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“Travel restrictions don’t have to slow down international horticulture projects”

All of the regulations involved in acquiring a visa to travel or work abroad are enough to cause companies a headache even during regular times. With the current corona crisis, the situation regarding travel has not become any easier.

In horticultural companies active in Canada and Australia, it has already led to work being outsourced. “Projects have even been returned,” says Ilona Bennink of Visa4you. The Dutch company advises and supports companies when requesting visas for both countries. “Even now, there is a lot more possible than companies think.”

Ilona Bennink

Since the summer, more is possible
According to Ilona, the situation she describes occurs a lot at the moment. She says it’s ‘rather sad’, especially because there are various options for acquiring a work visa or ‘travel exemptions’. “Especially after summer of last year, there have been a few changes, and more is now possible.”

A visa is required for both Canada and Australia and has always been. The type of visa required depends on the activities one will partake in when there. Ilona mentions contract negotiations as an example. “For those, a ‘business tourist visa’ is often sufficient.”

When companies need to execute physical labor in either country, the situation surrounding the visa chances. “Imagine building a greenhouse for which specialized construction teams from the Netherlands are required, or a supervisor on location. In those cases, a work permit is needed. The type of visa depends on the duration of the project and the nature of the work, among other things.”

Searching for the right exemptions
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, international travel has become a lot more difficult. Especially in the beginning, this led to much confusion in people who got word from their Dutch horticultural colleagues who managed to go abroad, which begged the question: ‘How did they do that?’. One of the most common answers was that it had to do with the importance of their work, for instance, if it regarded food supply, which made travel possible for them.

Ilona recognizes that but also feels it’s important to point out that a lot more was possible for ornamental cultivation to and from Australia than entrepreneurs thought in terms of travel. “There are often exemptions to be found when it comes to restrictions if you are willing to examine the nature of a given project closely. For instance, the project may be of great economic or societal importance. In those cases, a lot more is possible due to the contribution to the local employment opportunities. However, in the case of Canada, this remains difficult. There we still need to find a true connection to food or other essential functions in order to arrange something.”

A clear contract is helpful
Obviously, this type of research takes a lot of time. However, this is an everyday occurrence for Visa4you, while entrepreneurs, who have many other tasks to worry about, will likely lose more time looking into things. “I am 80-90% certain that, in the food sector, a visa and exemptions on the travel restrictions can be arranged, provided that the client has all the necessary paperwork in order”, says Ilona. “In other sectors, this might require a few extra steps, but even then, there are often fitting solutions to be found.”

If Ilona were to give one final piece of advice to horticultural companies regarding international travel to the countries mentioned, it would be to already get all of the needed paperwork in order. “Especially drawing up contracts in a good and clear manner helps to get people to the right places during these times.”

For more information:
Ilona Bennink
Pieperij 11
7924 PZ Veeningen, The Netherlands
+31 (0)528 391118

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

Prepared according to

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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