Knowledge sharing

Training courses

Naktuinbouw offers workshops and training courses that companies can immediately apply in practice.

A selection of the 2023 workshops and training courses is shown below:

  • Seed, Soil and Plant Sampling (also in English)
  • E-CertNL training for seed exports
  • Plant Breeders’ Rights
  • Seed determination training
  • Seed Analysis
  • Company Hygiene (four days)
  • Authorised Field Inspector for Propagating Material of Seed or Plant Origin (three days)
  • Following the Seed Trail
  • Plant Breeders’ Rights for Food Security and Economic Development, online course

We organised 46 training courses, including 17 customised training courses that took place on site and were commissioned by companies. A total of 528 students attended our training courses. They rated the quality of Naktuinbouw training with an average score of 8.2.

Online learning platform

We looked for the right balance of blended online and offline learning between and in the training courses, as we believe in the value of skills acquired through practice and experience. Our Naktuinbouw Academy continues to expand. This platform forms part of all our training courses. It replaces the manual administration and is a platform for e-learning units and communication with participants.

We post (short) training courses, learning pathways, instructional videos and webinars for and by employees onto the platform. The content is either developed in-house or bought from GoodHabitz. We developed five new e-learning modules in 2023. The 'Plant Breeders' Rights for Food Security and Economic Development' programme is now a full online e-learning course and can be followed individually.

New format Plant Breeders’ Rights for Food Security and Economic Development

We have integrated 25 years of training experience in the field of Plant Breeders' Rights systems into an extensive online study programme. We used to organise 'Plant Breeders' Rights for Food Security and Economic Development' training once a year, but from October 2023 participants can start the course monthly.

A total of 11 participants from Suriname, Ukraine, Philippines, Azerbaijan, Germany and Ghana, among others, started in October. The seven e-learning modules in English can be followed individually and at the student's own pace. This training gives participants a lot of knowledge and insight into the key aspects of the UPOV Plant Variety Protection system. Participants can access the modules for six months. As an option, they can draft a Plant Breeders' Rights plan for their own country as an assignment. Our experts will read the plan and provide valuable feedback.

Read more about this in the featured article ‘We share our knowledge of Plant Breeders' Rights worldwide’.

Training + refresher training for phytosanitary inspectors at companies

Companies listed on the NVWA register of Company Inspection Systems may have phytosanitary inspection performed by authorised phytosanitary inspection employees for the purpose of exporting cut flowers and foliage to the United Kingdom. We were asked by the NVWA, KCB and the business to develop and organise a basic training for phytosanitary inspectors at companies in 2022. As Brexit has entered its second phase, we organised this training course again in November 2023.

We also provide refresher training for phytosanitary inspectors at companies on behalf of the NVWA and KCB. This training is aimed at employees of companies who already have the necessary basic training certificate 'Phytosanitary inspection employee' . This authorisation is a condition for participation in the NVWA Company Inspection System UK. Preparations started in 2023. We organised the refresher training in January 2024.

Focus on English-language training in April

We are happy to share our specialist knowledge with the sector. There is a demand for training nationally, and international clients also request training. In April we organised a week of training in English that offered two courses: ‘Professional Plant Sampling’ and ‘Professional Seed Sampling’.

Customised Fruit Improvement training for delegations from Nepal and India

Naktuinbouw organised the 'Fruit Improvement' training programme for eight students from Nepal in April and six from India in June. The visits form part of a larger project aimed at making fruit in India and Nepal virus-free. The programme consisted of presentations and discussions with Naktuinbouw experts in Roelofarendsveen and Horst, the Clean Fruit Plants Foundation (CFP), the Vermeerderingstuinen and a fruit nursery.

Valuable meeting with contacts of Naktuinbouw Training Courses

In February, we organised an introductory meeting for the contacts of Naktuinbouw Training for the first time. The meeting was a successful pilot.

The training courses we offer are followed by employees of companies in the sector. Our Training Courses team has frequent contact with HR departments, personnel officers and team leaders when they sign up participants to take part in the programmes. The aim of this afternoon was to meet this target group in person. They were immersed in the experience of what it is like to be a student. The rating given in the evaluation of the meeting reflected the appreciation shown by the participants.

Various visits by students and excursions

Institutes of secondary vocational education and universities of applied sciences regularly request an excursion so students can discover more about what we do. The students are very enthusiastic and the schools appreciate being able to see our work in practice.

In February we received a visit from 15 students at the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Almere. The students were in the third year of the Applied Biology study programme. The excursion to Naktuinbouw was the start of a module on plant breeding.

