Dutch Government Supports Greater Farm Sustainability

THE NETHERLANDS - The Dutch government has announced financial support for 13 projects aimed at improving agricultural sustainability, including for better grassland management, local feed production and an expansion of the 'Beter Leven' welfare mark for pigs and poultry.
calendar icon 30 December 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

The government is to support the country's livestock farming sector to make it more sustainable and animal-friendly.

As part of the 'Implementation Agenda for Sustainable Livestock' State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Sharon Dijksma has announced a total of €800,000 to 13 projects that contribute to more sustainable farming.

Secretary Dijksma said: "The Netherlands is already a leader if you look at animal welfare and sustainability in livestock farming but we must continue to make progress so it's good that companies and civil society organisations work together on these projects for more sustainable farming."

The 13 approved projects include a wide range of improvement towards more sustainable farming.

One aims to eliminate the use of artificial fertilisers and concentrates in the entire business. The idea is that the animals are kept mainly outside feeding largely on grass produced on healthy soil. For this experiment, the focus is on new methods to increase grass production through natural processes.

In association with Friends of the Earth, there is a project to explore the use of locally produced feed for egg and cheese production, aimed at reducing the environmental footprint.

Other entrepreneurs will be looking at sustainability-orientated innovations together with civil society organisations.

There is also a collaboration between farmers, processors, supermarkets and the 'Natuur en Milieu' (Nature and Environment) foundation to expand the 'Beter Leven' (Better Life) hallmark for pig and chicken with environmental criteria in addition to the current animal welfare criteria.

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