Short chain meeting at Floriade; the new normal, that’s local!
How great would it be if in 2030 the consumption of foodstuffs of local origin had a 25% market share? If it were up to a large cooperative in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, it would be possible. On 8 June, at Floriade Expo 2022, the almost 50 affiliated partners laid new lines for a robust, regional and regenerative food system in the MRA. Literally!
This co-creation session in The Natural Pavilion is the third in a series of four: inspiration, activation, conversion and implementation. Under the coordination of the sustainability agency Amped, an ecosystem of connected farmers, education, care and government is trying to set up a regional and regenerative food system (with an eye on healthy soil), in which short food chains are key. The Amsterdam region in particular lends itself perfectly to this approach due to its combination of large population and relatively large agricultural scale.
Session – laying lines
To what extent do we know each other as participants and work together? By literally drawing lines with balls of wool, a network of cooperation is created in the field of logistics, social innovation and knowledge development. Moral: a lot is already happening in the field of short chains, but it is not always visible, not to the chain itself, and certainly not to potential customers, such as governments, entrepreneurs or consumers.
Where does my food actually come from?
The reason for this short-chain initiative is that in the current food system, there is no longer a direct relationship between consumer and producer. The large number of links and distances in the chain have a negative impact on our food culture and foodprint. An important driver for doing things differently is COVID-19, incidentally, which has increased the appreciation of local and safe food. There are already successful platforms, such as Local2Local. In addition, initiatives such as the European Green Deal, but also the national coalition agreement and the Short Chain Taskforce are raising awareness.
Session – providing concrete help
So a lot is already happening, but how do you learn from each other? The presentation by De Omring at Texel shows that their request for help to prepare more sustainable food (close by and healthy) provides many solutions. Whether it is about logistics, ready-made supply or knowledge on preparation or data on waste, the paper suggestions with promises of support from the other participants are numerous.
What all does Flevofood have to offer?
Floriade, Flevoland Province and the Flevofood Association are affiliated. Chairman Martin Topper of Flevofood (with over 100 members) motivates: “We are participating because with our beautiful Flevoland agricultural and horticultural products we are a valuable addition to the Amsterdam region. We have the potatoes and carrots, but also vegetables like parsnips and parsley.” He sees that a lot of great things are already happening under the name Flevour, such as the delivery to the Amsterdam Zuidas by caterer Eurest. “It works fine on a small scale, but if we want to implement this on a larger scale, you have to convert volumes. We are trying to organise this together.”
Session – support, data and stories
The participants agree that they can achieve a lot as frontrunners. However, a lot depends on the market. By finding support among governments, but also among facility managers and chefs, you can already achieve a lot. In addition, the consortium is actively using data and blockchain technology to demonstrate that local food has many advantages. And the market must be enticed with stories. To complete the circle: the Stelling van Amsterdam used to be a military stronghold, now it is the brand name that symbolises the protection of values such as food safety and security.
And where to from here?
The fourth and final meeting of the co-creation sessions will take place in October 2022. As many agreements as possible will then be made to start working on new concepts on a project basis.
Want to know more? Go to https://www.amped.nl/projecten/uitgelicht/robuuste-korte-keten-de-mra/