1. Introduction on the subsystem



1.1                      Literature study - 3

1.2                      Socio-technological analysis of the current system - 5

1.3                      Socio-technological System in future - 12

1.4                      The sustainability challenge of Texel - 14

1.5                      Bibliography - 15


1.1           Literature study

In today’s society, technology plays a very large role and they have become increasingly intertwined. This is not just a one-way structure in which this happens, where technology influences society, but this goes both ways. The way a technology is implemented and or perceived is of course very much dependent on society itself and all the players that are active in this field. This structure where technology is not an individually acting power, but embedded in society, is called a socio-technical system and innovation system. If one wants to change society with technology it is therefore crucial to understand how the governance of such a change is to take place. One should know what elements form these socio-technical systems, taking into account socio cultural and economic aspects. Only then a good transition into a society that has adopted the new technology can exist.

An example that shows that technology is not acting in isolation in society is that wind turbines are not yet so largely employed that it can compete with existing fossil fuel energy sources, because people do not want them in their backyards and they can interfere with migratory bird routes. Same holds for electric cars, the technology is there, the knowledge is widely spread that it would help reduce carbon emissions, why is it not widely used yet? Because it requires many adaptations to society, large investments and certain parties do not want this change to happen or to happen too quickly.

Socio-Technical & Innovation (ST&I) systems are very complex due to all the actors of different scales, individual ones and organisational ones (nonprofit and commercial). Also, the technology has to be produced, adopted, and become widely used. In order to make this possible, the infrastructure for all this should be present as well. Something that makes the problem complicated as well is the following. The way in which technology and innovation will advance is hard to predict. Combining this with an ever-changing preference and interpretation of society, makes existing technologies already unstable, but especially ones still under development.

The latter complicating factor becomes increasingly important when the technology is to change the daily life of people. All these people and all the different organisations will have different opinion about the technology due to for instance, difference previous experiences, expectations and just different preferences and needs. These needs will be different per individual and organisation depending on their respective benefits, costs which can lead to pushing in different directions and sometimes even in resistance. Two more personal factors that should not be underestimated are the cultural heritage of certain societies or groups, these can sometimes conflict very much with rational reasoning and the acceptance of change. Next to this it should also be taken into account that if the individuals or groups do not intrinsically believe in sustainability itself, so without an economic incentive, they will most likely not want to contribute to the transition.

As mentioned before, a good transition of the society is needed for a new technology to be well embedded, especially for a sustainable technology. A transition where there is “a coevolution of economic, cultural, technological, ecological, and institutional developments.”[2]

Something that could help the transition is starting in a niche, trying to get success here and then scaling it up. Starting small can for instance help by overcoming the early hurdles at a small size and using the successes to convince the broader public. In history, most of the changes have started in a niche before being accepted by society as a whole and therefore were crucial for the transition.

When looking at the larger picture of transition, so beyond the niche-part, a so-called S-curve can be described. This starts with the beginning of the niche-part where a start is being made with the development of the niche, so this doesn’t at all yet influence society. Then when the niche starts to be successful, it becomes more influential and starts to be noted by society. If this starts and the technology is shaped such it can be accepted by society it will accelerate and be implemented in society on a large-scale. Finally, when the technology is embedded in society it needs to stabilize and society will have found a new equilibrium.

The stages before the acceleration are crucial. If these are not structured and well-prepared, the acceleration process has a high chance of failure. Therefore the following have to be incorporated. Expectations and visions need to be described well, they provide guidance during development, but can definitely be subject to change during the process. They are also important to external actors to get an idea of your niche/technology. Secondly, social networks and the involvement of actors will help to create widespread support and acceptance. Thirdly, the more tangible preparations need to be defined such as: “technical design, market demand and user preferences, infrastructure requirements, organizational issues and business models, policy instruments and symbolic meanings.”[2]

Summarising, if a change is to be realised in a socio-technological system, not only the technology and the infrastructure for this need to be created, but also the ones that will be influenced and will or will not to be willing to adopt it have to be taken into account and need to be willing to change their behaviour (this is the case for individuals as well as organisations). Because of the uncertainty in the change, the ride will rarely be a smooth one and encounter many obstacles. In order to correctly reach everyone it is important to know all the instruments that are needed to establish the change. Starting in a niche can very much help with this, but then it is important to prepare very well for the moment that this niche will want to expand to the widespread society, is the technology to be embedded fully.

