Francois-Simon Berger is a member of GPN's 2024 Class of Forty Under 40 honorees
40 Under 40, Class of 2024

Francois-Simon Robert



Job Title

Project manager agronomist


What 3-4 professional and/or personal accomplishments are you most proud of?

  • Key contribution in the set-up, development and day-to-day use of state-of-the-art Berger R&D greenhouse complex and its environmental control systems
  • Co-ownership of biomass harvester patent
  • Participation in numerous knowledge transfer activities in agriculture/horticulture with internal and external governmental and industrial partners
  • Participation in a student delegation of the Canadian Embassy for commercial trade development

What led you to work in the horticulture industry? 

  • Early on, I was busy arranging my parent’s basement with a homemade greenhouse equipped with LEDs. I was then selling tomatoes to the neighbors.
  • My curiosity about crop growth, to understand its related basic mechanisms and to use them to optimize greenhouse production, made the rest!

What’s the best thing about your job? 

  • I get to do what I love, every day.

Describe to a 6-year-old what you do in life?

  • Since soil is very important for plant growth, I’m making new mixes and testing new recipes of soils for different plants to make them grow better (faster and/or with better yield and/or with better resistance to diseases).


What are your favorite hobbies? 

  • Rollerblading
  • Traveling
  • Taking the time to appreciate the sunset

When you’re not working, what are two things we could find you doing? 

  • Upkeeping and developing the family farm
  • Spending time outside in nature with my 2-year- and 3-month-old sons

Fun Facts

Do you have any unusual talents, or can you tell us something interesting about yourself that other people may be surprised to find out? 

  • Knowledge of the most common-use greenhouse climate controller
  • Always win at Monopoly

One thing you can’t live without? 

  • My great curiosity to understand my environment

What are you (un)secretly good at? 

  • Home renovation
  • Equipment retrofit

What are your top bucket list items? 

  • Create my self-energy autonomous home
  • Take robotics classes

What’s your favorite plant variety and why? 

  • The Gerbera is my favorite plant variety because it expresses joy and is adaptive to its environment.

You’re buying a vacation package to anywhere in the world without a budget, where are you going?

  • The Greek Islands, more specifically the Crete region.