E This publication is not made by de Volkskrant xtraordinary farming pag 2 Green Care near Amsterdam • page 3 Cultivation under glass at Biopark Terneuzen • page 4 Recreation in the Green Wood • A few stories to whet your appetitepage 4 Industrial ecology for livestock • page 6 Paying for sustainability with snob value • page 7 Northern Frisian Woods experiment • page 8 Dutch knowledge in China C ows should be in the meadow! Farming is for family businesses! No to mega sheds! You can’t earn a living from sustainable agriculture! And so on, and so on. In the public debate on sustainable ag- riculture, leaders of farmers’ organisations, diehards of the environmental movement, civil servants and researchers keep repeat- ing the same old mantras. They have en- trenched views and if nothing changes we will just keep going round and round in cir- cles. These fixed attitudes have brought all development to a standstill and agriculture is increasingly suffering because of it. Who is brave enough to come out from their entrenched position and ask the open question: what do we really want from ag- riculture now? It would become clear that all parties want roughly the same thing: sufficient food, a cleaner environment, farm animals that do not suffer unneces- sarily before they end up on our plate and nature and landscape, to enjoy cycling and walking in. And a very important point – it has to be possible to earn a decent living from it. TransForum was set up in 2004 to help farmers and market gardeners to find new markets. The condition was that produc- tion should be more sustainable. Over the past six years, TransForum has guided 35 practical projects and launched 25 innova- tive research projects. Tomorrow Trans- Forum closes its doors. In this appendix you will find some of our conclusions. It is possible to earn a decent living from sustainable agriculture. The farmer and the city dweller need to partici- pate together more often. Researchers and civil servants need to take more account of the interests of those running businesses. But the most important conclusion of all is this: we must sincerely want to find solu- Illustratie Henk van Ruitenbeek tions. That means no unnecessary rules, no turgid legal procedures, no ill thought- out protest campaigns. Yes to buckling down together. TransForum has demonstrated that doing this takes us down new paths, with surpris- ing outcomes. Strategy: It can always be more sustainable Is an industrial site with tomatoes grown in a high-tech sustainable than another. Just as it is impossible to define greenhouse and a high-tech pig house more sustainable than happiness. What could make one person happy – five children an organic market garden with free range pigs? The question isand the position of mayor – could be torment to another. as impossible to answer as asking whether a child would be Sustainability, like happiness, is the constant pursuit of the organisation that works toward a happier becoming an architect or a baker. improvement. It is never completed, we have to keep monitor- more sustainable future for agriculture ing problems that lie in wait for us. How quickly and openly In 1992 the Advisory Council on Government Policy (WWR) con- problems are tackled when they do crop up tells us more about through innovative projects cluded that sustainability is impossible to define, as no one our chances for developing sustainably than does a vision on a image of what we are working towards is by definition more drawing board. www.transforum.nlProject manager: Franscé Verdeuzeldonk, TransForum texts: René Didde, Marianne Heselmans (final editing), Yvonne de Hilster and Broer Scholtens graPhic design: Brink & De Hoop
Aubergines growing on residual heat in TerneuzenFoto Landzijde go in for too much or perhaps too little ad- vertising or they may just be lacking that little bit of extra knowledge concerning care and clients.’ Jaap Hoek Spaans knows from his own ex- perience how important cooperation is. He teaches Dutch and geography and has 40 hectares of land with nursing cows and sheep. Through his contacts with a fellow lished at the site. Between them the three 18th-century Zwartenhoekse Zeesluis sea farmer, Hoek Spaans learned how to solve Over 100 hectares pioneers have cultivated some 25 hectares locks. ‘I think that this sustainable glass practical problems. According to Hoek at the Biopark and taken out an option to double the ar- horticulture area will be fully taken up in Spaans a striking number of people from Terneuzen remain ea. In order to fill the entire area of 168 five years’ time,’ Van der Hart says with farming backgrounds come to Landzijde available for hectares of glass a good many Dutch and assurance. ‘The fact that it will be possible who had first tried to re-establish them- pioneers wanting to Belgian horticulturalists still need to sign for these glasshouses to be classified as selves elsewhere. ‘They work at a bank, as set up a ‘green’ up. green label glasshouses will confer extra a teacher or as a fireman. When they come glasshouse. Uilenreef confirms that the economic crisis creditworthiness.’ to a Landzijde care farm they say “this is is doing nothing to hasten uptake. Even so There are more plans. In the near future it how I can be a farmer too”. That’s when a he is not pessimistic. ‘Unlike in traditional will be possible for vegetables to be trans- new care-farmer is born.’ areas, especially the Westland, there is ported not just by lorry but also by refrig- room for expansion in Terneuzen,’ he says. erated ship via the canal from Ghent to Residential weekends ‘And where these days can you still negoti- Terneuzen and further afield. ‘Within ten Extensive farms – often the only possibility ate a contract with a fixed energy price for years the Scheldt-Seine Canal will have in landscapes close to cities – would ap- 15 years and are the logistics and refriger- been widened and Paris will be in our pear to be particularly suitable for provid- ated storage all in place?’ sights,’ according to Van der Hart. Green ing work in the care field. Research indi- At majority shareholder Zeeland Seaports, waste from the glasshouses can be fer- cates that contact with the soil or livestock in which the municipalities of Terneuzen, mented, thereby generating energy and makes people feel at home and helps them Flushing and Borsele and the province of compost; wastewater can be recycled and Contact with livestock contributes to the empowerment of people who need extra care develop their own strengths. From children Zeeland all participate, managing director there are plans for the production of bio- spending a residential weekend on the Hans van der Hart is equally upbeat. Crises fuels. Peacefully planting parsley farm to dementing senior citizens and come and go, he says. Zeeland Seaports is Right beside aubergine grower Van Duijn’s homeless drug addicts, care-farms contrib- A heat-exchanger used to thinking in periods of at least ten glasshouse there is a smaller glasshouse. ute to their empowerment, says Jaap Hoek passes on the heat years. And sustainable plans such as these This is an information and training centre, Spaans. ‘The result is that people teach from the Yara fertiliser are the future, maintains Van der Hart. where courses are run for people wanting themselves to function more effectively. In plant to the Zeeland Seaports has set aside 50 hectares to work in energy-friendly glass horticul- The Landzijde organisation psychological or addiction problems or some cases they go onto regular jobs.’ waterpipes in Jan van at the glasshouse site for nature develop- ture. Van der Hart: ‘In the first year 50 some kind of physical disorder. The most Landzijde serves as an example for other Duijn’s glasshouse. ment, water storage, bridle paths and foot- people were trained; 30 found work in the brings together over one mobile workers are at a table cleaning regions. All the affiliated farmers have Photographs by paths. And the agropark is to restore the three glasshouses of the pioneers straight- hundred care-farmers from sprouts. On average 30 clients turn up been recognised by care institutes coming WarmCO2 cultural/historical phenomenon of the away.’ around Amsterdam together five days a week. ‘They are picked up by under the Exceptional Medical Expenses minibus all over the city,’ says Klaassen. Act (AWBZ). Depending on the degree of with municipalities, care-pro- A year and a half ago Klaassen took the care required, a day at a care-farm costs viders and research institutes. initiative to convert a derelict green- between 60 and 100 euros. 80% goes to house that had belonged to a bankrupt the care-farm, 12% is for intake, the care The greenhouses and gardens rose-grower into a care farm. Nowadays plan and evaluation, and 8% for Landzijde provide the clients with mean- it is a learning and care farm. The fresh overheads. At the Biopark Terneuzen glasshouse horti- gines is that they grow on the residual ernment subsidies, while 25 million have vegetables are sold to restaurants and Care budgets are being squeezed. Hoek heat from the Yara fertiliser plant two kilo- been borrowed from a low interest green ingful daytime activities, shops in and around Amsterdam. ‘The Spaans considers however that care-farm- culturalists draw residual heat and CO2 from metres away in Sluiskil. The plant – ac- fund. helping them to re-engage Michelin-starred restaurant De Bokkend- ing is here to stay in the care-sector. ‘Mu- the Yara fertiliser plant. There are also plans counting just by itself for three percent of with life. oorns in Overveen and the Kas in Am- nicipalities will place people with an indi- for the centralised production of biofuels from the natural gas consumption in the Neth- Waterpipes sterdam are among our customers,’ says cation on care-farms, if only because erlands – releases huge quantities of low- The residual heat from the fertiliser plant Klaassen proudly. farmers offer relatively cheap care.’ green waste. And: ‘It will soon be possible for grade residual heat. goes to the glasshouse complex in the form ‘That’s Simon working over there,’ says Je- The Kwekerij is one of more than a hun- At care-insurer Agis, Anouk Mateijsen has the vegetables to be sent to Paris by refriger- And the plant also generates CO2 – a waste of water at a temperature of 95 degrees. At roen Klaassen of the Kwekerij in Amster- dred care farms that are flourishing in just concluded a contract with Landzijde product that costs it more and more mon- the complex a heat-exchanger distributes dam, pointing to a man potting up parsley the greater Amsterdam area. It is a kind for a third year. ‘Clients see a horticultural ated ship.’ ey on account of the climate problem and the heat to the glasshouse water pipes. with infinite patience. ‘Simon had an alco- of pilot business run by Landzijde, an or- enterprise or farm as a meaningful form of emission rights. For horticulturalists CO2 is Water at a temperature of 40 degrees is re- H hol problem, but here in the greenhouse ganisation forming the link between the daytime activity,’ she says. ‘And if the orticulturalist Jan van Duijn, who a vital fertiliser that bring aubergines, to- turned to the fertiliser plant, where it is he’s back into the rhythm of work and per- affiliated farmers and the care institutes, farmers and Landzijde are able to guaran- hails from the Westland, has been matoes and sweet peppers on more quick- heated up again. The pure CO2 from Yara is forming meaningful tasks. He’s so good at care offices and municipalities that pur- tee quality, we can only applaud care ini- pioneering at a brand-new ag- ly. ‘Until recently all the heat and CO2 went mixed with compressed air and injected in- his work that we are thinking about taking chase organised daytime activities on tiatives of this kind.’ ropark near Terneuzen since last year. In into the canal or the air,’ says Jan Uilen- to the glasshouses. him on permanently. ‘ the farm. In this regard Landzijde is col- Landzijde has all sorts of other plans as November 2009 he started with seedlings; reef, managing director of WarmCO2. ‘Now According to Uilenreef this far-reaching It’s just nine o’clock in the morning and laborating in the TransForum knowledge well. Shops on farms. Language lessons for in January he harvested the first auber- the horticulturalists in Terneuzen are cut- form of recycling on such scale is unique in apart from Simon there are already 30 project Greencare with Wageningen UR pupils at an Agricultural Training Centre gines. He gathered in the final harvest with ting down on their fossil fuel consumption the world. ‘Experiments are being conduct- Photo’s WarmCO2 people – most of the men – busily at work and VU University Amsterdam. ‘Cooper- (AOC) who need to catch up and are seek- hydraulic, extendable electro wagons, he by 90%.’ ed only in Germany.’ Horticulturalist Jan in the greenhouse on the western edge of ation is necessary,’ says Jaap Hoek ing a job on a care-farm. At the end of the relates in his five-hectare glasshouse. ‘The The WarmCO2 company, together with its van Duijn now pays as much for his energy Amsterdam. They are potting up parsley Spaans (56), managing director of Lan- morning Klaassen and Hoek Spaans pro- plants were four metres high.’ Twice a week shareholders Zeeland Seaports and Yara, as in a conventional gas-heated (combined and letters, picking tomatoes and cour- dzijde, ‘for no matter how inventive farm- vide a guided tour of the greenhouse for his employees do the rounds to gather au- has invested 80 million euros in an indus- heat and power) glasshouse. gettes with yellow flowers and sorting au- ers are in offering care, on their own they the latter target group. Simon is still there bergines from the 70,000 plants. trial heat grid. Approximately twelve mil- A tomato grower from Belgium and a bergines and cucumbers. They suffer from often come up against the limits. They potting up parsley plants. What’s special about Van Duijn’s auber- lion have been paid out in the form of gov- sweet pepper grower are already estab- Open Letter Dear Minister, The combination of Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation in the one ministry creates a tremendous opportunity. This ministry will be able to invest so as to ensure we can continue living in a prosperous and beautiful country. metropolitan agriculture can have many faces: Agroparks with pigs a sensitive issue agroparks, green care organised at region- The Netherlands may be proud of its internationally renowned agricultural sector. This strong Various agroparks are on the drawing terhouse on site – also means less trans- competition position is attributable to 150 years of effective innovation. board in the Netherlands, but when pigs portation of the animals and feed. al level, local production, urban farms..... come into the frame matters become sen- On behalf of the Innovation Network, ar- But innovation can no longer continue along the same lines as