1.2           Socio-technological analysis of the current system

Looking at ‘Food’ in general or specifically at the sub-system ‘Feed Texel’ as a socio-technological system it might be safe to say that this is a system that influences all the residents and visitors of Texel. Everybody has to eat, everybody is part of this system. Especially if you’re focussing on creating a closed food cycle on a smaller area such as Texel, which could be seen as an isolated area. The sub-system ‘Feed Texel’ can be divided into two directions; the production of food and the consumption of food. In this sub-system, four different actors play the most prominent role:



  • The local Consumer
  • The local Producer
  • The municipality of Texel
  • The tourist industry



In the remainder of the report, the structure of these four actors will be seen frequently, together with their respective letter (A,B,C,D).


Besides the local producers themselves another example of involved people are those that process the products, for example bakers. Next to that are of course those working in the stores selling the local good, or restaurants using the local products. However, a large part of these will have the same interest as either the local producers or the tourist industry, therefore they are not handled individually, but put together with these two groups.


A) The local consumer

The consumptive aspect of the sub-system ‘Feed Texel’ is mostly dependent on the locals. The local people, the residents of the island of Texel, is an important group in this part. It are the main consumers, those that do so every day. But unlike the tourists, those that visit the island for it’s specialty cuisine, the local should now be considered as an ordinary Dutch inhabitant. One that likes and expects to have access to a varied diet; a diet that also includes the more exotic items.


As described above the biggest consuming part are the locals and usually they do their daily grocery-shopping on the island as well. This can be done at one of the eleven regular supermarkets. Such as the Spar, Jumbo, etc. just like on the mainland. Another option is to get one’s supplies at a more specialized shop or from the farmers themselves.


An example of such a specialty shop is the ‘Texels Kost’ [1], this organization works together with several farmers and sells their goods to the local people. Their goal is to make sure farmers are still able to farm, this does translate into the prices of the locally produced products. They’re often more expensive than the imported alternative. For an tourist this price difference might be acceptable, they come to the island to enjoy these products. But for the residents of the island the higher prices could be a problem, they’re most likely not willing to pay more and make the extra effort to travel a greater distance to get these products.


An important part of the economy on Texel is tourism. In order to accommodate these people there are lots of hotels and restaurants on the island. The latter category reaching over 50 and according to [2], most of these restaurants focus on using locally produced foods. For them, using local products, is part of their business strategy. Tourist and others that come to the island to have dinner, usually do so because they want to experience what the island has to offer. Not only the atmosphere, but also the food.


An example of such an restaurant is the with a Michelin star awarded restaurant Bij Jef, by Jef Schuur in Den Hoorn, which has lamb, cheese, sea- and shell animals from the island on the menu [3].





B) the local producer


To research the food production (agriculture) on Texel we have decided to divide this into three categories; arable farming, fisheries and cattle breeding (& slaughter). Each will be discussed individually for both the current situation as the future possibilities

1 Agriculture


Arable farming is a very important part of the culture and economics of Texel and therefore a lot of different people are affected by this. In fact one can say this sub-system affects everyone on the island. First and foremost the farmers themselves; 15% of the population (±2000 people) are currently working in the agricultural sector [3.]; it is however very hard to compete with the agriculture production on the mainland; which means most farmers have a second job to generate a higher income. An example is turning the land into a camping during the summer season.

This directly addresses one of the problems, the different demands for products on the island and how to supply this. During the summer the population of the island is nearly doubled, meaning a higher demand for products. Is it still possible to answer this demand with locally produced products? Does this mean that the export of locally produced products is reduced in the summer period to answer the local demand? Is the import of products increased in the period?


