Last week we joined the Community Session hosted by The Hague and Partners at the exciting "The New Farm" venue. We spent time networking with other business agencies in The Hague to strengthen ties and learn more about service providers to foster future collaborations.
The New Farm is blossoming to become a bold statement for large-scale city farming. It is becoming an international hotspot for sustainable food production that is putting The Hague on the map of cutting-edge city farming. What used to be an old Philips factory for telecommunications in the 1950s, has now become an ecosystem for inspiring manufacturing companies. We are excited to see another addition to The Hague business ecosystem and see how we are growing as an attractive city for innovation, sustainability and impact. While The Hague Tech community and hub includes tech companies focusing on creating a better, inclusive and more sustainable future through energy and tech innovations it was great to see innovations in the food industry, which The New Farm focuses on. Start-ups focusing on areas such as food production, circular economy and social impact are only some of the companies that can be found among the tenants in the building.
After our arrival, we got to taste a delicious coffee, prepared by the barista at The New Farm's "Haags Hoog" café. This was followed by a quick networking session, after which we all went to a beautiful rooftop; a greenhouse space that was once built for growing crops using hydroponics, and is now used as an event space that offers a gorgeous view of The Hague due to the all-around windows that stream in the outside light. The Hague & Partners moved on to share their upcoming events in the community, which was followed by a quick introduction by each participant to share what they are doing within The Hague community, which company they were from, and what they were hoping to get out out of The Hague & Partners community.
After the networking session, we got the opportunity to visit two inspiring companies; Wholly Greens & Yespers, as part of the community session programme. Both of them have their office at The New Farm, and shared their insights and missions with us on new ways of processing foods.
Wholly Greens shared their story on how they are saving veggies from being thrown away, by producing pasta with more than 50% veggies inside that might otherwise not have been used. They are all about reducing waste, and innovating taste with their fresh pastas that can currently be bought in 4 different flavours; spinach, sweet pumpkin, carrot and beetroot. Wholly Greens works closely with nature, by also collaborating with local and like-minded farmers who seek to produce more sustainably.
Yespers is on a mission to add real value to the world by preventing waste and investing in sustainably increasing the quantity and quality of our food. During our visit, they showed us how they can use an entire apple and use all of its parts for various products, and end up with 0 food waste. Yespers first squeezes the apple, to make a delicious and nutritious apple juice, the remaining waste of the apple is then dried to make an apple flour, which gets mixed into their granola. But what about the stem? Surely that one would have to be thrown away? We were in awe, when Yesper shared that even the stem is used to produce tea or oil that is used in cosmetics. By processing apples locally and avoiding waste streams, they manage to combine a lower footprint with more employment, which is also how they hope to accelerate their impact and motivate other processors to use similar methods.
We had a great time learning about both of these companies on their mission to make the world a better place, and seeing The New Farm project from the municipality in The Hague come to life, and become a new addition to the ecosystem.