in the last century. Innovations sitive. Three years ago, for example, inves- chitect Winy Maas and designers from The now need to take account of the requirements of members of the public and consumers. This calls tors had almost been found for an ‘Agro- Why Factory (TU Delft) recently designed a for the steering of demand and active participation by all parties concerned. It was in order to We may need some time to get used to understanding that for a real leap forward centrum Westpoort’ in the Amsterdam glass, organic pig tower for The Hague. The share experience in this area that TransForum was set up in 2005. the idea, but the division between town docklands. Under the design produced by designers of this City Pig have calculated to be made here, rural businesses will Wageningen UR, this would involve three that The Hague annually consumes some (not for farmers) and country (for farmers) have to organise with each other and with Now, six years later, we know how to tackle this process. We have seen how things can go well and low pig ‘flats’ covering four hectares: the 300,000 pigs, and that 0.6 square kilome- how they can go wrong. By concentrating at this point on innovation in the agrosector, the no longer makes much sense in our ‘urban’ parties that they used to have lower floors for mushrooms, two further tres would be required to provide organic Netherlands can set itself apart with a clean, low energy, environment-friendly and efficient crowded country. This is clear from the little to do with, such as care service floors for housing some 114,000 pigs, and quarters for them, at least if the pig pens system of production. This will leave us with an export product of world class. rising tension between farmers who want providers, supermarkets, universities, then vegetable glasshouses on the roofs. were not stacked. to expand and the general public who tourist information offices and societal The site would also contain a slaughter- The New Mixed Farm in Grubbenhorst in Together we possess the knowledge, possibilities and energy to realise this ambition. We have want peace and quiet, nature and a groups. house and a manure- and compost- the province of Limburg is a planned however also come to realise that innovative entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector are unable to beautiful landscape. Better that we get processing plant producing biogas, clean agropark with sheds for over one million do this on their own: expensive investments constitute an undue financial risk for them. water and fertiliser pellets. There turned chickens and 35,000 pigs, a chicken used to metropolitan agriculture – farming There is no other way. Urbanisation has Conclusion: the market is failing here. Your ministry is able to bring all the stakeholders together out, however, to be too much public oppo- slaughterhouse and a biogas plant that is through an intermediary that takes initiatives. in urban areas. led to urban norms and values (nature, sition to these ‘pig flats’. now waiting on an environmental permit high animal welfare, beautiful landscape) The opponents do not want any intensive (see page 6). The initiative-takers hope Illustration architectenbureau MVRDV By spurring others on you hold the key in your hands. You are able to show how things should be The characteristic of metropolitan also becoming dominant in the country- livestock farming in the Netherlands (or in that the nearby California glasshouse area done and to challenge others to follow suit. That innovation is possible in this way has been agriculture is that farmers produce side, in so far as the countryside still their backyard). The advocates of agro- will link up with the New Mixed Farm. The demonstrated by the TransForum programme. products and provide services for towns- exists. Farmers have to ‘earn’ their right to parks with pigs, including TransForum, are result would be the first effectively operat- people and townspeople come to the however continuing to stress the advan- ing sustainable agropark in the Nether- exist again by taking this into account. Now that this opportunity is so clearly at hand we are relying on you to make full use of it. tages: pigs produce valuable heat and lands. farmer. In itself that’s not new, of course. And many town and city dwellers do not carbon dioxide and they eat fruit, vegeta- Ir.ing Herman de Boon One-in-nine farmers already earn income want their food to come from hundreds of ble and garden waste that would otherwise he film ‘City Pig’ by the ‘public and ecolog- Chairman, Stichting TransForum Agro&Groen from multifunctional agriculture (camp kilometres away, because then it is not have to be incinerated or composted. ical pig farm’ for The Hague may be seen Prof.dr. Rudy Rabbinge sites, care farms and farm shops, for fresh and has to be transported excessive Housing pigs near the city – with a slaugh- on www.youtube.com. Chairman, Supervisory Board instance). What is new, however, is the distances unnecessarily.