Agriculture is a big part of Texel’s day to day life. According to PR Landbouw  [3.]15% of the inhabitants of the island is currently working in this sector, annually generating 60 million euros. 15% might not sound as much, but in comparison to the mainland it is; where only 3% of the population works in this sector. In total 8700 hectare of the island is used for agriculture; which translates into 220 companies with the following division:



  • Arable farms: 38
  • Horticultural: 44
  • Grazing livestock: 95
  • Combinations: 43

The land used for agriculture can be found around the villages and in the polders; and can be divided into two sections; ‘Het Oude Land’ and the ‘Nieuwe Polders’. ‘Het Oude Land’ is the area around the village of Oosterend, the Hoge Berg and the inner edge of the island. In this area all types of agriculture can be found, whereas the arable farming is the overly represented type of agriculture in the ‘Nieuwe Polders’.

How much every company produces is difficult to find out. There is an overview of which kinds of food is produced in the agriculture sector on Texel. This table can be found in appendix A.


Arable Farming: The ‘Landbouw Folder’  [3.] states that nearly half (3938 hectare) of the land used for agriculture is destined for arable farming. Most of this ground can be found in and around the polders of Eijerland, the North and Prince Hendrik [4.]. Regarding the techniques used for arable farming, in general the techniques used on Texel are the same  as on the mainland. There is however one big difference with arable farming on the island; irrigation is prohibited [4.].  Even in dry summers no water can be added to the land. Another noteworthy element about arable farming on Texel is the ‘vollegrond-groenteteelt’, this means the land is used all year long, farmers plant different vegetables in different seasons. For example, endive in spring and Brussels sprouts in the winter.


In the following part the production of some types of food will be highlighted [7.].

  • Potato Production

The highest potato production on the isle of Texel are ‘seed potatoes’; this production is so high it’s exported to 86 countries worldwide. The conditions for potato production on Texel are beneficial; there are more sun hours on the isle than on the mainland and due to the always present wind it’s difficult for insects to transfer diseases amongst the plants. After harvesting (winter season), the potatoes are checked on quality, sorted, packaged and exported.  The production of ‘seed potatoes’ is one of the most capital and labour intensive crops on the island.

Besides ‘seed potatoes’, there’s also the production of ‘consumption potatoes’. A part of this is destined for direct consumption, the other part is used for the production of chips and fries.

  • Sugar Beets

Sugar Beets are mostly grown in the Northern polders, besides potatoes it’s one of the most important crops produced in the island. They are harvested in the late summer or fall and are then exported to the mainland to a sugar factory. 1 square meter of sugar beets equals 1 pack of sugar. This means sugar itself will have to be imported again.

  • Grains

One of the most important grains produced on the isle of Texel is summer barley. A significant part of this production stays on the islands and is used to make Texel’s beer. The remaining part is exported to the mainland for the production of either beer or animal food.

  • Other arable crops

Besides farming for food production a few farmers on the island focus on producing crops to generate energy. An example is oil from cole seeds which can be used as an alternative and environmentally friendly fuel for cars. Another example is wheat used to create bio-ethanol.

  • Borage

One farm on the island produces borage; which oil has beneficial health characteristic. It’s used in pharmaceutical companies and can be bought as dietary supplements. Beekeepers on Texel use the nectar from borage to produce honey.

Horticulture: A small area of the agricultural land on the island (694 hectares) is destined to horticultural production; vegetables and fruit. Winter cauliflower, carrots, onions and celeriac are examples of vegetables produced on the island. The fruit production can be subdivided in soft (plums, strawberries, grapes and berries) and hard fruits (apples and pears), these fruits are often used in local products. Texel also has its own vineyard. A part of the production is ecological or biodynamic.

