Autogrow Expands to Europe with New Role, New Agtech Solutions in the Netherlands
Agtech company Autogrow establishes Dutch presence to support growing customer base in Europe
New Zealand-based Autogrow has ramped up its activity in the Northern Hemisphere by establishing a new position in the Netherlands. The company’s new Sales Director of Europe and the U.K. in the Rotterdam–The Hague area will support Autogrow’s expanding European customer base for its digital farming solutions, FarmRoad® and Folium®. With demand for Autogrow’s agtech solutions rising due to the pandemic, the company decided to establish a local presence in the Netherlands’ globally connected agrifood and agtech sectors.
“This expansion into Europe is counter-intuitive during a pandemic – however, innovation and crop production don’t slow down, and the challenges growers face haven’t disappeared because of COVID-19. In fact, they have been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Autogrow’s CEO Darryn Keiller.
“We think now is the perfect time to introduce solutions that will help growers with productivity, gain greater economic benefits and transform the market. Added to which, with cross-border restrictions and travel limitations likely to remain in place in the foreseeable future, establishing a local presence is the right move.”
The Netherlands’ leading ecosystem for sustainable agriculture and agtech innovation
Chief among Autogrow’s reasons for choosing the Netherlands was the country’s leading role in sustainable agriculture and agtech innovation. The Netherlands is home to a thriving ecosystem of companies, growers and research institutions that work together toward new solutions for the global food system.
“The Netherlands has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a leader in efficient and sustainable agriculture and, after the United States, is the second-largest exporter of agriculture in the world,” said Keiller.
“By establishing a role in the region, we create strong ties with growers and, like our partnerships in the United States, introduce our new digital farming solutions FarmRoad and Folium.”
Autogrow’s FarmRoad is a crop management software that enables growers to bring all their data together in a unified platform. The company’s Folium product is a wireless smart sensor that gives greenhouse operators high density microclimate data to improve yield, quality and decision making.
Over the past few months, Autogrow has been working closely with customers and distributors in the region, including some of the Netherlands’ largest tomato producers. Autogrow will work alongside Dutch tomato company Van der Voort, a member of the Prominent farming cooperative. Both companies share a common focus on sustainable farming practices.
“We have been growing tomatoes for over 50 years, and technology has always played a pivotal role in our success. With multiple farms and increasing production, we look for solutions that are leading the agtech market,” said Joost Van der Voort, Co-Owner of Van der Voort. “The work the Autogrow team are doing with sensor technology and farm management solutions is cutting edge and we are excited to be working together.”
Invest in Holland network assists with international expansion
Although Autogrow’s headquarters is based in New Zealand, large geographical distances have never hindered the organization from successfully operating on the global stage. For its expansion into Europe, Autogrow received assistance from the Singapore office of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and from InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the province of South Holland. Both are part the Invest in Holland network.
“The Netherlands, and Rotterdam–The Hague area specifically, is the worldwide center of horticulture. We are eager to attract and facilitate innovators with exciting solutions as Autogrow. They are a great addition to our region and the sector and support our regional economy,” explained Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalization at InnovationQuarter.
“Next to that, they benefit and contribute to strengthening our ecosystem of innovative companies in horticulture, impacting the societal challenge for feeding and greening the mega-cities of the future,” Voorden added.
Autogrow is currently recruiting for the new role with the expectation to have a new hire in place over the next few months.13 October 2020