A large initiative group of producers, nature organizations, scientists and business figures make seven recommendations to the new cabinet for key bottlenecks in nature, agriculture and economy. The group offers solutions to urgent problems such as climate, nitrogen, biodiversity and sustainable food production that pay off for producers.
With former Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman as its spokesperson, the initiative group advocates long-term national leadership with concrete goals, a zonal approach and various stimulus measures. The cabinet must develop a plan that lays the foundation for a widely supported national spatial and agricultural accord in which healthy soils, a diverse landscape and biodiversity are paramount. The group sees it as the only logical path towards a sustainable distribution of scarce space, the restoration of nature and a sustainable and promising production of healthy food. The necessary transition will require between 1.5 and 2 billion euros per year over a long period, financed largely by public and partly private resources.
The initiative group includes Frans Keurentjes (President Friesland Campina), Dirk de Lugt (President Cosun and BO Akkerbouw), Louise Vet (President Delta Plan Biodiversity Recovery), Alex Datema (BoerenNatuur), Hans Huijbers (Boerenraad), Bart Kemp ( Agractie Nederland), Jannemarie de Jonge (Council of Government Advisers), the directors of Natuurmonumenten, Natuur & Milieu, Bionext and Commonland, the CEO of Rabobank Wiebe Draijer, the CEO of Triodos Peter Blom, the CEO of Eosta Volkert Engelsman and authoritative people such as Herman Wijffels, “ nitrogen professor ” Jan Willem Erisman, professor Imke de Boer (WUR), agricultural economist Krijn Poppe and landscape architect Berno Strootman. The call is supported by more than 30 organizations and individuals and is an initiative of the Food Transition Coalition and Boerenraad.
Veerman: “Our country faces major challenges in the areas of nitrogen, climate and biodiversity. Lack of space for housing, energy, agriculture and nature only makes these more complex challenges It is up to the government to provide producers, nature and the economy with a perspective for action. urgent vision, goals, actions and direction needed Healthy soils and biodiversity must be the focus start of land use and management This involves an integrated approach that will take at least 20 years to complete. and where cuts are not appropriate. ”
The initiative group makes the following seven recommendations
- National agreement. Provide a plan that forms the basis for a widely supported national agreement in line with the EU’s Green Deal. With an integrated long-term vision and legally established objectives in the areas of climate, biodiversity, air (nitrogen), soil health, water and landscape.
- Objective policy. Provide a policy of objectives with responsible objectives and clear indicators at area and company level. As a result, many implementing measures can be abolished and nature, entrepreneurship and innovation are stimulated. Maximum physical agricultural production is not an end in itself. It concerns the social value of food production and other agricultural services and the contribution to objectives in the area of climate, biodiversity, etc.
- Landinrichting. Work on land development 3.0 with soil health, biodiversity, water and landscape as guiding principles, both for agriculture and nature and for other land users such as housing , energy and business.
- Approach by area and citizen participation. Opt for an approach by zone within the framework of the statutory objectives and with a lot of room for citizens’ initiatives such as G1000 Agriculture.
- Political instruments. Introduce a number of instruments that facilitate change, such as a nitrogen fund, a land bank, and a credit and guarantee system. Provide a system of assessment, rewards and levies commensurate with the contribution of land users and chain actors to the aforementioned objectives. Also offer rewards and taxes to stimulate sustainable consumption, for example by shifting taxes from labor to consumption while also taking into account the effects on the environment and health.
- Executive power. Take some powerful administrative measures to ensure implementation, such as a minister responsible for coordinating policy in the broad field of land use planning, agriculture and nature, a landscape commissioner (by analogy with the delta commissioner) and a well-equipped executive organization.
- Budget. Provide sufficient resources for 10-15 years (around 1.5-2 billion euros per year) to ensure implementation and mutual learning at all levels of scale.
Veerman: “This goal-oriented approach gives direction to the sustainable use of space in our densely populated country. It showcases nature and provides clarity and space for producers and businesses for safe and healthy food production. Additional opportunities are created for chain actors by focusing innovation on high quality and healthy food, especially for neighboring European markets. The measures also support a valued and engaged role of producers in society. And this is crucial because without the producers, this change desired by society will not succeed ”.