Import and export:

As described before certain foods are produced on the island, but this of course does not come close to the amount and different types of food available in any regular grocery store on the mainland. Assuming most of the agriculturally products produced on Texel are for local consumption, quite a big part is or can be covered. Luxury products are not included in this, the more processed foods such as coffee, chocolates and even though sugar beets are grown on Texel, sugar itself is produced on the mainland.


2.       Fishery

On Texel, fishing has been going on for years, as to provide the inhabitants of Texel with food and to be a source of income after selling the fish on the mainland. In order to see what the status is of this food source, this section looks at the following. The fishing grounds, the sorts of fish that are being caught and types of fishing. Also it will look into all the parties that have something to say about the fishing and what the infrastructure is that is needed to fish. Also the consumption side will be highlighted and some elements that still play a role from history are discussed.


Fishermen from Texel catch their fish in the North Sea and the Wadden Sea. In both seas different fish are caught as can be seen in Table 1, but the main types of fish are European plaice (schol), common sole (tong) and herring. Next to fish they also catch shrimp and mussels. It should be noted that these mussels are first to be send to the province of Sealand to mature and only then they are sold for consumption. Good to note is that the amount of plaice are at very good levels, whereas those of sole are at safe but not abundant levels yet, after lots of overfishing in the 60’s and 70’s. [12] Different techniques exist for catching fish, with the most widely used and oldest one being bottom trawling. This technique requires a lot of fuel and affects the seabed badly, so fisherman are transitioning to other techniques, of which the following are used most often. Electric pulse fishing, Sumwing fishing and Jackwing fishing. These all decrease the drag on the seabed and thus reducing fuel consumption and affecting it less. [12]


In appendix B you can see an overview the different fish caught in the by Texel fishermen.


All this fish is going to three distinguishable customers. The first one being the people of Texel, the second one being the rest of the Netherlands and the last one is the rest of the world (mostly south-European countries).

Infrastructure to make it possible

In order to make the whole fishing industry possible, the following infrastructural elements are being used. Firstly of course, there are two harbours that are mainly used: Oudeschild (Texel) and Den Helder (mainland). Where Oudeschild is the distribution centre for the rest of Texel via local restaurants and fish-shops and Den Helder is for elsewhere. [14] Then, about 19 large fishing ships, 22 smaller ones, and 4 shellfishing ships are in operation which can get repairs on a dock in Texel and Texel also has its own shop for fishing-gear for these ships.

Actors & Ones involved, their influences

From the above, the following parties can be distinguished that are all influencing the fishing industry of Texel. Firstly, the harbour of Oudeschild and Den Helder, they would like to keep this business going via them Together with them are standing the fishermen themselves, whose job it is to catch the fish and make a living out of it. The dock on Texel which would want the fishing industry to continue, although this could also be in a different form as it is now, as long as they can provide maintenance. Same holds for the fish-gear store.


The ones that are involved in the fishing industry as well, but only from the usage side are the consumers and tourists. Consumers can be: restaurants, fish-shops, private consumers and distributors. All these four commercial customers will be important for our cause, but in what manner, what group needs to be approached it something that will need more discussion. Lastly, the tourists are a consumer group in the sense that they can also pay for fishing trips during the high-season. As has been stated before, new ways of cheaper and safer ways of fishing are available, but strangely enough European rules can sometimes make it hard to change towards these new techniques. The fuel savings that can be made with these techniques are significant and can therefore be very attractive for the fishermen.[12]  The European commission also rules that on some grounds fishing is prohibited, making it less easy for the fishermen to go to their fishing grounds. An interesting change of the last few years is that at this moment, fishermen actually join members of the European Union on research trips when they set the quota. Lastly, it should also be said, that the main fishing season is in the summer, when the need is also the highest. In the rest of the year, less fish will have their fishing season.


Historical influences

In history, the fishing industry was much larger for Texel, however due to the government reorganisation pressure, many boats have left the field (for small sums of money). Also, due to the construction of the Afsluitdijk, the oyster-industry has disappeared because of the changing marine environment.

