’Meeting and talking with the horticultural companies is very inspiring,’ says Maureen Sondag with excitement from Washington DC. ‘It is great to see the diversity and the quality of the Dutch industry during the #IntoHorticultureCourse of World Horti Center. I am very excited about telling the story about Dutch horticulture together.’
Maureen has been working as the Agricultural Trade Officer for the Agricultural Team for the United States and Canada at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington DC since 2013. Maureen visited the Dutch horticultural industry in the Westland area with World Horti Center (WHC) for four days. Former Public Affairs Manager Angelique de Wit (WHC) organized this tailor-made horticultural course, which provided Maureen with a good impression of the latest developments in the industry.
Passion and efficiency
‘It is impressive to visit the horticultural companies in person as you get a true sense of the entrepreneurs' passion here. Horticultural companies from the Westland region are ambitious: they aim to be the best, the most innovative and the fastest. This is directly shown in their business operations through efficient processes, strategic set-ups of the companies and the focus on high quality products,’ according to Maureen. ’Entrepreneurs are at their best telling their story in their own setting: their company, where they can show you everything on the spot. These visits also give me the opportunity to put everything in context and promote the Dutch horticultural industry abroad even more.’
‘As the Dutch Embassy's Agricultural Team, we focus on creating opportunities for the Dutch horticultural industry in North America. We meet many companies in Canada and the United States, but it’s also crucial to stay up to date about developments in the Dutch horticultural industry. This horticultural course provides an excellent opportunity for this.’
Excitement throughout the industry
Maureen knows how to portray the character of the Dutch horticultural industry well. ’During this horticultural course I saw the following three things throughout the companies: Passion, Engagement and Modesty,’ she says. ’The entrepreneurs are passionate and very knowledgeable about their products. During conversations they are engaging and welcoming. Not only towards me but also to their colleagues and other entrepreneurs in the industry. It is a community in which everyone is well acquainted and up to date about each other's business.'