Government promotes sustainable food production

Demand for food is increasing worldwide. The Dutch government encourages sustainable food production. It wants producers to take account of the impact of food production on the environment and climate change.

Government support for sustainable food production

Farmers use energy, water and other resources to produce food. Food production also generates waste. Sustainable food production aims to minimise its impact on the environment. It is up to companies to opt for sustainable production methods. The government can support their choice, for instance by funding research and by removing obstacles in legislation.

Partnerships that make food more sustainable

The establishment of the Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Food is a major step forward by the food industry. The Alliance is a collaboration of

  • Dutch Food Retail Association
  • the Dutch Food Industry Federation (FNLI) 
  • the Association of Dutch Catering Organisations (VENECA)
  • the Dutch Federation of Agricultural and Horticultural Organisations (LTO).

Sustainable livestock farming

The Dutch government wants to make livestock farming more sustainable. This is better for animal welfare and for the environment. The fourth report on the sustainable livestock farming implementing agenda lists possible measures for achieving this, such as a 40% cutback in the consumption of diesel, the main fuel used on dairy firms. 

Sustainable meat and dairy

The meat and dairy sectors have a large ecological footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions for producing, processing and shipping animal products are higher than for plant-based foods.

In addition, the production of animal feed like soybean meal endangers biodiversity in producing countries. That’s why the government is investing in the development of alternative protein sources.

Alternative protein sources

Alternative protein sources can be used both for human food and animal feed. More sustainable sources of protein include:

  • insects
  • micro-algae
  • seaweed
  • pulses
  • mushrooms
  • nuts.