The National Growth Fund invests an amount of 129 million euros in the ReGeNL program; a groundbreaking program designed to transform the Dutch agricultural sector into a regenerative, sustainable and future-proof sector. The program is founded by a partnership of 54 companies and organizations. This week the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy announced that the ReGeNL consortium has met all the conditions for this investment and that the allocation of funding is therefore final.
The concrete goal of ReGeNL is to develop replicable business models with several pioneering farmers by 2030 and to make the transition to regenerative agriculture in five focus areas, involving at least one thousand farmers. They are supported in this endeavour by all 54 parties and possible future partners in the consortium. A second important objective of ReGeNL is to implement educational innovations aimed at regenerative agriculture, which will train or retrain at least 10,000 (future) farmers, advisors and employees of chain and area parties by 2030. The ultimate goal is to make sustainable and profitable agriculture with a positive impact on nature and climate the new standard in the Netherlands.
Piet Adema, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality: “Making the transition to sustainable agriculture is only possible by working together, with farmers as well as chain parties, knowledge institutes, financial institutions and education. That is why I am happy that we as government can support great initiatives such as the ReGeNL program, in which 54 parties work together to support farmers towards future-proof agriculture.”
Wouter-Jan Schouten, Theme Director Sustainable Agriculture at Next Food Collective and architect of the ReGeNL program: “We are extremely happy with the financial support from the NGF and the confidence of the minister and all consortium partners. This gives us the opportunity to take real steps towards a regenerative and sustainable agricultural sector in the Netherlands. Together, we will ensure that sustainable agriculture with a positive impact on nature and climate becomes the new standard.”
Regenerative agriculture combines food production with ecosystem restoration, improvement of soil fertility, water management and biodiversity. In addition, regenerative agriculture can make a positive contribution to the social and economic position of farmers. In this way, it responds to the growing market demand for sustainable food production and contributes to solving the broad environmental problems of Dutch agriculture.
The ReGeNL program proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. It was developed by Next Food Collective, Wageningen University & Research, University of Groningen, and Utrecht University in collaboration with 54 partners from the entire food system.
Obtaining this investment from the NGF means that farmers, cooperatives and networks, chain parties, financial institutions, knowledge & technology suppliers, and educational & research institutions can jointly start implementation at the beginning of 2024. All partners are extremely motivated to support farmers in the transition and thereby secure the future for the sector and the food supply, within the ecological and social boundaries of our country.
Mireille Einwachter, Chief Sustainability Officer and member of the Executive Board of FrieslandCampina: “Making use of the expertise of farmers is fundamental to the sustainable development of agriculture. The great diversity of farm types ensures that there are countless measures and possibilities to shape future-proof agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is one of the routes that is gaining enormous momentum in the market. As one of the partners, we are very happy with the investment from the NGF in this program. This will help gaining knowledge and experience about different agricultural practices, monitoring impact and the associated new revenue models to start the flywheel in the transition to future-proof agriculture. We look forward to working with the other partners and the farmers.”
Maarten van Dam, Regenerative farm Schevichoven and Agricultural Projects Agency ‘Schevichoven-Groeit!’: “We are proud of our regenerative permaculture at Schevichoven, and see potential for this form of regenerative agriculture on a large part of the Dutch agricultural area. But substantial scale-up cannot be achieved without this investment from the Growth Fund. We believe that ReGeNL will remove obstacles and greatly accelerate the transition: Simultaneously addressing all bottlenecks such as sales, knowledge sharing and financing is the only way to cope with the urgency and make regenerative agriculture the new standard!”