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Smart Horticulture

The European horticulture is an innovative sector. Greenhouses have developed towards high-tech factories that are highly automated. The sector is also very active in eBusiness and in the standardisation of information exchange. Despite this good basis, the horticulture faces major challenges due to the increasing international competition, recent food incidents such as the EHEC crisis, and fast advances in (information) technology, among others. One main answer to these developments is to innovate towards more information-based and knowledge-intensive production systems and supply chains. This seminar will provide an opportunity to discuss recent ICT developments and best practices in the horticultural sector and to explore potential synergies with other agricultural sectors such as arable and livestock farming.

Tuinbouw DigitaalThe seminar is organised by Tuinbouw Digitaal, which is the Digital Greenport Community of The Netherlands. The core of this community is formed by the collaboration between three active industry associations for chain information in the Dutch horticulture: Frug I Com (fruit and vegetables), Florecom (flowers and plants) and EDIbulb (flower bulbs).

Organizing Committee: Jerre de Blok (Dutch Product Board for Horticulture), Johan den Engelse (Frug I Com), Henk Zwinkels (EDIbulb, Florecom), Cor Verdouw (Wageningen UR)

Sub sessions
A. Information Exchange in Horticultural Supply Chains
B. Precision Horticulture

A. Information Exchange in Horticultural Supply Chains
Chair: Johan den Engelse (Frug I Com)
The rapid, error-free, efficient and secure exchange of information between organizations in supply chains (breeders, growers, logistical service providers, auctions, packers, traders, retailers) is essential for successful chain management. An important prerequisite is that information systems in the chain ‘speak the same language’. For this reason, the horticultural sector has worked already from early 1990s on standardisation, in particular of electronic messages, product coding and logistic coding. This session introduces recent advancements in the horticulture and discusses relations to international initiatives and developments in other agricultural sectors.

• Introduction by the chair: Johan den Engelse (Frug I Com)

• Exchange of production data in fruit & vegs supply chains
- Cultivation Message: Jacco Vooijs (Frug I Com/Dutch Produce Association/FresQ)
- GLOBALG.A.P.: Frederik Callens (GLOBALG.A.P.)

• Global Product Classification (GPC) standard in horticulture
- GPC for Flowers & Plants: Ben Ensink (Florecom/HBAG)
- GPC for Fruit & Vegetables: Johan den Engelse (Frug I Com)

• Stimulating Innovation in the Food Supply-Chain through Smart Use of ICT; EU project eFood Chain
- Project Overview & Market Analysis: Bruno Prepin (Agro EDI Europe)

B. Precision Horticulture
Chair: Henk Zwinkels (EDIbulb/Florecom)
Precision Horticulture is the application of Precision Farming to horticultural production. It deals with the individual monitoring, control and treatment of horticultural products at the right place and right time in particular in cultivation and harvesting. Important enabling technologies are sophisticated sensors and sensor networks, automation/mechanisation and robotics.
Precision Farming seems to focus on arable production. However, also in the horticulture sector there have been very innovative developments, e.g. in greenhouse climate control, remote pests monitoring, sophisticated harvesting robots, and dynamic simulation of crop growth. In this session inspiring best practices in Precision Horticulture will be introduced and potential synergies with other sectors including arable farming and livestock will be discussed.

• Introduction by the chair: Henk Zwinkels (Edibulb, Florecom)

• Robotics in Horticulture; intelligent sensing and manipulation for sustainable production and harvesting of high value crops (EU project Clever robots for crops): prof. Josse De Baerdemaeker (University of Leuven, BRAVA)

• Flexible robotic systems for automated adaptive packaging of fresh and processed food products (EU project PicknPack): Ing. E. Pekkeriet (Wageningen UR)

• Integration of logistic greenhouse technology (MES) and management systems (ERP): The Plantform ISA95-based Architecture and a practical implementation: Chiel Post and Dolf Veenker (Plantform)

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