Creating a sustainable food system – why all eyes are on the Netherlands

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How do you go about making a sustainable food system that is net positive when it comes to carbon emissions?

How much comes down to changing consumer behaviour versus manufacturing practices?

And if you are to change the entire food system, how do you go about getting all stakeholders onboard?

None of these are easy questions to answer, but that’s where a project in the Netherlands comes in.

The Dutch Research Agenda is looking at these issues and trying to come up with solutions to some of the biggest environmental problems the food system faces.

Their work in the Netherlands is important, as the country has a long history of trying to tackle sustainability issues, whilst also being known as “the tiny country that feeds the world.”

It has the highest density of livestock in Europe – more than four times that of the UK or France – with more than 100 million cattle, chickens and pigs.

Having a wildly successful agricultural sector comes with it’s own unique set of problems.

In this episode of the Table Talk podcast, we look at how the Dutch are leading the way on sustainability, what makes the Netherlands unique – societally – and the different roles consumers, manufacturers and politicians have to play in bringing about change.

We also take a look at what the rest of the world can learn from the Dutch approach.

Frederike Praasterink, Professor Sustainable Food Systems & system innovation in agriculture and food, HAS University of Applied Sciences

Frederike Praasterink is member of the Executive Board of HAS University of Applied Sciences. Her responsibilities include knowledge development, innovation & applied research and internationalisation. She has extensive international experience in the field of food and nutrition as a consultant and lecturer. She is also appointed as member of CTA’s Executive Board for a term of three years and four months ending on 29 February 2020. Frederike is also the lead for the Transition to a Sustainable Food System project.

Brian Dermody, Interdisciplinary Assistant Professor, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University 

I hold an interdisciplinary Assistant Professor position at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University. I am positioned within the Innovation Studies Department and work to build interdisciplinary collaboration among the 4 departments within the Copernicus Institute.

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