Annual Report 2021 -2022
SUSP Stichting Uitwisseling en Studiereizen voor het Platteland
I am pleased to present you our annual report on 2021 and 2022. Because of the pandemic it was decided to make an online report only about 2020.
In 2021 we again had to deal with lockdowns and travel bans and we thought that we were finally rid of Corona and its associated effects per 2022. But the reality was that we not only had to deal with the after-effects of the pandemic, but also the effects of the war in Ukraine were felt.
For SUSP, this meant that we struggled to find staff and, if we found any, to retain them. We have learned that this is a global problem, and also we wonder where did all the workers disappear to?!
Moreover, because of the war, not only trainees from Russia and Ukraine did not come to the Netherlands, but also fewer participants from other parts of the world wanted to participate. They were feared to come because, in their eyes, the war was raging very close to the Netherlands.
Compared to the concerns in agriculture and horticulture, ours do not seem to be so bad. We closely follow the news about measures against nitrogen emissions and the raising costs for agriculture and horticulture companies due to among others the high energy rates related to the war. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it; we have no influence on any of this. All we can do is continue to do our job as best we can.
One of the highlights was that the conference of the Grow Abroad World Alliance could be organised. Most of the members were able to travel to Canada and it was so good to be together instead of meeting each other online. Another effect of the pandemic is that more participants suffer mental health issues. This was one of the main topics on the agenda 2022 and will return on the agenda in 2023.
I also have to mention that we had some changes in our board and staff. Our chairman Mr. Rien van Tilburg retired in December 2021. Per January 2022 Mr. Gerard Oud is our chairman and Cindy Hijink has left SUSP after 22 years.
We look forward to 2023 in a positive way and will enjoy working with our partners, hosts and trainees. We thank you all for your trust in our organisation which allows us to continue doing our work. Marlous Mens