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The third Grow Forum discussing the future of growing plant-based food is organized by Kekkilä-BVB on March 7, 2023

March 6, 2023

The third in a row Grow forum will discuss in form of keynotes and panel discussions F2F in Brussels by 15 subject matter experts on future food production, future growing media, and circularity. Over 50 representatives from EU institutions and NGOs have registered for this exclusive event. Later in the spring, the whole green industry will be invited to the already established Grow festival spirit for interactive virtual sessions.

“Many ongoing crises and challenges force European producers and decision-makers to think about how and where healthy green food is grown in the future. Decisions made today will significantly impact both the horticulture industry and the lives of all Europeans.” says Vesa Tempakka, CEO of Kekkilä-BVB.

The Grow festival was created in 2019 by Kekkilä-BVB to explore solutions to diverse challenges in the green food ecosystem. This year, in the Grow23 forum we will focus on building an understanding of how recent developments and future changes will affect European plant-based food production and what needs to be done to secure the right to safe green food for all our citizens.

We welcome all media to participate in the Grow23 on March 7, 2023 in Thon Hotel EU, starting at 8.30. Please find the agenda attached.

Please see the details:


For more information, please contact

Anna-Marja Vainio, Senior Manager, Communications
tel. +358505531913,  e-mail:

The agenda of Grow23, March 7, 2023

Opening of the Grow23 forum by Vesa Tempakka, CEO, Kekkilä-BVB

Panel – Future of European plant-based food production; securing the availability of safe and sustainable green food for EU citizens

Moderated by Nina Kinnunen | Director, Business Unit Landscaping & Recycling, Kekkilä-BVB

  • Pekka Pesonen | Secretary General, Copa-Cogeca
  • Philippe Binard | General Delegate, Freshfel Europe
  • Dr. Stefanie Grade | Professor, Berliner Hochschule für Technik
  • Erik Gipmans | Vice Chair of Plantum, Director at Gipmans

Future of growing media, Introductory remarks – Professor Inese Vaidere | MEP

Panel – Current state and future trends in the growing media markets; enabling efficient and innovative growing methods

Moderated by Eveline Herben | Advisor, Kekkilä-BVB

  • Dr. Silvana Nicola | Professor, University of Turin
  • Dr. Jean-Charles Michel | Associate Professor, Growing Media and Soil physics, L’institut Agro Rennes-Angers
  • Christine Zimmermann-Loessl | Chairwoman, Association for Vertical Farming
  • Guido Linders, Director | Business Unit Professiona Growing, Kekkilä-BVB

Circularity in food production, Introductory remarks – Bert-Jan Ruissen | MEP

Panel – Circularity in food production; future opportunities and challenges

Moderated by Folkert Moll | Sustainability Manager, Kekkilä-BVB

  • Bert-Jan Ruissen | MEP
  • Risto Artjoki | Policy Officer, European Commission DG Agriculture
  • Dr. Hans Joosten | Professor emeritus, Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology
  • Dr. Bart Vandecasteele | Researcher, the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
  • Marco Zevenhoven | Operational Director, RHP
  • Pablo Martinez Martinez | Lead Project Manager en Centro Tecnológico de Investigación del Champiñón de La Rioja

Concluding remarks – Risto Artjoki | Policy Officer, European Commission DG Agriculture