Mansholt Lecture 2018: Towards Circular Food Production in Europe


Mansholt Lecture 2018: Circularity in agricultural production

The third edition of the Mansholt Lecture will take place in Brussels on 19 September 2018. This year the Mansholt Lecture focuses on circularity in agricultural production and the scientific perspectives for the transition towards circular agricultural production in Europe.

Organised by Wageningen University & Research

Wed 19 September 2018 14:00 to 17:00

Venue Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts Paleis der Academiën, Hertogsstraat 1 - 1000 Brussels

It is about 60 years ago that Sicco Leendert Mansholt and his colleagues in Europe initiated the modernization of European agriculture with an emphasis on increasing productivity, farmers’ incomes, and food supply, with stable and affordable prices for producers and consumers. With the increasing production, land and resources become limiting; residuals of crop and livestock production become problematic waste; emissions related to production become a burden for the quality of soil, water and air; health issues related to production intensification become a major concern.

Towards circularity in agricultural production

The key challenge is to secure a sustainable and healthy nutrition security within the capacity of planet earth and human society. A paradigm shift from optimization in production towards optimization in resource use. Europe’s future lies not in a linear but in a circular food system with an integrated use of regenerative natural resources and associated agro-biomass.

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During the 2018 Mansholt Lecture Wageningen University & Research presented the overall framework as well as the scientific basis for the transition towards a circular food system in Europe.

Mansholt Sustainable Business Award

During the Mansholt Lecture the winner of the Mansholt Business Award for Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2018 (M-BASE) was announced and received a prize of €25.000. The award aims to illustrate that alumni of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and entrepreneurs directly related to WUR, actively contribute to sustainable entrepreneurship with large societal and possibly international impact.


14.00 Welcome
14.30 Towards circularity in agricultural production Prof. dr. ir. Louise O. Fresco
14.50 Reflections from a scientific perspective Prof. dr. ir. Imke de Boer and prof. dr. ir. Martin van Ittersum
15.10 Panel led by dr. ir. Ernst van den Ende and dr. Martin Scholten with: Dr. Hugo de Vries (INRA), dr. Kerstin Rosenow (EC DG Agri) and Iris Bouwers (CEJA)
16.00 Wrap up
16.15 Mansholt Sustainable Business Award
16.30 Drinks


Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts

Paleis der Academiën, Hertogsstraat 1 - 1000 Brussels

The Academy Palace is within walking distance of Metrostation (M) ‘Trone’ or ‘Arts-Loi’.

If you travel by car (route description), there is limited parking available at the Academy, additional parking options are nearby.

Mansholt Lecture

The Mansholt lectures, named for the great Dutch European politician and thinker Sicco Mansholt, are organised by Wageningen University & Research to discuss European policy and issues in the domain of Wageningen University & Research: food, agriculture and sustainable livelihoods. In 2018 the third edition is held in Brussels.

Mansholt Lecture 2017: Food policy and Research

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President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, Prof. dr. Louise O. Fresco gave a keynote speech and two documents were presented:

A forum with international experts discussed both documents.


Mansholt Lecture 2016: Towards a Common Agricultural and Food Policy

The first Mansholt lecture was organised in September 2016 with the title ‘Towards a Common Agricultural and Food Policy’. This lecure emphasized the need to involve all stakeholders into a broader common agriculture & food policy. This in order to cope with five major challenges: food and nutrition security & safety, climate change & water and energy use, ecological impacts, healthy diet for a lifelong healthy lifestyle, and inequality.