Wageningen researchers Imke de Boer and Evelien de Olde and their team are one of the ten finalists of the prestigious the Food System Vision Prize. Their team shared a holistic vision of a healthy and circular food system in the Netherlands in 2050, entitled ‘Re-rooting the Dutch Food System; from more to better’. Each finalist is eligible to become a Top Visionary and to receive a prize of $200,000.
The Food System Vision Prize was launched by the American Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO. Thousands of organisations around the world were able to participate by submitting their vision for a healthy and regenerative food system in a region of their choice for the year 2050. Over 1300 teams entered the competition when it started in November 2019. In March, 76 teams were selected as semi-finalists, including the Wageningen teams of Imke de Boer and Evelien de Olde (Animal Production Systems group) and Marian Stuiver (Environmental Sciences group). They were given the opportunity to further develop their vision.
De Boer and De Olde are very honoured: “We are delighted that our integral vision, which we developed together with inspiring people from the field, has won. Really, really cool!”
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Integral vision with people from the field
The vision of the team De Boer/De Olde includes re-rooting the current Dutch food system. In the new system, healthy food is produced for everyone, with respect for our planet and all the people and animals that live here. For example, this means that, in 2050, arable farmers will grow several crops in strips, and that pigs and chickens will only eat biomass that is not suitable for human consumption. Plant-based and healthy foods are normal, easy and appealing. The Dutch will eat more local and plant-based products. Advertising soft drinks and other products with empty calories will be prohibited. All houses will have solar panels or green roofs. Economic prosperity in 2050 will be measured on the basis of the National Societal Product instead of the Gross National Product.
Under the leadership of Imke de Boer and fellow researcher Evelien de Olde, a team of farmers, representatives from nature and agricultural organisations, and Wageningen scientists worked on this vision. According to the initiators, redesigning the food system is only possible if all actors in the food system contribute.
Their entry was supported by the Wageningen University Fund.
Refining and actualising the vision
The 10 finalists will further develop their vision in the next and final phase, also called ‘a three-month virtual Accelerator phase’. Top Visionaries will be announced in December 2020.