Amsterdam Produce Show team rips up the road on Ride for the Roses

Tommy Leighton

At Produce Business UK, we don’t believe our role is simply to disseminate information about the produce industry. While it is an essential part of what we do, there is never as much to be gained from sitting in an office all day typing or clasping a phone to your ear as there is from getting involved in what’s happening around you, grasping the initiative to get out there and be part of something

We like to involve ourselves as much as possible in whichever project or country we are working in. So when we were approached by our good friend Nic Jooste – CSR director of Cool Fresh International – to get involved in a collaborative effort in supporting the annual Ride for the Roses (with our Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference APS hat on) we did not hesitate for a moment and agreed to sponsor the team.

The annual Ride for the Roses was started in 1997 in the US and its purpose is to raise as much money as possible for cancer research. The ride was first initiated in the Netherlands in 1998, and since then more than €13 million has been made available to the Dutch Cancer Society. Thanks to the efforts of this year’s riders, many more euros (€585,000 at the time of writing) have found their way towards this worthy cause.

Riding to beat cancer

The APS team consisted of a group of riders whose lives, like many of ours, have all been touched by cancer in one way or another. Some of them have experienced the trials and tribulations of cancer as patients, others had lost relatives to cancer.

The team, which braved the elements of a miserable early autumn day in Enschede, consisted of:

  • Nick Quine, whose mother was the initiator of the Little Libraries project in South Africa, which we covered here and here. Nick himself is actively involved in various fundraising activities;
  • Matias Florit, a French photographer;
  • Nic Jooste, Jano Hogebrug and Christiaan van der Goes (all of Cool Fresh);
  • Jan and Aad Greeve, two Dutch brothers who are actively involved in various volunteer projects;
  • Czech-born Svatka Kubankova of Robinson Fresh, an extreme sportswoman;
  • Jake Wright, an American software specialist.

This ride was about far more than winning, of course – and the APS team included a nice mixture of serious riders and members who were, well, just along for the ride! Watch the film though – it’s not only beautifully made, but it also gives some important insight into a subject that touches all of us during our precious lives.

Ride for the Roses team
Team APS: on your marks, get set…

Sharing knowledge at APS

And we like to think that The Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference will be far more than a trade show – we are cooking up a hotbed for knowledge sharing and transfer for the international produce industry. 

The main seminar stage will focus on Dutch leadership in  all of thee fields – both at home and around the world – and some of the innovators and influencers who are helping the country maintain its position at the industry’s top table by taking these themes, challenging the status quo and extending accepted thinking and practice beyond historical boundaries.

Linking back to the Ride for the Roses, modern medical thinking is focusing more and more on nutrition in preventing and combating cancer, and the knowledge of the powerful impact a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can play in ensuring health has become a prime part of the Amsterdam event. One of the country’s top cancer surgeons, Joost van der Sijp, will speak at the APS on exactly this subject – how the industry can work with the medical profession to break through the status quo of the established value chain and support the concept that fresh produce should play a heavier role in the pre- and post-op treatment processes.

There will be a lot more information released in the next 10 days about our other zones, each of which will be led by a Dutch organisation but feature shining examples of international leaders in their field. We’ve got masses of innovative ideas ourselves and the stripped back industrial venue a disused circular gasholder a mile from the centre of the city, gives us plenty of scope to be creative and add value to the experience of everyone who attends, as an exhibitor or a visitor.

Watch this space for far more announcements in the next few days – they will be coming thick and fast as we get everything in place after the holiday season!



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