Innovating traditions: futures for dairy farmers

The future of farmers is one of the biggest challenges facing policymakers. Farmers are stimulated to produce more sustainable and more (diverse) proteins, but what are the opportunities to do so? Technologies can contribute, but how do farmers see this? And how to stimulate and facilitate this with policy?

Organised by Wageningen University & Research

Tue 22 November 2022 15:30 to 17:15

Venue Online

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Precision fermentation

Besides producing more protein-rich crops, farmers can also play a role in the production of alternative proteins, for example through precision fermentation. Especially for dairy farmers, this can be an attractive addition to their “traditional” activities. The technologies for this are in full development with great sustainability benefits: they alleviate the pressure on farmed animals to contribute to our protein intake, but also tremendously reduce the environmental impact from farming animals.

From technology....

But what is precision fermentation exactly? What are the possibilities? And how does it contribute to sustainability? In this session WUR experts will share the latest insights on precision fermentation. For example, how to produce milk proteins without cows, using this technology?

... to motivation

Besides learning more about new technologies, we need to understand what motivates farmers to adopt them. This is primordial to setting the stage right for introducing it. The way we farm today includes new technologies and practices that were not in use 50 years ago, think simply of innovation in tractors, that now work with GPS data and sensing technologies. So, transforming practices is inherent to farming, but what challenges do farmers see in this transition? What motivates them to adopt new technologies, like precision fermentation? How does it fit into their picture of the future? And, last but not least, how does this help policy makers in accelerating the protein transition?


15:30 Introduction
15:35 Presentation: Dr. Etske Bijl - What is precision fermentation?
15:45 Q&A
15:50 Presentation: Prof. Rob Bakker - How does precision fermentation contribute to sustainability?
16:00 Q&A
16:10 Presentation: Dr. Zoë Robaey - What are the challenges ahead for precision fermentation?
16:20 Q&A
16:25 Presentation: Mr. Geert Wilms, ir. (Brabant innovation platform) - What can we learn from farmers adopting new practices within the protein transition?
16:35 Q&A
16:40 Plenary discussion
17:00 End

Campaign Protein Transition: from Pain Points to Perspective’

This session is part of the campaign ‘Protein Transition: from Pain Points to Perspective’, an initiative of Wageningen University & Research to help the public sector resolve barriers in the protein transition. In 4 sessions (from November 2022 – February 2023) a multidisciplinary team of WUR experts zooms in on the 4 biggest challenges for policymakers AND offers perspectives. From reducing dependency on soy import to shaping a circular food system.