Circular Agriculture presentation during conference in Poland
The Netherlands is the world leader in horticultural and agricultural production. The huge concentration of animal husbandry and crops on a very small area marked the natural environment of the country. The Dutch are aware that this is the price they pay for their high position on the world market, but they aim to limit the negative impact of agriculture on the environment. That is why they implement the concept of circular agriculture, which was discussed during the conference organized on October 10 at the Embassy of Poland.
You can read more about the Circular Agricultural Day in Poland through this link.
In the introductory speech on circular management, Roel Jongeneel from the University of Wageningen highlighted two basic elements of socially and environmentally oriented agriculture and economics, which are: taking care of the soil and reducing food waste.
A representative of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture emphasized that intensive agricultural production has its side effects, the most important of which is the unification of the landscape, very high consumption of fertilizers, pesticides and manure, high density of livestock and the loss of biodiversity. For these reasons, the Netherlands faces significant social and environmental challenges. However, actions were taken thanks to which the country has become the leader in implementing the circular economy. In this system, products are produced and then used in a sustainable manner and the residues are recycled and in such way recovered materials are reused for production.
The topic of preventing food waste in the Netherlands was presented by Sanne Stroosnijder from the University of Wageningen. The speaker informed participants that annually as much as 88 million tons of food is wasted in the EU, which is about 20% of total production. Food losses occur in 11% at the production stage, in 19% at the processing stage, 12% are caused by nutrition services (school, hospital canteens, catering, restaurants, etc.), 5% is wasted in trade, and households are responsible for as much as for 53 % of total food losses. In the Netherlands, the household food losses were reduced from about 41 kg in 2016 to 34 kg per person in 2019, which is a huge achievement.
After the plenary session of the conference, two workshop sessions took place. One of them concerned soil as a basis in circular agriculture, the other - reducing food waste.