Meet Jolijn Zwart our new Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood

The ambition with the Circular Agrifood Innovation field is to achieve robust food production that creates balance in our living environment and respects both the animals and our planet. In the process of creating such a production process, we aim to significantly reduce the use of raw materials and loss throughout the chain. Jolijn is the Innovation Lead Circular as of 1 July 2021.

What Jolijn adds to the Foodvalley team!

As a master in public administration and partner in a family arable and fruit growing company in the Betuwe, I am used to looking at business and societal issues from different worlds. Combining forces between stakeholders between those worlds is what I do best and like to do. In my experience this is the best way to increase and strengthen the innovative power.

I have worked in various positions in government, politics and business, inside and outside the agri-food sector. I am a driven innovator who likes to work at the interface between government and business. My love for the agrifood sector is easy to explain. I was born and raised in the Betuwe, on the farm I am now a family partner in.

In that context, I've experienced that individual players can't change our food system. It requires something from the consumer who makes a conscious choice for, for example, a locally grown product, a chain that fairly rewards each chain partner and opts for a more closed raw material system. All with as little waste as possible and as litte residual flows as possible. We need an independent party that brings together ambitious individuals, businesses, governments and social stakeholders, who sets the agenda and creates opportunities and resolves barriers and thus stimulates acceleration on circular agrifood goals. FoodvalleyNL is such an independent party.

From my role here, I look forward to taking governments and entrepreneurs who are eager to take them to a circular agri-food sector.

How Jolijn contributes to a sustainable food system at home.

At our house all waste is separated. Even in several places in and around the house. On one of the barns (a large one) we recently installed 88 solar panels that provide more than enough power for the farm and our household. The farm is a monument and of course originally has single glass. We had this replaced with a super new type of glass that meets both the requirements of the Monumentenzorg and our wishes for more insulation. On the farm we get our own straw with manure from the potting shed back. We haven't plowed for years. That's good for the soil!

What can you wake her up for in the middle of the night?

You can wake me up for a beautiful trip! For me, a nice trip is a meeting with locals, and doing or seeing things I haven't done or seen before. And for a movie or book about eventful lives, I also like to get out of bed. A book that I found inspiring is I dreamed of Africa, by Kuki Gallmann, beautiful!

Welcome to the Foodvalley team

Marjolein Brasz: "I am very pleased to be able to welcome Jolijn to the Foodvalley team. Jolijn’s keenness, extensive relevant network & expertise and open mindedness are an excellent mix for the challenging job at hand. She will be a senior contact for parties across the food system and able to include diverse viewpoints on challenging interventions. I am looking forward to work with Jolijn on the strategic direction of Circular Agrifood seen my background and interest in the circular economy and firm believe of inclusive change."

Meet the Foodvalley team

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