even better job of spreading existing and new activities evenly across the country, so that as many consumers as possible get to witness and experience first-hand the importance of high-quality, healthy food and discover just how active and innovative the Dutch food and agri industry is.'

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