Foodvalley initiated the foundation of the Dutch Protein Farmers producer organisation.
On Friday 6 May 2022, the producer organisation (PO) Dutch Protein Farmers was founded by the 'Nederlandse Akkerbouw Vereniging (NAV) (Dutch Arable Farming Union) and registered with the Chamber of Commerce, initiated by Foodvalley NL. The PO is committed to the profitable cultivation of protein-rich crops from their own soil with a fair earning model. At the start the PO consists of 29 growers of different leguminous protein crops.
The PO Dutch Protein Farmers is the first producer organisation of and for growers of protein crops. Both organic and conventional farmers are welcome; growers who already cultivate or want to cultivate protein crops, from field bean to lupin, from soy to chickpea. The main objective is to achieve sustainable and profitable protein cultivation together, with an earnings model and fair prices for farmers.
Import from far away must change
For human consumption and, in particular, for animal feed, many protein-rich raw materials are imported from far away. For example, from Canada, South America, Russia or Ukraine. This can and must change according to the PO Dutch Protein Farmers. Farmers, processors, supermarkets, caterers, consumers and the national government can all benefit from Dutch leguminous protein crops. This way, we become less dependent on imports and contribute to the goal of the Dutch Protein Strategy, a more sustainable agriculture, a healthier soil and solving the climate and nitrogen problem. To achieve this, the market for protein crops must change drastically.
Early in 2021, Foodvalley NL, together with Ekoboerderij de Lingehof, Proeflab Wageningen and the Taskforce Korte Keten, brought together the first protein farmers. This led to cooperation with NAV and now to the establishment of the PO Dutch Protein Farmers. The PO combines the knowledge and strengths of growers of leguminous protein crops. Through their cooperation they have a stronger negotiating position and can obtain better contract conditions and prices. The organisation is also interesting for large buyers and end suppliers such as supermarkets and caterers; by working together growers can supply a larger volume of protein crops.
Share experience and research
In addition, the members of PO Dutch Protein Farmers share practical sowing, growing and harvesting experiences and draw up a research agenda for the coming years. In this role, the PO is also involved as a partner in the forthcoming Green Deal on Protein-rich Crops.
Tell the story
Finally, the members of PO Protein Farmers of the Netherlands tell the story of the Dutch leguminous protein crops. The consumer study ‘Homegrown Proteins' (2021, in Dutch) revealed that few Dutch consumers know the value of leguminous plants. Which will result in healthier soil, greater biodiversity and a more sustainable, circular agriculture. Everyone needs to know this in order to make a conscious choice for products with home-grown plant proteins.
Appeal to farmers
The Protein Farmers of the Netherlands organises its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, 8 June 2022 from 14.30 to 17.30 hours, at the Ekoboerderij de Lingehof in Randwijk. Among other things, the board will be elected and the policy determined. Are you or do you know a Dutch grower who would like to attend the inaugural meeting? Register via www.eiwitboeren.nl
Foodvalley NL supports the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands
Innovation leads Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel and Jeroen Willemsen from Foodvalley NL initiated and support the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands who want to realise a fairer price, a better position in the value chain, more knowledge exchange and central coordination of research.
Increasing local availability and consumption of plant-based proteins has the added benefits of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen runoff reduction and increased biodiversity. It will help create the right balance between animal and plant proteins and contributes to the growth of new sustainable crops that adds to regenerative circular agriculture. That is what Foodvalley NL is committed to.