Define initial point, 2015
The consumers buy most of their products at the supermarkets, sometimes more directly from the farmer themselves, but only if they know him/her well or live nearby. The farmers and fishermen sell their products at big markets and distribution centres. These are then transported to factories or distribution centres of retailers/supermarkets. On the island, to much meat and dairy products are consumed which takes too much costly area and energy. Food for animals on farms is imported; to less is grown on the farms itself.
After ten years the platform to promote Texels products has been set up and is running properly. It’s also the year for the first jubilee event of the magazine, e.g. ‘Texel-hande’ that highlights the products with the ‘Echt Texels Produkt’ brand. Awareness is raised that the production of too much meat and dairy products is not sustainable. An extra portion of farms start to grow the food for the animals they keep.
In 2035 the residents have adapted to their new lifestyle, the new diet based on locally grown foods. The diet has slowly been adjusted and expanded with new products (as a result of the new production techniques that are up and running now). 50% of the inhabitants is vegetarian and meat-eating culture is changing; it is not normal to eat every day 100 grams of meat. Green fertilizers become more popular on farms which results in more biodiversity and farms act more responsible in subjects like soil compaction and closing cycles on the farm and island. This is a result of the consumers demandings.
The farmers on the island are now producing enough to supply the everyday demands of all residents on the island. The foods are easy accessible to all; distributed in local supermarkets and recognizable by the ‘Echt Texels Produkt’ brand.
Not only the demand of the residents can be supplied now, but also the peak demand in the summer season, when the tourists visit the island. 75% of the inhabitants and tourist are near to complete vegetarianism. Due to this change farmers keep less cattle and need less food for it. No food for cattles is imported; everything is produced on the island.
Define final point, 2065
The consumers buy their products either directly at the producer, or at the supermarket that gets its goods delivered directly from the producer. The diversity of goods that are being sold is all there is that can be eaten, but the consumers like this and know how to cook their meals with this. Because of the strong consumer-producer dependency and the producer’s dependency on the weather, the consumer diet will change partly with the season.
Important for a community to function well and to adopt any transition, presence is a very important parameter. Presence is well embedded in the community in the following way. Farmers and fishermen are very actively engaging in what they need to produce for the citizens of Texel. Since they dictate what the diet of the island is they know that their actions have direct results for the rest of the island. In the same way, the citizens/consumers will only be able to eat what the farmers and fishermen produce. In this way they have to be very aware of what they can eat and how they cook. This direct relationship also creates a good feeling of community, gives both parties concrete roles in the system and also helps everyone build on their reputation, since one's behaviour actually makes an impact. The fact that the farmer/fishermen and the consumer (and also the tourists) are so dependent on each other and, also makes it necessary for them to synchronize their performance. All this creates a good amount of trust within the system and gives it a good chance of success.
New technologies that might be needed for this futuristic view, are actually not that many. Seaweed farming might be needed, as well as saline farming in order to cope with all the demand. Fertilizers are better for life in the soil and mainly green fertilizers. If people want to grow their own herbs, it could be useful to use the ‘plantCubeTM’.
Another new thing would be the groups of representatives of the consumers and of the producers that both will need people from the island. When starting these groups, they should represent their groups well and have widespread support. Perhaps within the municipality, a group should be made to monitor how the production and the diet is changing on the island and if the subsidies are fair and Texel-products are still legal in their branding.
Texel is known as an almost vegan island, limiting strongly their consumption of meat and dairy products.
4.4 Define intermediate points, Milestones
- Get an overview of what variety of foods farmers/fishermen can produce, let them communicate with a consumer-committee and see what they favourite. Based on this, the farmers decide how they will divide the different food production responsibilities.
The parties involved in this are the farmers and the consumers, preferably a committee of representatives of the two groups, they can form a ‘Representative's’ organization. They will need a place to gather and to set up a plan to start with.
