At VIV MEA in Abu Dhabi, a delegation of some of the most innovative Dutch entrepreneurs gave presentations on how they see the challenge of feeding a growing global population against the backdrop of ever-increasing consumer demands on industry. .
As one of the instigators of the HubOrange co-creation network, Noud Janssen knows well the challenges facing the livestock industry. While he was a poultry farmer, he saw the industry focus on economies of scale, to get higher meat yields and more eggs from less feed.
“A logical evolution that continues today. However, our experience of one of the most developed markets in the world has also seen the rise of other consumer demands. These range from animal welfare concerns to sustainability, and from strengthening biosecurity to improving the climate of poultry houses with regard to ammonia and fine dust, for example,” he says. .
HubOrange agrees that food production is a global business. That said, he also sees that the regionalization of food production can contribute to food security on the one hand, and improve the link between farmer and consumer on the other.
“We need something that could be called ‘Glocal Farming’ to secure fresh food locally,” Janssen said, stressing the need for a new global focus on regionalizing food production starting with the local. “Food and agriculture are disconnected in the minds of consumers. Due to environmental concerns in the Netherlands, the government plans to drastically reduce the number of farms and, apart from the farmers themselves, no one really seems to care. As consumers perceive, the food comes from the supermarket and they have no idea there is a hard-working farmer behind it. This is unsustainable and must change.
According to the co-creation network, local farming with scalable concepts could be on the cutting edge. “We need high technology to get closer to nature,” Janssen said.
One of the examples presented by HubOrange is the floating farm in the heart of the city of Rotterdam. Owner Peter van Wingerden presented the concept in Abu Dhabi. “We are currently promoting a prototype floating egg and vegetable farm based on the same principle and also located in the Port of Rotterdam next to our existing floating dairy farm. The floating farm is truly iconic. It engages the public’s interest in a never-before-seen way and educates people about farming while showing them how fresh produce is produced and processed daily in the city.
Noud Janssen also sees great potential in bringing a new floating layer farm closer to the end consumer. “When production begins, the eggs will be packed and sold in small, specially designed boxes. Another plan is to crack eggs to produce egg burgers. The manure will be pre-dried on the farm and mixed with the dairy farm manure. The final product is intended for consumers in the form of fertilizer for lawns and small vegetable gardens. In addition, the farm will be open to the public. Transparent walls will give them a view of the whole operation, allowing them to understand where their food really comes from.