Report Synopsis

How to reduce the gap between consumers and farmers, to keep the license to produce

Willem van der Schans

The initial research question was ‘how to link consumers and farmers through farmers’ products’. During my travels, I soon learned that the gap cannot (only) be bridged by the physical products farmers produce. The aim was therefore to look for solutions for Dutch agriculture in general, with a focus on the dairy sector.

Dutch research shows that there is a deeply rooted trust issue between farmers and consumers. On the one hand farmers are held responsible for food safety/food production, on the other hand they are not considered as very reliable and transparent. This negative image is fed by critical media publications and high Dutch production standards.

Abroad however, the Dutch agricultural sector is considered as a forerunner, due to our high productivity, efficiency, knowledge, technological advanced processes and high-quality infrastructure.

There is a discrepancy between these views. I therefore believe that the Dutch sector should take advantage of their advanced position.

The use of data driven technology and the data collected on the farm could play a larger role in this. In addition to the original purpose of making business decisions. The sector could use this data to make transparent; what we do, how we do it and why we do the things we do.

This will allow for more transparency and participation between consumers and farmers!

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