Regenerative farming business models

Many of the current farming methods in the Netherlands lead to a loss of environmental quality. Soil and water quality and biodiversity are decreasing in many agricultural areas, as long-term methods are not sustainable. The challenge is to devise agricultural concepts that restore environmental quality without compromising productivity and profitability. In addition, the production system must be circular with regard to nutrients and carbon. Greenhouse gas emissions should fall within the scenario of the 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius limit. At the same time, the concept must lead to flourishing companies and communities, and provide added value throughout the production chain. The development of a regenerative farming business model in the Netherlands would generate international opportunities for Dutch businesses.

Research scope

For – parts of – the Dutch agricultural landscape: develop proofs of concepts for how regenerative production can be achieved within one generation

  • Bio-physical flows:
    • what mix of land-based and land-less (stables, greenhouse) production systems fits best within planetary boundaries?
    • what type of production can best be done at what location?
    • how much output can thus be achieved in a net positive system?
  • Economic transformation model:
    • farming business models include differentiation, revenues for ecosystem services and minimised inputs
    • implications for agri-food value-chain players (for example: local processing)
    • implications for taxes, subsidies, regulation
  • Social innovation model:
    • how to enable transition of a majority of farmers towards net positive production?
  • Consumer engagement with Dutch agricultural landscape:
    • how to engage with consumers to promote choices that drive net positive production and restoration of Dutch agriculture landscape?


Current project:

Completed project:

More info

Wouter-Jan Schouten
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+31 6 22 41 07 61