Discussing problems in the food chain

Published on
March 23, 2018

The Boerengroep and Wageningen Dialogues are hosting an event about the food systems on Tuesday 27 March. During 'Cutting across the Silos', all participants take part in a debate about the practical problems facing farmers and young scientists.

The event was inspired by an article published last year in National Geographic, which praised the WUR as a major player in food systems research. "Nevertheless, the university is experiencing some division resulting from the lack of knowledge exchange between different departments," explains Boerengroep coordinator and co-organiser Patricia Lemmens. "We want to be the catalyst behind closing that gap."

The dialogue will start with the introduction of around ten practical problems facing farmers and young researchers. Then, problem owners and participants will pull up a chair at round tables. Three sessions have been organised, which give participants the opportunity to take a seat at different tables. Everyone will discuss the practical problems in a café setting. "The objective isn't necessarily to find solutions to these problems; everyone comes from a different background and the goal is to understand the problem and each other better by the end of the evening."

An example of a practical problem to be addressed is the processing of soybean and palm oil in products. "How should organisations respond to the environmental impact of large-scale palm oil plantations given the high demand for palm oil?" asks Lemmens. "But also consider how consumers feel about the issue."

Cutting across the silos takes place in the Wisdom & Wonder Pavilion on campus. Registration is still possible through the website.

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