Produce Marketing Association (PMA) “Fresh Connections” conference

  • 06th September 2017
  • by secretary
Ruben Goudriaan (eleaf), Natasja van der Vlist (SunCooler),
Erna du Plessis (Renlyn Agritech), Bart de Jonghe
(Si Technologies International) and Jack Vera, agricultural
counsellor at the Embassy of the Netherlands to South Africa

16 – 17 August 2017. Cape Town, South Africa. PMA is an important network meeting for fresh food producers and traders. 

Through the coordination of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Pretoria and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cape Town, South Africa, a delegation of 10 Dutch companies and institutions participated in the conference. 

  1. Westcape Biotech is a commercial biotechnology company located outside of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Westcape Biotech is a fully owned subsidiary of South African based Westcape Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Westcape Holdings is joint venture company between Enza Zaden B.V. (Netherlands), Expressive Research B.V. (Netherlands) and Expressive SA (Pty) Ltd.The company provides advanced molecular biology and plant tissue culture services to local and international clients in the plant Agricultural sector
  2. Wageningen UR is a research institution that focuses on the domain ‘healthy food and living conditions’.
  3. Si Technologies International B.V. strives to improve smallholders lives in using a patented technology to manufacture and distribute the only silicon based product that is directly available to plants. The product ‘NewSil’ is a foliar spray that fires up the plants’ natural defense system against biotic and abiotic stress.
  4. Delphy is a renowned, independent advisory and research partner in horticulture.
  5. eLEAF is a Dutch high-tech company that pioneers in operational satellite based solutions
  6. PlantLab provides turnkey solutions for indoor vertical farming by making use of its own developed growing recipes, production methods, technology and software
  7. Rijk Zwaan Zaadteelt en Zaadhandel B.V. is a Dutch vegetable breeding and seed production company
  8. Ludvig Svensson is the pioneer and world leader in climate control and energy efficiency through textile-based solutions, creating excellent conditions for better and greater production
    Aart van den Bos, 

    social entrepreneur

    in greenhouses all over the world.

  9. Renlyn group and Bosman Van Zaal work together in a business partnership. Based on in-house engineering and manufacturing the Dutch company Bosman Van Zaal provides turnkey production concepts and customized systems for producers of vegetables and floricultural crops in the Protected Horticulture worldwide.
  10. The SunCooler (see picture) is the ideal solution for static storage. It is a mobile cooling device that cools fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy or medicines in a cheap, sound and sustainable way on the spot. There is no need for fuel, generator, grid or even batteries. The Sun is the one and only free source.
These are among the leading Dutch origin companies and institutions in Climate Smart agriculture across the globe. Their participation included exhibitions of their technologies at the Netherlands Pavilion and presentations at the workshop organized by the Embassy. The Embassy’s main theme at the conference is “Climate Smart Agriculture: Focus on technology”.

Since June 2017, the Embassy has been conducting a study on the gaps between technologies available and the use of these in South Africa on Climate Smart agriculture. This study seeks to investigate and understand opportunities to co-create sustainable solutions for local challenges in the agricultural sector. Key findings from this study were shared at the conference.

Partnerships are crucial, and social media allows farmers across the world to learn from climate smart agriculture best practices through knowledge bases like and

As part of the effort to support sustainable and inclusive growth and innovation in the agricultural sector, the Embassy and the Consulate General have also incorporated a students’ programme to its 2017 PMA activities. The Embassy has supported the young professional breakfast event at which the PMA will invite notable motivational speakers for the youth aspiring and studying to be agricultural entrepreneurs. The Embassy has sponsored two students from the Netherlands to share experiences with and learn from leading entrepreneurs and fellow South African students at the conference and during the week in an extended program. These activities also seeks to cultivate the spirit of business to business co-creation among the South African and Dutch agricultural business players of the future.