The forthcoming cabinet will appoint a Minister of Food. Weekly magazine Boerderij states this based on ‘sources inside the forming parties (VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie)’.
Boerderij tells of a ‘Minister of Agriculture’, but other source in The Hague speak of a Minister of Food and Agriculture. The four parties in the coalition agree on the need for a separate minister, report both Boerderij and our sources in The Hague. The question remains who would become the new Minister of Food, or even what party this minister would belong to.
Before the elections, three of the four forming parties – CDA, ChristenUnie and D66 – had expressed their support for a Minister of Food. The new minister should integrate issues from the areas of agriculture, nature and environment, health and animal welfare into a coherent Vision on Food. In the current state of affairs, agriculture is managed by a State Secretary within the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Many parties agree that this Ministry leaves agriculture to the market to a too high degree and that it does not sufficiently guide toward sustainable modernisation of the food production.
Our sources indicate that the new Minister of Food would not be given their own ministry, but instead would be responsible for the agricultural and environmental policies and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) from within the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Guidance of research into food-related matters would also be part of their portfolio.
The new coalition would also confirm the transition of green education, including Wageningen University, from the Ministry of Economic Affairs to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Dutch House of Representatives decided upon this transition in November 2015, and the parties of the coalition consider that a set decision.