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Welcome to Grow23 – series of high-level talks looking into the topical issues regarding food security and safety and the future of green food production in Europe.

Many ongoing crises and challenges force European producers and decision-makers to think how and where healthy green food is grown in the future. Decisions made today will have significant impacts on both the horticulture industry and the lives of all Europeans.

The Grow forum was created in 2019 by Kekkilä-BVB to explore solutions to diverse challenges in the green food ecosystem. This year, we will focus on building 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.

Join us to make a difference!

Sign up for the event now

Please note that the number of participants for the event is limited.

Panel discussion 1:
Future of European plant-based food productionsecuring the availability of safe and sustainable green food for EU citizens

The war in Ukraine and the significant increases in production costs in agriculture have affected global food security and the availability and affordability of green food in Europe. Securing the availability of safe plant-based food produced in the European Union for future EU citizens should be a priority for EU decision makers.

Panel discussion 2:
Current state and future trends in the growing media marketsenabling efficient and innovative growing methods

Recent developments regarding the availability and price of growing media raw materials have underlined the importance of maintaining a steady supply of critical raw materials produced in the European Union. The demand for growing media is expected to grow rapidly and all fit for purpose raw materials are needed to enable efficient and innovative growing methods in the future.

Panel discussion 3:
Circularity in food production; future opportunities and challenges

The European Commission has introduced multiple ambitious targets to increase the sustainability of the European agricultural sector. The Farm to Fork strategy and the upcoming Sustainable EU Food Systems initiative are examples of a stronger emphasis on sustainable and circular food production. These efforts should include all parts of the value chain, including the use and production of growing media.

Join us to make a difference!

Agenda 8:30–14:00

Thon Hotel EU, Room “France”, Wetstraat/Rue de la loi 75, 1040 Brussels

The Grow23 event starts with a networking breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and welcoming words by Vesa Tempakka, CEO of Kekkilä-BVB.

The three panel discussions of this half-day seminar will look into the topical issues regarding food security and safety and the future of green food production in the European Union, seeking solutions that are good for people and the planet.

Related to each panel, we will hear introductory remarks from high-level representatives from the EU institutions and other stakeholder organisations.

Speakers include:

Elsi Katainen, MEP
Inese Vaidere, MEP
Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa-Cogeca
Philippe Binard, General Delegate, Freshfel Europe
Jean-Charles Michel, Associate Professor, Growing Media and Soil physics, L’institut Agro Rennes-Angers
Silvana Nicola, Professor, University of Turin
Risto Artjoki, Policy Officer, European Commission DG Agriculture
Hans Joosten, Professor emeritus, Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology
Bart Vandecasteele, Researcher, the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

The official program ends at 1 p.m., after which the attendees are welcomed to a networking lunch.

Expect a full agenda with more information soon.
Register now and stay tuned!

Sign up for the event now

Please note that the number of participants for the event is limited.

High-level remarks, inspiring discussions and in-depth sessions that help us build understanding of the complex issues, strategies, and repercussions of our mission to create a more sustainable future for our industry. 


Watch also the recordings from the previous Grow festivals.