On November 2, 2023, the HAS green academy presented the second Frans van Leijden Award to Ivar van Dorst with his company Ekoto. Here he produces and researches, among other things, ancient varieties of Dutch bean varieties.
Tea, beans and soy: “My goal is to grow as many of these products that are extinct in the Netherlands locally again”
After completing his International Food & Agribusiness studies at HAS green academy in 2021, Ivar took up the activities of his parents’ growing company, but in a different way. He grows with a short chain, local products and a lot of innovation. He does this under the name Ekoto, based in Etten-Leur.
‘I started research into innovative crops. Think of tea grown in the Netherlands, vegetable proteins and bean varieties that were grown before the war. A lot has been preserved in seed banks and my goal is to grow as many of these extinct products locally as possible again. This way we are not dependent on, for example, tea and soy proteins from abroad.’
In addition to Ivar van Dorst, students Duifje van Dugteren and Lennart Hoops were also nominated for the award. However, Ivar managed to obtain the most public votes and he also convinced the professional jury of a position as winner of the Frans van Leijden Award.
Under the leadership and management of Frans van Leijden, HAS green academy (in his time HAS university of applied sciences) in Venlo has become an active branch. As a tribute to him, after his death in 2020, the Frans van Leijden Award was created.
For more information:
HAS Green Academy
PO Box 90108
5200 MA ‘s-Hertogenbosch
T: 088 890 3600