Similarly industrious, reliable, and down to Earth, the Netherlands and the Midwest have been natural economic partners for centuries.

The relationship between the Netherlands and the Midwest is an economic engine that generates billions of dollars in bilateral trade and investment and supports tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

From Ohio to Kansas and every state in between, cooperation between Dutch and American companies drives innovation, advances security, and builds shared prosperity.

Sustainable greenhouses: Dutch innovation meets American ambition

An innovative combination of Dutch technology and American ambition is powering the next generation of controlled-environment agriculture in the Midwest. The Netherlands turned to greenhouse farming after the devastating “Hunger Winter” famine at the end of World War II. By becoming experts in greenhouse growing, the Dutch would never go hungry again.

Today, experienced Dutch greenhouse builders, innovative Dutch agtech companies, and entrepreneurial Americans are teaming up to build sustainable greenhouses across the Midwest to supply healthy, environmentally-friendly produce to major American cities.

Sustainable greenhouses and controlled-environment agriculture streamlines supply chains, strengthens food security, and stimulates economic development in rural areas. American companies have identified these opportunities and are leveraging Dutch know-how to redefine the future of food.

One ambitious example is AppHarvest, which is building the largest greenhouse in the US with Dutch technology, but there is a broader move toward controlled-environment agriculture projects in the United Sates.

Dutch expertise is key to success in almost every part of the field, from building greenhouses, creating artificial lighting systems, and providing crop seeds to developing the tools to measure, monitor, and manage a high-tech greenhouse.

With projects in states from Kentucky to Minnesota, a wave of cooperation between the United States and the Netherlands in the controlled-environment agriculture sector is helping build a sustainable future that will feed the Midwest of tomorrow.

Dutch success in the Midwest

The Midwest is a key trade market for Dutch companies, and Midwestern cities like Chicago have long been a friendly landing place for Dutch entrepreneurs.

In the following Founder Interviews on the embassy’s YouTube channel, successful Dutch companies and entrepreneurs in the Midwest discuss their experience with the Netherlands Consulate in Chicago.

NewCold – Jonas Swarttouw, US Country Manager, highlights Chicago’s central location in the US, the city’s relatively good time-zone overlap with the Netherlands, and availability of talent as advantages. He compares the Dutch search for efficiency with the US drive for value creation, suggesting that the way those two factors often go hand in hand is a potential opportunity for Dutch companies considering the US.

CleverFranke – Thomas Clever, co-founder, and Bob Corporaal, head of the CleverFranke office in Chicago, point to Chicago’s highly diversified economy, maker-city identity, and cultural similarity to the Netherlands as factors that make Chicago a natural market for Dutch companies.

TransNav – CEO Percy Vreeken emphasizes Midwesterners’ friendliness, helpfulness, and warmth as a factor in the success of the Dutch-Midwest economic partnership.

Successful American investors in the Netherlands

The flow of trade and investment between the Midwest and the Netherlands is a two-way street. Drawn to the Netherlands strategic location in Europe, world-class infrastructure, English fluency, and friendly business climate, a diverse and growing group of Midwestern companies have made the Netherlands their European home.

From medtech giants like Medtronic to logistics firms like SEKO, Midwestern companies large and small continue to find value in the Netherlands as their gateway to Europe.

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