In September we were visited by 25 members of the Young Perennial Growers study group, an initiative of the LTO Perennial Plants group. The study group was founded in 2022 and organises a meeting three times a year.

In September 25 students at the VIVES University of Applied Sciences in Roeselaere, Belgium, came to Naktuinbouw. The students were in the third year of the Green Biotechnology study programme. This excursion was the end of their international week that is organised in partnership with Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Almere.

In December five students of Cultivation and Technology from the Zonecollege in Zwolle visited us. They attended the 'Men in white suits' workshop and took part in a DUS exercise in the Variety Center.

Naktuinbouw welcomes older visitors

In the summer, social organisation Stichting Welzijn Ouderen offered an activity programme for people aged 65+ from the Kaag and Braassem region with the theme of more inclusivity and joining in. In July, more than 40 seniors visited Naktuinbouw.

Although this group is not a direct target for our activities, we were glad to contribute to this important initiative. Many people who live in this municipality work at Naktuinbouw and numerous colleagues have a link with this target group. In view of our social function and commitment to the community, we think it is important to offer participants in this activity programme a chance to look behind the scenes at our organisation.

Primary school project

We have worked with local primary schools for years with the aim of introducing primary school pupils to the horticultural sector at a young age. As part of the 'Sowing and Germination' project, a primary school also visited Naktuinbouw in 2023.

LTO Youth Day

Naktuinbouw participated again in the National Youth Day Tree Nurseries organised by the Netherlands Agricultural and Horticultural Association LTO sector group. The event was hosted on 8 September by Hoogeveen Plants, GROEN-Direkt and Hebe Center Holland in Boskoop.  The aim was to maintain and promote enthusiasm among the younger generation for the tree nursery sector.

According to the LTO, the event was a resounding success. Around 170 enthusiastic young adults between 18 and 35 years visited the event in Boskoop to watch demonstrations and join in workshops and social activities.

Naktuinbouw participated to show its support for the tree nursery sector and to raise the profile of our organisation and our role in the sector with the younger generation. Our inspectors explained more about the nature of their inspection work and demonstrated what inspection involves in practice.

Life Science Days at University of Applied Sciences Leiden

In April we participated in the Life Science internship orientation days. The Faculty of Science & Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden and the secondary vocational education institute Rijnland-MLO organise this week to inform students about the various internship options suitable for their study programmes. Internships are a key component of the study programme of these students, as they offer indispensable practical experience that aligns with the demands of vocational training. We are happy to contribute to this. Students visited us on an excursion and we attended the internship market. 

Naktuinbouw nominated for Best Training Company award 2023

Naktuinbouw was among the ten nominees for best training company for secondary vocational level students in the food, green and hospitality sector. The nomination was announced in February by the Foundation for cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (Samenwerkingsorganisatie Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven, SBB). In April we were notified that we had unfortunately failed to make the final in May. Despite this, we are proud of our nomination and the enthusiasm of our practical supervisors who help students on the journey to their future dream job.

Knowledge platforms

In 2023 Naktuinbouw organised two knowledge platforms in Roelofarendsveen for companies and board members.

The first knowledge platform took place on 18 April. More than sixty interested participants listened to the presentations given by experts before discussing the theme 'Viruses and bacteria make our plants better?!'.

On 12 October, we hosted the second knowledge platform. This session was dedicated to the practical applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in the horticultural sector.

Trade fair calendar


In January we attended the international IPM fair in Essen again. Every year, Naktuinbouw shares a stand with the German, Polish and French research stations for DUS testing and the CPVO (Community Plant Variety Office). This collaboration between the various research stations enables the organisations to provide information across the entire spectrum of all existing ornamental and arboricultural crops.


We were present at GrootGroenPlus, an international trade fair for tree nurseries, held on 4, 5 and 6 October. The changing requirements for countries within the EU, import and export requirements for destinations outside the EU, virus-free buffer zones, pests and diseases and uncertain identity are all issues that purchasers of material for public green spaces, growers, traders and other specialists in the sector deal with on a daily basis. The focus of our stand was therefore on identity and traceability. Our inspectors were on hand to give visitors all the necessary information. We also gave two lectures. One on 'Invasive exotics, native material and sustainable genetics' and one on 'genetic identification with the Variety Tracer'.

New website

Our new website was launched in September. The website complies with the latest accessibility requirements and features enhanced user-friendliness. The website is easier to use for people with disabilities, for example the website has a text to speech function.