Second Data Driven AgriFood Future


About the speakers



Data to action


Tobias Menne

Global Head of xarvio, Member of the Executive Leadership Team BASF Agricultural Solutions


xarvio Digital Farming Solutions is at the forefront of the digital transformation of agriculture, optimizing crop production. xarvio offers digital products based on a global leading crop model platform, which delivers independent, field-zone-specific agronomic advice that enables farmers to produce their crops most efficiently and sustainably. xarvio products SCOUTING, FIELD MANAGER and HEALTHY FIELDS are being used by farmers in more than 100 countries. xarvio FIELD MANAGER is used by 80,000 farmers (total area of more than 10 million ha) in 17 countries, and xarvio SCOUTING is used by more than 5 million farmers and consultants. For more information please visit www.xarvio.com.


Short bio

Tobias Menne is convinced that new technologies will change agriculture to the better – for farmers and for society. Tobias leads xarvio Digital Farming Solutions since its founding eight years ago and is member of the BASF Executive Leadership Teams for Agricultural Solutions. Prior to this, Tobias led a large farming enterprise in Ukraine and held various international senior leadership positions within Bayer.




Kris Van de Voorde

Business programme manager, Imec


Imec is Europe’s leading independent research center on nanoelectronics, smart integrated systems, biomedical electronics, photovoltaics, organic electronics, power electronics & photonics.

Our focus: enabling nano- and digital technology innovation with a significant impact on the quality of life. With our partners from companies, governments and academia. And supported by the three pillars of our R&D:

• a unique infrastructure that includes a 2.5-billion-euro 300mm semiconductor pilot line

• more than 5,000 expert scientists from over 95 countries

• an ecosystem of more than 600 world-leading industry partners and a global academic network

About Imec (imec-int.com)


Short bio

Kris Van de Voorde is business programme manager at Imec. With a focus on clusters and transitions, he is initiating and supporting industry 4.0 and circular economy related projects. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering (Ghent University), a third degree in industrial management (KU Leuven) and an MBA from Vlerick Business School.




Data to trust


Johannes Lehmann

Head of Business Development Smart Farming, German Institute for Standardization


DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, is the independent platform for standardization in Germany and worldwide. As a partner for industry, research and society as a whole, DIN plays a major role in helping innovations to reach the market in areas such as the digital economy or society, often within the framework of research projects.

More than 36,000 experts from industry, research, consumer protection and the public sector bring their expertise to work on standardization projects managed by DIN. The result of these efforts are market-oriented standards and specifications that promote global trade, and encourage rationalization, quality assurance, and the protection of society and the environment, as well as improving security and communication.




Natalie Bertels

Valorization manager, KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) - imec


Short bio

Natalie Bertels is a senior legal researcher and valorization expert. She specializes in new technologies and the development of data-driven services and products. Her research focuses on the legal and ethical challenges of a data/cloud/IoT/AI setting and the methodologies and implementation of privacy by design. She is the co-chair of the Policy and Societal Task Force of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA, www.bdva.eu). Before joining CiTiP, Natalie practiced law as an IP and ICT law attorney.




Dennis Donohue

Western Growers


Western Growers (WG) represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Its members and workers provide over half the nation's fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America's fresh organic produce. In December 2015, WG opened an agtech incubator—the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology—in Salinas, California to provide startups with the resources and mentoring needed to get their companies and technologies up and running. The Center now houses 47 startups.


Short bio

Dennis Donohue currently serves as the Director of Western Growers Center. In this role, Donohue drives agtech initiatives, bolsters innovation programming, facilitates relationships between start-up companies and growers, and spearheads business development at the Center.


Donohue is a produce industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in agriculture, as well as the agricultural technology industry. For 15 years he was the president of Royal Rose, LLC – a California-based specialty vegetable grower/shipper with an international production base. Donohue’s strong civic commitment includes serving on governing boards at the Grower Shipper Association of Central California, Salinas Chamber of Commerce and Steinbeck Innovation Foundation.




Data and skills


Harrij Schmeitz

Fruit Tech Campus


Working on the renewal of fruit education. That is the core of the activities of the Fruit Tech Campus. Together with Yuverta & Aeres as educational institutions, the business community is giving substance to the Fruit Tech Campus where cultivation, technology and data are brought together. To guarantee the position of Dutch fruit cultivation for the longer term, the Fruit Tech Campus is working on education, innovation and acceleration.


Short bio

Harrij is Owner & Chief Dream Officer at Technology{}Pull. A company founded to bridge the GAP between technology, innovation and agrifood industry disruption.

Since he finished his studies in Horticulture in 1985, he has worked on ICT and Agro & Food. He is a specialist in on (information)technology and business in the agri & food supply chain. He worked for large companies such as Rijk Zwaan, De Heus, Environmental Project Floriculture, Euro Pool Systems, Coop DOOR, Royal FruitMasters, Platform FRUITVOORUIT.NL and Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials.


Harrij is Director of the Foundation Fresh Upstream: the platform for fresh chain information. He is developing global standards for food safety, crop management, product identification and chain information management. On the first of july 2020 he was appointed as Managing Director of the Fruit Tech Campus in the heart of the Dutch fruit industry Geldermalsen.




Lieven Eeckelaert

Coordinator/advisor, Workitects


Workitects (formerly Flanders Synergy) is a center of expertise in organizational design. Through our research and partnerships, we help organizations become more efficient while creating more meaningful jobs and increasing employee wellbeing.


Short bio

Lieven Eeckelaert is an expert in the field of well-being at work in numerous settings, including the food industry. At Workitects, he mainly focuses on the link between work organization, team design and development, and individual workability. He is author of the book 'Samen op smaak gebracht – On organizing work in food factories of the future’.






Dr Juliet Ansell

Head of Global Science Innovation, Zespri


The Zespri brand is recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit. Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Zespri is 100 percent owned by current or past kiwifruit growers, and employ over 500 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas.  On behalf of its 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold and Zespri Sweet Green Kiwifruit. The main innovation challenges centre around; crop prediction, labour supply – both on-orchard and in the supply chain, minimizing inputs and striving for the most sustainable production system, and increasing productivity through new growing systems.



Short bio

Juliet joined Zespri in July 2014 as an Innovation Leader, Health & Nutrition overseeing the scientific research that supports health communications in the global markets. She is now the Innovation Manager at Zespri overseeing research platforms across the value chain. Prior to her role at Zespri, Juliet was an academic research scientist for 20 years and has a B.Sc from Kings College London and a doctorate from Oxford University, both in human parasitology.





The Data Driven AgriFood Future Alliance Conference will be held during the DataWeekNL ‘Data Matters’ (25 - 29 October 2021) organized in ‘s-Hertogenbosch,

The Netherlands.