Agrifood Tour


The Brainport region is also famous for its agribusiness sector, contributing a total of 7.5 billion euros in added value and 10% of the employment in the region. The agrifood cluster is part of a global market and innovation network for agrifood products and, at the same time, needs to balance the interests of a high-quality living environment with the development of the agricultural industry. This is a complicated task that requires significant collaboration between all stakeholders involved. Associations, cooperatives and cluster organisations play a pivotal role in the paving the way ahead in this transition.

During this tour, you will meet a range of companies spanning the supply chain from primary production to processing and logistics. You will dive into the complexity of the changing relationships between suppliers, processors and cooperatives, noticing both the durability and confident nature of the relationships among supply chain partners and the tensions associated with the creation of new modes of collaboration. Although the food sector as a whole can be considered very successful, you will also be given a sneak peek into the challenges that the sector is facing in relation to its physical environment, illustrated by an innovative entrepreneur who, after 12 years of continuous battle with local, regional and even national governments and fierce social resistance, is now building an integrated chicken and pork production and processing cluster. You will meet technologically advanced food processors in the Food Tech Park and we will visit Freshpark Venlo, a food logistics cluster which to date remains a cooperative owned by primary producers.

The rough programme outline is as follows:

  • Welcome and introduction by Food Tech Brainport, an important crossover between the agri-food sector, high-tech systems and the chemical sector. This cluster & expertise centre, driven by entrepreneurs, offers unique pilot services and demo-facilities for valorization, matching the ambitions and achievements of a European top region. The cluster facilitates SMEs and SME+ companies in making a successful transition from (food) technology innovations to market application and introduction. While being at the Food Tech Park Brainport, you will also get to meet a few of the Park’s food and food-related high-tech companies. Next, you will be taken in a journey to discover the challenges and transition of the primary production sector, and first listen to Marcel Kuijper’s story of an integrated chicken production and processing cluster. After this, ZLTO (The Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation), will provide you with the overall context of the region. ZLTO is a member-based cooperative facilitating the development of the agro sector throughout the chain.
  • After lunch at the Food Tech Park Brainport, we will get back on the bus and drive through the countryside. Then you are able to see for yourself how the landscape is going through a transition. We will end the day at Fresh Park Venlo, a very successful and inspiring logistics cluster that was initiated as a cooperative of primary producers who wanted to improve their market position. Fresh Park Venlo provides shared accommodation for Fresh & Food companies at a logistic location for the purpose of generating (logistic) synergy and creating opportunities for the exchange of know-how, innovation and efficient management for the companies established at the park.

Cluster organisations: Food Tech Brainport + Wageningen University & Research
Cluster Manager: Ivo Ploegsma (Food Tech Brainport)
Cluster Guide: Pieter van Hout (ZLTO)

RE-Tour Agrifood Tour
The tour organisers invite you to deepen your encounter with them during a dedicated Tours-Revisited session on the Working Day. For this tour, Pieter van Hout, project leader Innovation at ZLTO, will take you along in the world of agricultural production, raising issues from the wider business community regarding the future of their region for you to reflect upon.

ZON Fruits and Vegetables is the holding – a cooperative of primary producers – responsible for FreshPark Venlo. An introduction:

For an introduction of FreshPark Venlo, see

Kuijpers Kip:

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