Organisation - February 27, 2014

Two worlds

13 February. Farewell do for Aalt Dijkhuizen.
21 and 22 February. Food Otherwise conference.
Enthusiastic speakers at both meet­ings, the occasional emotion, happy faces — but the content and atmosphere were worlds apart. I was at both events and I would like to put a question to you after some representative quotes.

Farewell do for Aalt Dijkhuizen: ....the cooperation in the Agrofood top sector, the Golden Triangle is Wageningen’s strength (Clemens Cornielje)....The Netherlands is the second biggest exporter of agricultural products in the world after the US, thanks to the Golden Triangle (Minister Henk Kamp)....the Golden Triangle is the best way to achieve a transition to sustainable agriculture (Minister Henk Kamp)....and with proper coordination, this will let us feed nine billion people (Cees ‘t Hart).....use genomics to breed more sociable animals (Martin Kropff)....give the best entrepreneurs room because they know what the world wants (Aalt Dijkhuizen)....keep emotions out of the discussion, what matters are the facts (Aalt Dijkhuizen).

Food Otherwise conference: ....more diversity means higher productivity and efficiency (Pablo Tittonell).... due to chemical agriculture, 75% of the agrobiodiversity has been destroyed (Vandana Shiva)....food should be produced and used in a decentralized system (Vandana Shiva)....we should stop ignoring nature’s gift of biodiversity (Vandana Shiva)....the agro-ecological movement grows without lobbyists (Vandana Shiva)....when you focus on the profit for today you exploit the earth, when you focus on the future you work sustainably (Vandana Shiva)....70% of world food production is on family farms, 30% on industrial farms: that was the reason for the UN to make 2014 the Year of Family Farming (Olivier de Schutter)....where is the Food Democracy? (Sieta van Keimpema)....chickens don’t take themselves to the butcher (Gert Engelen)....from consumer to co-producer (Leen Laenens).

A question for all the WUR researchers, lecturers and students: in which world would you like to work, as a ‘professional inquiring mind’? Let me know!