A circular vision for Northeast Brabant’s food system

Transition towards a circular food system in 2030

Dutch province Northeast Brabant is one of the most advanced food producing areas in the world. As it seeks to transition towards a circular state, the province took a deeper look at the dynamics within regional agriculture activities and explored the interventions that should take the most priority.

  • Client: Agrifood Capital
  • Date: April 2017


The challenge

North Brabant has the ambition to transform into the ‘smartest and most sustainable’ agrifood region in the Netherlands by 2030. Helping to lead this transition is AgriFood Capital, an alliance of entrepreneurs, government, and academic institutions in the region. It wants North Brabant to be known for innovation and a thriving labor market, as well as a good living and working environment. AgriFood Capital asked Metabolic to develop a framework to help realise this vision by focusing specifically on the North East of the province.

The challenge
Our approach

This project built on Metabolic’s extensive work on sustainable and circular agrifood chains, including a major analysis of the global food system for WWF (see below). Drawing from this global understanding and recognizing that more specific principles were needed at regional level to facilitate systemic change, Metabolic created an indicator framework and conducted a metabolism analysis. We evaluated the possible interventions to achieve a sustainable state, and assessed them on feasibility and impact. Finally, we developed a practical roadmap for achieving key interventions.

Our approach
The outcome

The report provided a model for circular agriculture in the region, with the intention of ensuring that activities are kept within the planetary boundaries and accounting for local and regional industry and consumer need. Indicators were created to assess activities against the planetary boundaries and circular economy principles, and have been developed to provide a model for how other regions around the world can apply this approach.

The outcome
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