Harm Maters is the owner and Managing Director of Lotus AgriConsult and graduated from Horticulture, Economics (EUR) and Business Management (UvA). Harm has been an active networker in the Dutch horticultural sector for over 40 years now. He was a director of companies and network organisations, an initiator of new strategic developments, but has also acted as a commissioner and strategic adviser. He is keen on being a knowledgeable partner and coach and helps to introduce start-ups & their innovative ideas to the sector.

A brief glimpse into Harm’s experience within the horticultural sector:

Innovation & Development

As a Chairman of AVAG, a branch organization of the Dutch greenhouse construction & installation sector, Harm was able to set-up a variety of programs. HortiQ was one such idea to create an independent and objective certification to prove that the Dutch greenhouse system is a quality product. It also helps companies to distinguish or promote themselves on a national and international scale. Hortivation is another innovative program designed to focus on technical innovations and knowledge management in the greenhouse construction sector.

His experience helped him build significant bridges  between Big Tech, artificial intelligence, and the (Dutch) horticulture sector.

International positioning

Harm’s succes with B2B projects in several countries stems from his ability to exchange knowledge with the locals at their level. Not only does he introduce them to Dutch Greenhouse Technology but he also works with them to create B2B projects. MexiCultura was one of these projects and around 30 Dutch companies are still active in the region today. He has been at the helm of many other international businesses and missions. South Africa, Mexico, Turkey, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Latin America, Israel, and China are just some of the countries where he has worked together with local embassies and financial investors. He has a true knack for bringing people into contact with one another, e.g. by organizing local seminars.

Managerial positions

Harm has fulfilled a variety of management positions over the years. Momentarily, he is involved in different strategic projects, he is member of a supervisory board, president of HortiQ and he has been appointed as an interim independent overseer for smaller start-ups and entities.

Over the years, Harm has been Chairman of sector-related organizations such  AVAG and Contractors & Installers in Greenhouse Horticulture, HortiQ, Hortivation, Board Member of VNO-NCW, Greenport Holland and -West Holland, Managing Director of Alcoa Industrial Systems, Director of Alcoa Agro and Deputy Director of Royal FloraHolland.

Synergy and sustainability

Harm’s commitment to sustainability in the greenhouse horticulture sector landed him the position of project coordinator for Synergy. An initiative that focuses on stimulating new ideas for sustainable energy systems. Such as semi-closed cultivation which was developed in collaboration with WUR. He also set up and supervised Green Farming on behalf of the Dutch government. The program focused on sustainable cooperation in horticulture between Dutch and East African countries. Minister Ploumen was responsible for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation at the time and opened one of the projects called “Solar-powered Greenhouse.”

MexiCultura – Mexican Market Development

MexiCultura was Harm’s chance to expose the Dutch horticulture world to a new market. To this day there are still around 30 companies from the Netherlands active in horticulture in Mexico.

Photo: Tour Mexico, Aguascalientes

Green Farming – sustainable development in East Africa

The importance of integrated cooperation in horticulture between the Netherlands and East Africa was underlined with the introduction of Green Farming in 2017.