3.       Cattle breeding


If you type in ‘cattle breeding Texel’ on google images, your computer scheme will be filled with images of the Texel’s sheep. About 26 thousand sheep’s call Texel their home, which covers 72 percent of the total cattle stock [1] The cattle breeding of sheep’s gives Texel the typical landscape of vast green fields, which flow into the sea. This image is very important to attract tourists to the area, but might soon drastically change.

figuur 1 Veestapel 2010, Source: CBS [11].

The cattle breeding of sheep’s

The Texel Sheep is brood in the 19th century. First for the wool, later in the 20th century it became a meat breed. There is great demand for Texel sheep from around the world. This is largely due to their excellent meat production characteristics and very good health status of the sheep farms. Due to the large numbers of Texel Sheeps, which are exported, the qualities of these sheep’s are known in many countries. [10]

Texel sheep’s are found every were on the island. You can find them on poor soils, where few edible grows, as in the dunes, dikes and pastures. But you van also encounter the Texel sheep on rich soil where plants grow richly. This makes the sheep an indispensable element in the landscape of Texel. [9]

Yet this presence of the sheep on the island is threatened. The meat of the Texel has lots of competition from cheaper lamb from New Zealand. Therefore the sheep tends to disappear from the island. The politics of Texel has set a limit. There must be at least 4,000 hectares of grassland on the island [9]. There is a special organization founded for the preservation of the breed on the island. It is both for the farmers and the people in the hospitality industry important that the image of greens fields with sheep keeps intact. Restaurants often have real Texel lamb on the menu.


The cattle breeding of cows

Not only sheep farmers are struggling. Also the dairy farms for cows are shrinking in numbers. In recent years, there have already stopped dozens of dairy farms for cows and some companies now have beef cows. The money that farmers receive for milk is not nearly enough to cover the production costs. That's because all sorts of amenities and transport on the island are more expensive than on the mainland. Therefore, there are quite a few sheep and dairy farms on the island switched to agriculture, outdoor vegetable cultivation or bulb cultivation.

It does not deliver enough income so farmers seek other ways to earn extra money. For example offering the possibility to camp on the farm for tourists.  Farmers also receive compensation for the management and maintenance of garden walls, drinking fountains (a kind of circular ponds) and sheep sheds. Still these extra’s of income are not enough to maintain the farms on the scale they are now present [9].


This table shows that Texel has a large share in the mineral secretion, which is harmful to the environment. It could be interesting for us to research why Texel has such a big share in this and what can be done to reduce this share. Known is that the waste products of the cattle breeding industry have a very large share in the environmental crisis. It is the question whether it would be better for Texel to important these products from the mainland or countries like New Seeland. These large travel distances are harming the environment even more.

figuur 2 oppervlakte cultuurgrond (in are) en mineralen uitscheiding (in kg per ha cultuurgrond)  2009, Source: CBS [11] .


Stakeholders involved

As explained in the previous part the reduction of cattle breeding has an impact on the whole economy of the island. Farmers are the first victims, the supply chain follows and finally the hospitality business could also suffer from the changing image of the Texel landscape.


C) The local government

When we describe in detail the current sub-system as a socio technological system we first of all have to explain the role of  the local government at Texel. At first it is important to realize that the local government is the lowest layer in the pyramid of Law. If the local government wants to make changes these changes must be allowed by EU law, national law and province law. If this is not the case it might take a lot of effort to make changes fast. As heard in the lecture ‘A sustainable Texel, a legal perspective’ of Nienke Saanen, the design has to fit into the legal framework, otherwise it will probably not be realized and our work will be useless. The local government has three legal ways to use its power in order to

generate change. They can legislative power, purchasing power or they can use the power to subsidize.

