For five years now, the Smart Food Alliance has been committed to developing sustainable, healthy and equitable food chains through better collaboration and more innovation. This anniversary was celebrated in the presence of Minister Staghouwer of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) at the Livar pig farm in Echt, Limburg.
Smart Food Alliance is the platform for agri-food companies that are at the forefront of sustainable, healthy and fair food. What started five years ago at the Food Summit as a pledge by fifteen companies to produce more sustainable and healthy foods has grown into a foundation that includes more than forty companies committed to changing the food system from within. Smart Food Alliance covers all stages and segments of our food, from farmer to supermarket and from bread to dairy. With everything in between.
To make our food system more sustainable, healthier and fairer, medium-sized companies in the Netherlands often play a key role as chain director. They are agile and the link in the chain. The companies in the Smart Food Alliance take this responsibility and thus stimulate the transition to a sustainable and healthy food system.
In order to achieve a circular agriculture with a good earning capacity for the farmer, it is necessary that government and companies work together. Corona has helped us appreciate local and regional food more. Minister Staghouwer also recognizes the spearheads of the Smart Food Alliance as spearheads in the coalition agreement. Circular farming is not a set: there is no manual specifying which screw to go where. Every entrepreneur is unique, and it requires creativity from the entrepreneur to produce sustainably with a good earning potential for the entrepreneur and the farmer.
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Innovation plays a key role in the transition to a sustainable and healthy food system. The participants in the Smart Food Alliance are in charge. They focus on circular concepts and closing cycles, select high-quality meat and plant-based varieties and use new technologies. In this way, they ensure sustainable and healthy food.
Every company within the Smart Food Alliance has green and healthy DNA in its blood. And has achieved significant success in terms of sustainable and healthy food at a fair price. The stories of the entrepreneurs from Smart Food Alliance are without exception inspiring. They are about companies that have started to think differently about food and entrepreneurship. It is often also stories about how to overcome obstacles, about long innovation processes, about problems with the supply of the right raw materials, negotiations with customers and finding the right financiers.
Sustainable, healthy and fair food requires a clear future for the agricultural sector. Several companies in the Smart Food Alliance offer this perspective to their farmers / growers. These companies do this, for example, by offering farmers and growers a higher price and long-term agreements for sustainably produced products, sometimes without this being passed on to the consumer.
“The Smart Food Alliance sees an important role for politicians in realizing a sustainable, healthy and equitable food system during this term of office,” said President Marcel Schuttelaar. “These companies are in their own way pioneers in the new food system and demand political attention for this.” The changes in the agri-food sector are happening at an unprecedented rate: “Policies must put a dot on the horizon and create clear rules for farmers, producers / traders and consumers.”
2030 is an important landmark for many agreements on climate, food waste, circular agriculture, biodiversity, health and many other issues. Most companies are not aware that this is only 90 months away. To really tilt the system, more control is needed in the chain. Supply and demand for sustainable products must be better managed. The participants in the Smart Food Alliance want to deepen the collaboration in the chain further. This is to go step by step, but ever faster, to a fully sustainable, healthy and fair food system.