Working together towards circular agriculture in the North of the Netherlands

Published on
December 1, 2020

What do circular principles mean in practice? November 13 the project team organised an online kick-off workshop for the CAN-DO-IT project

Circular agriculture is a promising way of ensuring a sustainable food future in the Netherlands. Many stakeholders in the Netherlands agree with the main principles, but what do these mean in practice? What are the implications for a region such as the North of the Netherlands (Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe)? Can we create a shared vision based on circular agriculture that takes the many existing initiatives forward and can we translate this vision into transformative pathways for everyone involved in the food system? These are central questions in the CAN-DO-IT project (Circular Agriculture in North-Netherlands: Daring scenarios and Interlinked Transformation).

The North of the Netherlands as a demonstration region for circular agriculture
principal investigator Imke de Boer

The four-year project brings together an interdisciplinary team with expertise in plant and animal production, public administration and policy, and economics. This makes it possible to provide an integrated system analysis of the actual implications of circular agriculture for farming, nature, and the environment, as well as for socio-economic themes such as the degree of self-sufficiency and local employment opportunities.

Together with stakeholders the team will co-create innovative transformative pathways that help to achieve the daring scenarios. These pathways will build on existing ‘small wins’ in the region: radical initiatives in the food system that contribute to circular agriculture and that have already resulted in concrete outcomes for stakeholders. These can be seen as the seeds of transformative change. A detailed analysis of small wins will lead to a better understanding of how the transition towards circular agriculture can be accelerated, broadened and deepened. Through the integrated system analysis and the analysis of small wins the project will help to further develop circular agriculture in the North of the Netherlands.