How can rural dynamics be employed to adequately cope with the global challenges that we are currently facing and how can these challenges once again turn rural areas into a system that works? The Veenkoloniën (Groningen peat district) is a rural area in the North of the Netherlands that is facing a number of major economic, social and ecological challenges. As an agricultural area, the region is part of a global system. Consequently, its challenges are not caused by internal factors, but by the global food system and this system’s impact on the area, i.e. the social, economic and ecological environment that it creates.
This phenomenon has also caused the United Nations to advocate a new, sustainable agricultural system. The Veenkoloniën region can serve as a test lab to develop this new agricultural model and thus both work on its own issue and respond to a global challenge.
The new agricultural model requires a new production system: an intelligent seven-year crop and livestock rotation that integrates temporary nature areas. Processing is divided into a cooperative network of local, regional and national processing hubs: a choice is always made between transport costs and the benefits of scale. This results in development opportunities at all levels of scale and renewed social significance for the food industry. The infrastructure network is adapted to facilitate these new development opportunities and to ensure that the production area can once again be accessed and experienced by both consumers and producers alike.
The result is a restructured agricultural model that explores the possibilities of sustainable food production at a global level. Locally, this transition would create an agricultural area with a conclusive high-quality environment that defines the identity of the Veenkoloniën region.
Eat Your View | Veenkoloniën Netherlands | Felixx
CLIENT: Agenda voor de Veenkoloniën
TEAM: Michiel van Driessche, Deborah Lambert, Joost de Wit, Sander van der Ham