To summarize the lecture of Saanen, we can conclude that on the field of legislative power the government can only advise, but not oblige people to behave in a certain way. They cannot for example order everyone to eat locally produced sustainable food. The government will be in our case a partner in stimulating people to change their behaviour in a more sustainable way. On the field of purchasing power they could stimulate sustainable businesses by buying their products. The local Texel government could give the right example and buy only locally sustainably produced food to fill up their canteens. But unfortunately the government is not allowed to do this since has to design the tender procedure in a legally sound way, which means non-discriminatory and transparent. Therefore the government can never refer to the sustainable labels but has to use the conditions underlying the labels. [1] In this case this will also stimulate other business to keep up with this way of producing since it will give them also the opportunity to get the job. On the field of the power to subsidize the local government of Texel does not keep a very strong position since local governments are not allowed to grant state aid. Subsidies can only be granted after the European Commission has approved of the measure. This long way to get our plan for a subsidise approved might cause that it will probably impossible to enthuse the local government for our project. Although in the case of a sustainable intervention the EU might be interested.

Next to the fact it is important to explain the role of the local government at Texel it is also important to sketch a short overview of regulation that our sub-system has to deal with at this moment. Besides tourism, agriculture plays a big role in the economic situation of the island; but due to several regulations it’s difficult to compete with the main land. The most important one is the prohibition of irrigation systems, which in dry summers can cause for a harvest to go ruined, forming an economical risk. Besides that, the governance of the island wants at least 4000 hectares of the island to be untouched, preserved for nature [2.], which means upscaling of companies in order to secure the future of those is nearly impossible. The group [3.] focused on food in this course last year also wrote that on top of that the municipality wants to preserve the biodiversity in the borders of the acres. This is also one of the wishes of the farmers themselves, but sometimes they have contradicting needs; for example the need for lower groundwater levels while a higher level in the dunes nearby is wanted by the municipality.

These kind of governance regulations are important to implement in our research proposal in order to make sure the proposal is legally possible.


[1]. N.Saanen. (2015) Lecture on: ‘A sustainable Texel, a legal perspective’. Attended on 3 December 2015. TU Delft

[2]. Ecomare. Landbouw op Texel.   Retrieved 14-11, 2015, from

[3]. Iris van den Brink, B., Syed Aaquib Hazari. The current argicultural sector, the relevant trends and current initiatives.   Retrieved 13-11, 2015, from

D) The tourist industry


The tourists visiting Texel play a large and important role in this socio-technical system. A total of 850 000 tourists visit Texel each year, and during the summertime more tourists are present on Texel then there are residents. This is possible since only approximately 14 000 people inhabit Texel. The tourists spend as much as €256 million on the island and 70% of the island’s economy is dependent on the tourist sector. Since the interest of the tourist is also the interest of the tourist industry, often the tourist will be mentioned in this part. From this data it can be seen that it is important to keep Texel attractive for the tourist from a financial point of view. As such, keeping the interests of the tourist satisfied is a very important interest when designing for a successful transition. Otherwise the tourist industry might not cooperate and this could endanger the transition.

At this moment, the main reason for the tourists to visit the island is the tranquility of the nature present and the possibilities to enjoy it. Another, but yet smaller, reason for visiting is the food sector. The fresh fish, the high quality lamb meat, asparagus and strawberries are famous Texel products. However, they are not yet the main reason for visiting Texel. [1] Luckily however, as is stated in part A, many restaurants are already advertising their menus with locally produced food, so they do already cooperate. Next to this, it is important to note that the tourists behave very dynamically over the course of a year, with low numbers during the winter season and high numbers during the summer. This means that the economy as well as the occupation situation changes. In order to cope with this dynamic behaviour at the moment, food is still imported during summertime, because the tourist’s demand is high and especially the supermarkets import much of their food.


[1] Municipality of Texel, ‘‘Wist je dat van Texel’, retrieved on 04-01-2016 from;1659,

1.3 Socio-technological system in future

In what way can the socio-technological system change to answer the societal need for a 100% self sufficient Texel?


