Student Robert van Meer, Herenboeren Foundation and the companies AgroFair and Rademaker win HAS Awards 2017

The 6th HAS Year Event was held on 15 June at HAS University of Applied Sciences, when this year’s HAS Awards were presented in 4 categories: Young & Entrepreneurial; Sustainable Collaboration Non-profit; SME; and Sustainable Collaboration Large Company. The respective winners are: student, Robert van Meer; Herenboeren Foundation; and the companies AgroFair and Rademaker. The award ceremony was followed by a presentation from former HAS student Corine Fleuren from MiniTree. There was also a knowledge exhibition with the theses of the final year students. Over 300 students, employees and external relations of HAS University of Applied Sciences attended the event.

Category winner Young & Entrepreneurial

Robert van Meer develops cultivation recipe for cultivating strawberries without sunlight
Robert van Meer is a 4th-year student of Horticulture & Arable Farming and is currently following the special Top-Class Business graduation programme, where he’s developing a cultivation system that will enable growers to grow strawberries anywhere on the planet, irrespective of the climate. Cultivating strawberries is one thing, but doing so without sunlight is a different matter entirely. In climate-controlled greenhouses at the HAS, Robert has demonstrated that he was quickly able to get the hang of growing strawberries in this kind of facility without sunlight. The next step is to finetune the cultivation recipe further in the much larger BrightBox facilities in Venlo.

Category winner Sustainable Collaboration Non-profit

Herenboeren is moving the sector into a new way of farming
The Dutch Herenboeren (gentlemen farmers) Foundation is a movement of farming professionals who are demonstrating how the daily production of our food can be done differently, better and, above all, more sustainable. They achieve this by offering support and by collecting and distributing knowledge for the further development of so-called ‘Herenboerderijen’ (farms) in the Netherlands. Herenboerderij Boxtel is the first location where this is actually happening and is therefore a real ‘living laboratory’. It is a mixed farming cooperative, where 200 households are the joint owners: consumers, who together produce on a small, purely demand-based scale. HAS is currently working on number experiments at Herenboeren Boxtel and students on the Applied Biology study programme carrying out a monitoring project.

HAS University HAS Awards 2017

Category winner Sustainable Collaboration SME

HAS University of Applied Sciences and AgroFair Europe develop packaging concept for children’s banana
AgroFair Europe launched the fair-trade Oké banana in 1996. Mountains where moved to successfully overcome European legislation. They now produce and distribute the twin brand Oké/EkoOké and are market pioneers in fair-trade and organic bananas, pineapples, coconuts, oranges, sweet potatoes and various fruit purees. During the academic year 2016-2017, AgroFair Europe has been participating in an innovation project with 2 teams of 2 graduates, who are developing a new product that will enable AgroFair Europe to enter a new market. There’s also another smaller, but equally interesting project currently running: the development of a packaging concept for a children’s banana.

Category winner Sustainable Collaboration Large Company

HAS training programme ensures Rademaker employees know more about what’s going on in the sector
Rademaker is an internationally operating equipment manufacturer for the dough processing industry. The company is market leader and focusses on the development and sale of complete installations, including process control and automation systems. The collaboration with HAS University of Applied Sciences dates back to 2011. Earlier in the academic year, 3 company employees followed a course on bakery technology. This led to an in-company training for employees from various departments. Employees now know more about what happens in all of the departments, which enables them to learn from one another. There is currently also a professional assignment going on, where students are contributing to the development of processing parameters for bread.

Want to know more? You will find the promotional videos of all 9 nominees here: