Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and that number will only increase. Every single day, all urban citizens need healthy and safe food. This fast-growing market creates a lot of opportunities for agrifood entrepreneurs. But providing food and nutrition security to these rapidly expanding cities is also very challenging. Due to climate change, less farming land, and scarcity of water, energy and raw materials, it becomes more and more difficult to produce food at the right place at the right time.
Many researchers, scientists and governments already focus on this issue. Worldwide, numerous entrepreneurs earn a living serving the local urban markets. Local to local, urban food production, short value chains and agroparcs are proven examples of developments in this field.
Project “Feeding Cities”
Through close collaboration it is easier to identify possibilities and react adequately. By joining forces with other organizations and companies, the chance to reach sustainable and successful business development is reinforced. That is why CSR Netherlands (MVO) and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) have started the project “Feeding Cities” to think and work on these issues together with pioneering entrepreneurs. At this moment, an innovation agenda is being developed identifying the most important challenges and solutions.
In “Feeding Cities”, entrepreneurs will share knowledge and expertise; define challenges and solutions; and give each other access to the right contacts. Mid 2017 various pilot projects will be started to put the solutions into practice and to develop them further.
Who can participate
Dutch entrepreneurs who want to explore local markets, besides the existing commercial chains in the Netherlands, are invited to join. Think of producers, traders and retailers with an international commercial chain facing the following challenges:
- Finding market information: How are the new markets structured and where to focus on?
- Breaking down trade barriers: What is needed to develop new commercial activities?
- Defining preconditions: How to meet the diversity of food needs of urban consumers (quantity, quality, added value)?
- Identifying technical and sustainability challenges: Where to produce? How to get “fresh” closer to the city again? Does it reach the consumers? How to provide the needed resources in a sustainable way (competition with other urban functions)?
- Forming partnerships: How to collaborate with other parties within the value chain?
For more information, please contact Meine van der Graaf through or +31 (0)6-50215236.
In 2014, CSR Netherlands founded the working group urban agriculture. Supported by the IMVO programme, this group of pioneering companies worked on new income models, social innovations, technical improvements for the availability of fresh, safe and sustainable food in “exploding” metropolitans.
This resulted in the following pilots:
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Source: MVO Nederland