A) The local consumer

In order to engage the local consumer in the changes needed for a 100% - self sufficient texel, it’s important that locally produced goods become available to the residents. In a better way than they currently are, this might mean that products should become available in local supermarkets; instead of only at a stall on the farms itself. Or a new large scale specialty store should be developed. Another important aspect that needs to change to make sure the residents will participate in this change is, as mentioned in the previous section, the prices of the products. The current prices of locally produced foods are high and they might be too expensive for people to afford a complete daily diet based on these products.


The restaurants on the island will most likely continue with the trend that’s currently established, the use and promotion of local foods. This is what currently draws the tourist towards the island and we expect that this will still be the case. But in order to change to a 100% self sufficient Texel, the remaining restaurants should start to follow the same trend  (which might mean certain specialty or more exotic themed restaurants need to change).


We also believe that in order to promote this change, the trend of consuming locally produced foods, there should be a better overall system. Not only the restaurants and shops should offer these goods, a possible change is the start of an platform. One that combines initiatives, redirects information and can plan certain events based on the sub-system ‘Feed Texel’ that interact with the consumer. To raise awareness, to let them interact, to improve their personal engagement in this system.


B) the local producer

1. Agriculture

Texel is highly dependent on tourism causing a peak demand for products. Answering this demand, besides the overall local need is challenging; especially in the case of wanting to turn this sub-system into a self -sufficient one. A logical solution would be increasing the scale of the current companies, this however isn’t that easy due to the wishes of the municipality to keep 4000 hectares free for nature. Even is up scaling were possible, the disadvantages of no irrigation and high transportation costs, still make it difficult to compete with the agricultural sector of the mainland.

An opportunity however is Texel’s culinary; specific types of food and flavours for which the island is famous; the type of products tourists visit the island for. Focussing on these specialty products could be a solution; this does however mean (in the case of a self-sufficient island) that the diet of the locals will be drastically changed; eliminating certain products. By focussing on local production and consumption a closed circle should be easier to create.

In light of preserving the nature of the island and still trying to close the food circle, solutions for food productions should be sought in a new or different direction that currently applied on the island. An possible solution could be found in using the square meters that have already been taken from the nature; the roofs and facades of the buildings in the villages. Green roofs and facades could be implemented and turned into small scale food productions; either the production of foods for the persons in the respective building. But it could also be turned into a bigger system. A system in which the village is divided into several sections and people work together to produce missing products, eliminating the need to import products. This could be translated in implementing green houses on top of public buildings, to turn the production into a community event. Creating awareness and jobs at the same time.

2. Fishery

On the fields of fishery the following chances lie ahead:

-          A stable consumer market at Texel for the fishermen

-          Development of a healthy marine-based diet

-          Gaining more experience on certain ways of eco-friendly fishing, serving as an example for other countries, this could be subsidised by the government

This will require the following changes of their respective actors.

-          The inhabitants will need to change to a more marine-based diet. What do they prefer? They should be helped in the kitchen as well.

-          It should be made easier to change the fishing-technique, this should not be haltered by the European Union legislation

-          On Texel itself it should be made easier to get your fresh fish from the fishermen.

-          Investigation on how to get the oyster back.

-          Investigation on how to get more involved in seaweed farming, this could be used a form of marine vegetable.

-          Be able to handle the large increase of consumers during summer when many tourists come to the island and need food as well. Impact here is reduced though, because in summer more fishing is done than during winter, so the supply follows the demand in a certain way.

3. Cattle breeding

Texel could look for ways to continue cattle breeding on the island itself, in a way that there is no need to import cheap meat from countries far away like New Zealand. Texel could promote their sheep meat as a high-quality product, a product that is produced in a sustainable way that could attack tourists to the island, like wine attacks tourists to the Bordeaux region in France. On the other hand, eating meat is an inefficient hobby. If Texel want to feed itself, the focus should be more on vegetarian food and less dairy products.

C) The local government

The local government could use their legal tools as described before in order to generate a positive sustainable change. In our project the government could play a partnering role and work as a binding force to let the local consumer, local producer and tourist industry communicate. They could for example start think tanks in which the three actors and student work together on a certain case or advise the people of Texel to life sustainable. They can not directly stimulate people to buy a certain sustainable brand since they are not allowed to discriminate.


