The province of North Holland has given 5.5 tonnes of grants to six projects that contribute to more sustainable agriculture and shorter chains in the food system. A total of 700,000 are available. The scheme was therefore reopened in the first half of 2023.
A clean and safe production of healthy, affordable and tasty food for everyone. In its own words, it is the ambition of the province of North Holland, and the goal is to support six projects in six different regions that are involved in the development of sustainable food systems. According to Noord-Holland, this means ‘healthy revenue models for entrepreneurs, but also doing what is good for people and animals, the climate, the earth, water and biodiversity. The food vision 2020-2030 contains opportunities and challenges to achieve such a sustainable food system.
Multifunctional spice strips
Servaplant plant receives a grant of 100,000 euros for the development of affordable seed mixtures. ‘These mixtures must meet a number of conditions’, says Noord-Holland in an explanation. ‘They should provide a nice stripe that attracts desirable insects. This increases biodiversity and ensures natural control of unwanted pests. The mixture contains herbs that promote animal health and prevent common diseases and ailments such as inflammation and worms. The seeds and the land profits generate an income model for the farmer.’
Regenerative and circular Texel
In the Wij.land Foundation’s project, which has been awarded 75,000 euros, farmers, nature organizations and entrepreneurs are working on a future-proof Texel landscape. Noord-Holland: ‘Together they want to take steps towards regenerative agriculture. This means that agriculture contributes to keeping the soil healthy, biodiversity, clean air and clean water. They will also, as far as possible, sell the products produced on Texel directly to consumers. Such a short chain is good for the environment because fewer food kilometers are made.’
Biodiversity on your plate
The Dutch Cuisine Foundation wants to roll out the national Biodiversity on your Plate concept in North Holland. Various ‘biodiversity-friendly’ producers join forces with the aim of having their products included in delivery wholesaler VHC Jongen and promoted in the catering industry in Amsterdam and Haarlem. This project is supported with 99,992 euros. One of the at least twenty companies is RP Rotgans en Zonen (Zuivel van Reijer), which is central to the project as a pilot. This company implements a number of initiatives that contribute to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.
Dune edge farmers
A grant of 65,000 euros goes to the Duinrand farmers in Bergen municipality. In two pilot projects, farmers, nature organisations, government and residents are working together on the development of regenerative and circular agriculture in the BUCH municipalities, and more local sales of products originating in the area. The project must, among other things, lead to an improvement in the farmers’ earnings model, because they get a better price for their nature-inclusive products, and encourage them to take nature-inclusive measures on their farms.’
The Ronja winery
As a model farm for regenerative agroforestry, Wijntuin Ronja in Beverwijk receives a grant of 34,942.40 euros. Ronja uses the grant to set up a model farm in viticulture. Noord-Holland: ‘This farm is based on regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and supply via short chains. This example can therefore inspire current and future fruit growers, wine producers and dairy farmers to use regenerative farming and forestry methods and make this profitable through short chains.’
The farm kitchen
A grant of 97,175 euros goes to The Farm Kitchen, the Earth’s own kitchen. ‘With this project, a sophisticated food concept is developed in which field farmers, kitchens and (commercial) buyers play a role,’ explains Noord-Holland. “Everything that comes from the land is processed into healthy meals in the farmer’s mobile processing kitchen and served in company restaurants in the region. This initiative is started in one place where 10 hectares of arable land is used for the cultivation of sixty crops. Processing at the source and selling locally reduces the number of food miles by 98 percent. Through knowledge transfer, a handbook for field farmers and the available sales channels in the company restaurants, the project aims for more than a hundred field farmers and companies to take over the activities after the project period.’
Click for more information about the scheme, which was reopened in the first half of this year. network platform farmersbusinessinbalance.nl. Entrepreneurs can make their own projects visible via the North Holland food initiative card.