The average Dutch horticulture business has three hectares' worth of greenhouses. In Agriport, the average business has sixty hectares of greenhouses. Tourists, policymakers, and representatives of businesses from all over the world come here to marvel at the glass landscape. Of particular interest are the innovative ways in which the horticulturists and businesses collaborate on sustainable water and energy provision.
Jack Kranenburg is proud of the region's economic activity. He is the commercial director of Agriport A7, the modern greenhouse horticulture region/industrial park in the Wieringermeer polder.
The region's economic activity is one of the reasons why Microsoft decided to build a gigantic datacenter here. With 30 possible European locations to choose from, the company chose Agriport. "They haven't told us exactly what made us the best location, but a big reason is the easy distance to Amsterdam, Europe's most important internet hub, and the cheap source of energy from the greenhouses. Another reason that Microsoft chose to come here was the fiberglass connection to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange. In 2005 we participated in KPN's program 'Fiber to the farmer' for the installation of a glass-fibre network. At the time, we weren't sure why it was necessary; but it turns out to have been a good decision."
The Americans at Microsoft see Agriport as part of Amsterdam, Europe's most important internet hub. And they're right. It takes less than half an hour to reach Amsterdam from Agriport on the A7. And we can take Kranenburg's word, because he's just driven it.