Jeroen van Maanen’s perspective: Piet Perspektiv |

Because the government has not written a perspective letter for agriculture, we have invited people to do so. Today Jeroen van Maanen’s perspective. “We will not repeat the mistakes of the past, we will continue to build on the good.”

Agrio asked me to write the long-sought, long-awaited and needed perspective for agriculture as a kind of minister, says Piet Perspektiv.

Learning from the past

We will not repeat the mistakes of the past and we will continue to build on the good. First, the past has shown that if agriculture in NL sets itself a goal, it can achieve any goal provided it is facilitated by the government. Via ‘never hungry again’, becoming the second agricultural exporter in the world is a world-class achievement. This has not only provided our country with sufficient food of excellent quality, it has also helped to build and stabilize the country and our economy. We learned that a common focus between agriculture, research and government gave and still gives good results.

However, we can also see changes in the past that we no longer want. The distance and involvement between farmer and consumer deserves attention. As well as the value of the farmer, the agriculture in his environment and the food he produces. Furthermore, science at all levels has been able to produce large amounts of research and reports. A one-sided approach, research aimed at confirming wishes and judgments, and selective use of science have proven to be a great danger. The truth is always in the middle The one-sided focus on production turned out to be wrong. But the unrealistic counter-movement with an excessive focus on the climate, the planet and animals also has great dangers. The essence of agriculture, namely the food supply, is lost sight of. Looking ahead, we see various signs of (imminent) food crises and hunger. Adjustment is now required.

Here and now

Before I outline the future perspective, let’s dwell on the present. We go back to the drawing board. PAS reporters will be legalized, KDW will be decriminalized and Aerius will be suspended. This is regulated by an emergency law. On behalf of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte apologizes immediately to farmers and their families, as well as compensation for the emotional suffering caused by the government’s policies.

On the way to a promising future

In the future, more emphasis will be placed on food safety in the EU than in the past. From now on, we will monitor population numbers and food production and demand more closely within the EU, and Brussels will from now on introduce a ban on the deterioration of food self-sufficiency. Stable or preferably (in view of unexpected disasters on a global scale) improving. Uniform laws have been established at EU level. For this purpose, uniform calculation and measurement methods are established to determine the quality of soil, surface water and groundwater, as well as measurement methods for emissions and losses via measurements. A level playing field will be the basis for all themes. We also pay particular attention to the attribution of (CO2) reductions achieved by solar panels, wind energy and sequestration of CO2 in the soil. Farmers should be able to exploit the results and benefits they have achieved themselves.

The fertilizer policy is greatly simplified and has two pillars; 1. Nitrate in (ground) water will from now on be measured by reliable measurements at every farmer. And 2. The goals are clearly set and the farmer decides how to achieve them. The maximum amount of nitrogen fertilization from livestock manure is increased to a maximum of 400 kg N/ha. As long as nitrate levels in groundwater are not exceeded, more livestock manure can improve soil quality. Herd growth is not a goal in itself, but possible if the set goals are met. With increasing global prosperity, and therefore greater demand for animal protein, this is desirable.

More organic matter in the soil means that dry periods can be bridged better. In addition, a decreasing consumption of chemical fertilizers provides enormous benefits for the climate due to lower gas consumption. We will also become less dependent on gas imports from uncertain suppliers/countries.

In addition, agreements are made at EU level, where in Europe the most suitable areas and areas are for food production, nature, recreation, housing or industry. The world’s population is growing and the area of ​​agricultural land is shrinking. It is therefore necessary to organize food production in an efficient, highly productive way with as few transport movements as possible and thus a CO2 footprint. Intensive farming provides the lowest carbon footprint, the least use of additives and the possibility of achieving high standards for the production process. The EU will see food, food production and knowledge as one of its most important assets in geopolitics.

Diversity of companies

Diversity of companies remains important. A large part of the production will take place at intensive, professional companies. Initiatives towards upscaling will have to demonstrate scientifically that long-term higher margins are secured. Soil dependence is replaced by carrying capacity per soil type. Knowledge is power. Extensification in the Netherlands leads to intensification elsewhere in the world (at lower standards and emissions) and is therefore undesirable.

In addition to the first pillar, there will also be space for a large number of business types. However, sufficient farmers are needed to guarantee food security when demand increases. A danger in this is the lack of successors. Therefore, there will be a national scheme where farmers without a successor are linked to successors and thus new farmers. This arrangement also provides tax and social benefits for both the stop and the successor.

Consumer and cycle

Food is of vital importance and knowledge about this has deteriorated, as has the distance between consumer and farmer. Food and agriculture will henceforth be compulsory subjects in education. Fees enable each elementary school class to visit a farm at least once a year. In addition, fact-based teaching materials will be developed, and the promotion will be paid for from this tax. After all, we are already educating the consumer of the future.

The consumer is part of the circuit. A billable balance of substances will be introduced at the consumer level, making the purification of drug residues and hormones transparent. This is paid through tax. Nitrogen and phosphate from wastewater will become available as a fertilizer substitute through fertilizer treatment.


The current market system is being improved. At EU level, imports from countries with lower production standards are taxed. The market continues to do its job as it provides the purest balance between supply and demand. Cost price increases for the farmer due to non-statutory requirements are stopped. A central market watch will identify cost price increases and ensure that these are paid for by consumers via the retail trade.

There will be a farmer’s burger panel as well as a monitoring system via supermarket sales. This checks whether consumers actually value and buy the implemented requirements. If not, these requirements will be reversed. The farmer panel will also assess all NGOs’ requests for applicability in practice. In addition, the panel will use mandatory available data from the retail sector to check whether political parties adopt positions that correspond to the will and (purchasing) behavior of its voters. A similar process will be required to check whether the actions of banks are consistent with the will and actions of their depositors and companies financed by them.

Public subsidies currently paid to NGOs will be stopped. The Boerburger panel is paid from here. The renewed ACM will protect farmers more strongly.

Chains and chain parties must annually make available their data on purchase prices, margins, costs of the production process and losses via voluntary mandates. This data will become public. A margin distribution in the chain is agreed by law.

Environment and government

The Netherlands will once again protect its farmers with pride. The government will facilitate as much as possible with available space, limited, targeted rules. We trust the farmer’s craftsmanship. There will be strict legislation for governments for uniform, simplified licensing, permitted innovations and a level playing field for different sectors. The government is going for transparency. WOO procedures will be abolished. All communications are released over the Internet.

In order to reduce the workload on farms, a system is introduced where able-bodied workers lose their benefits or have to work primarily in agriculture. Migrants will also be helped to find a job through this scheme and they can also pay for (compulsory) education with their wages.

Finally, a separate political status is given to agriculture and food supply, as agriculture’s democratic influence is too small due to low voting numbers. Agriculture-related topics are only dealt with by demonstrably trained MPs and ministers on this subject. It will also be regulated by law that the state’s agricultural policy has a duration that is in line with the payback period for the necessary investments.

Finally, it will be mandatory for agricultural advocates to be led by farmers or practitioners.

With this policy and perspective, the Netherlands will move into the future with confidence. And turn the drifting migration policy of previous years as a black page. Just as the family is the cornerstone of society, agriculture is the cornerstone of the Netherlands and its culture. Full steam ahead, full of pride and confidence, let’s continue to build the Netherlands!

Piet Perspektiv / Jeroen van Maanen

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