- Start an initiative for a magazine, e.g. ‘Texel-hande’, which talks about Texel-grown food, the farmers and shows recipes for cooking with the products from the island. Maybe incorporate Texel Culinair.
The Representatives need to look for people interested in starting a magazine/people that have experience with this. Texel Culinair is an already existing Texel-food-event, maybe they can help with ideas or columns during the whole year, not only during their event. Approach farmers, fishermen, Texelaars to write in the magazine with personal stories.
- Have the first issue spread in the supermarkets. Not at homes, people should decide for themselves if they want it or not.
The supermarkets have to agree on putting the magazine in their stores. Try to have the issue printed by a local print-shop
- See how the people adopt the new diet and cuisine and keep tuning what the farmers produce and what the consumers want.
After the first issue, the Representatives and the Texel-hande need to gather and see how the issue is received by the Texelaars. In order to monitor this, feedback should be gathered from the consumers and the producer in order to keep the system dynamic to what is offered and what is wanted.
- Make sure to produce enough for all of Texel.
The Representatives need to get an idea of how much of the Texel households use solely Texel products. This can be done via questionnaires. Estimates could be made by seeing how much was sold before and how much is now sold of the Texel products.
- Once the Texel community is well on its way with integrating the Texel-products into their diet, look for ways to upscale temporarily to provide for the Tourists as well
If the Representatives have established that most of the Texelaars have a Texel-based diet, it is time to speak to the local restaurants (if this has not already happened by itself) and establish how much more should be produced to also handle the peak of tourists in summer. Look for ways with the producers to use land in the winter in other ways perhaps.
Pathway 2- Municipality
To have a better chance of getting to the goal, an alternative strategy has to be made. This gives a more realistic view on how the future could be. The goal is the same as in strategy one of course. In this strategy the focus is on regulations or stimulation of the municipality. Again, this pathway has different steps to reach the goal.
This pathway has the same goal as the first, but now it is reasoned from the municipality:
1. Research on what is possible, social and technical.
The first step is to do research on the topic and also get real numbers. Research like this research we are doing is needed to know who the actors are, what the social situation is, etc. An additional research is needed to get exact numbers on the current situation. This will include calculations on how much area could be used for what food. Maybe Texel does not have enough area for farming in total or there is plenty of land. Those numbers are essential to reach to goal of total self-sufficiency in 2065. The municipality will make a tender for this research and will fund it. Maybe Texel municipality does not have enough money so they can make a proposal to the European Union to fund it.
2. Campaign local food with stickers: Texels product
This step can be initiated at the same step as step one. The market gets stimulated with a sticker campaign to promote local food; Texel’s product it will be, referring to the guaranteed Irish campaign. This will help inhabitants and tourists understand what local food is and what is not. The aim is to give more insight to the consumers and let them appreciate local food better. Engagement to a self-sufficient sub-system will grow.
3. Stimulation of market with subsidies
When the demand for local food has grown, producers will notice and try to adjust their production to keep more on the island. Financially this can be hard and have a big risk. To stimulate producers to make the transition to produce more for the local market, the municipality starts from now on with subsidies for producers who produce specially for the local market. Subsidies can also be used to make the cover the two year transition from a regular farm to an ecological one (see interview). Subsidies can also be used for the transition from a regular management to an ecological or biodynamic one (two years, see interview). Then they will focus more on closing cycles and sustainability.
4. The lokale schijf van Texel
Because of the research done, the municipality know which food need to be produced. To direct the variation of food, subsidies will be adapted to which food is useful for the community. At the same time the municipality has developed a new schijf van vijf which will function as a guideline for locals and tourists to eat healthy and local. Also, it will inform consumers of the importance to get self-sufficient as an island (engagement).
5. Making the municipality redundant
The last goal is to make the municipality redundant. Subsidies will be lowered slowly, taking into account the actions of actors. The market will stand on its own when all subsidies are gone and the island is self-sufficient.