Call to SGP MEP for application-oriented innovations in agriculture
Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP) made a digital working visit to East Netherlands on November 5. Ruissen is a member of the European Parliament and focuses mainly on the topics of agriculture and food. Under the leadership of mayor Jan Kottelenberg (of the municipality Neder-Betuwe) the region presented how it is working towards a more sustainable food chain. Ruissen was asked to represent the interests of powerful regions such as East Netherlands in Brussels, and to ensure financial means to further stimulate their innovative power.
Great innovations in the food chain are generated in East Netherlands. Think about the energy transition in greenhouse horticulture and the agrifood transition concerning protein production and health. Regions in East Netherland invited Ruissen to introduce him to this. Bert-Jan Ruissen talks about a productive encounter: “Wonderful how this strong and innovative region is on the lookout for collaboration. We put our shoulder to the wheel together, to connect regions and regulations. From the European Parliament, I will gladly contribute in making the sector and region flourish further.
Smart food production
Regions and provinces in East Netherland together cooperate under the denominator of Think East Netherlands when it comes to influencing the European policy and establishing European projects. This year’s collaboration is on the topic ‘the farm to fork strategy’. The farm to fork strategy stands for making the whole food chain more sustainable. It is part of the European Green Deal, led by Mr Timmermans (Executive Vice-President of the European Parliament) to meet climate targets. Think East Netherlands has set course to smart food production, i.e. the deployment of data, digitisation and robotisation in the food chain and has been looking for (European) partners in this. “We are open to applications of food chain innovations in East Netherlands”, says Karolien de Bruine from Oost NL, the regional development agency of East Netherlands. “The efficient dealing with the space and with the deployment of expensive labour forces us to develop a smart and sustainable food chain. If companies want to continue to be front runners in these innovations, European support is needed also.” This was noted by Jan Kottelenberg, mayor of Neder-Betuwe/FruitDelta Rivierenland.
“In East Netherlands, we want to focus especially on opportunities and ensure that our food system is moving with the times, also in areas with a large urbanisation task”, says Cathelijne Bouwkamp, alderman of the municipality Arnhem/Region Foodvalley: “Besides concern for local food, the food production for the world continues to call for attention also.“ Bert-Jan Ruissen agrees that a regional approach from European agricultural policy would be desirable. Jan Kottelenberg invited him in advance to make a working visit to the region, when better times make this possible.
Think East Netherlands
This – digital – working visit is an initiative from government organisations that participate in the Think East Netherlands, www.thinkeast.nl platform. This innovation profile from East Netherlands is a collaboration platform of network and branch organisations, institutions for higher education and research, universities, the regions and the two provinces in East Netherlands: Gelderland and Overijssel.
Read more: Farm to Fork strategy in East Netherlands