D) The tourist industry

The societal need for self-sufficiency is one that can only be met if not only the residents will be a market for locally produced food, because they themselves are a too small of a group. The tourist industry would also need to be a market. Therefore, in the future, the ideal situation would be that one of the main reasons for tourists to visit Texel is the locally produced and grown food. If locally grown food is now such a trademark of Texel, the tourist industry will itself push towards and ask for more locally produced food which will only increase the demand. This way the producers have a large enough market to sell their goods to during summer and the excess could be shipped and sold elsewhere, where the quality of products from Texel is known. This would again be marketing for people to visit Texel itself stimulating the economy.


1.4           The sustainability challenge of Texel

Problem statement for sustainability transition


To achieve a situation in 2065 where the people of Texel are 100% self sufficient there is a lot of work to be done. In our subsystem, Feed Texel, we can make big improvements if all actors in the field work together. Our main goal will be to close the loop in the food industry. In the most ideal situation there exists no waste in a circular economy and every little bit of energy is used to produce food. At this moment the producers are exporting to 87 countries around the globe and almost all products eaten on the island are important from the mainland. To become more efficient, new technologies and production methods are needed. For example the farmer could cultivate food for his own animals and could focus on cultivating several species of crops to achieve a more varied diet for the local citizens and tourists of Texel.

The current food system of Texel exists mainly out of agricultural industries. Products such as seed-potatoes, lamb meat and fish are from a special quality and known in the world as quality products. As stated before these products are exported all around the globe. Luxury products are mainly not produced on the island and are important from the mainland of the Netherlands. Processing of products takes place at the mainland. This means that fish catched with a ship from Texel will be transported to the mainland and when processed, transported back to Texel. We are aware of this extra unneeded transport but this is not the main problem we would like to focus on.

For us it is interesting to focus on food and its binding force between the farmer, the local and tourist. We see the fact that the farmers on Texel produce locally, luxury crafted products as an opportunity to put Texel on the map as an island with a sustainable food production industry. In future a closed loop food industry could attract extra ‘green’ tourists who will eat in ‘Real Texel’ product restaurants and who will book local food tours. We believe that it is likely that  in 2065 the ‘Randstad’ will be a very dense area and will grow significantly. There is a great possibility that Texel and ‘het Groene hart’, both green nature areas close to the Randstad will be seen in 2065 as scared green utopias that will be treasured as so. The main function of these area’s will in that case be recreation. Food productions might take place in highstock towers close to the city, as the urban greening trend describes. Following this scenario a strong marketing plan should be developed in order to bind the local, the tourist, the farmer and the local government. Together they should work on the plan to develop a closed food system and use this sustainable quality as a tool to attract tourists. Nature park texel, the rare piece of green in the Netherlands!


Research question & design challenge

Research Question

How to make the current food system a closed loop one, which focusses on local production and consumption, but can still answer the peak demands caused by tourists?

Design Challenge

  • Implementing new techniques in order to cope with the demand of a diverse diet
  • To make the consumers and producers enthusiastic for customizing their diet and their production businesses.
  • Texel should definitely not be made less attractive for the tourist, and preferably stimulate the tourist to come. The tourist industry will need to adopt the locally produced food and push the served diet towards 100% locally grown and produced food.


1.5           Bibliography


[1] Borrás, S., & Edler, J. (2014). Introduction: on governance, systems and change. In S. Borras & J. Edler (Eds.), The governance of socio-technical systems (pp. 1-2; 11-16; 23-xx). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

[2]Pesch, U. (2015). Tracing discursive space: Agency and change in sustainability transitions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90:379-388

[3]Beek, W. v. (s.d.). PR Landbouw.   Retrieved 14-11, 2015, from

[4]Ecomare. Akkerbouw.   Retrieved 14-11, 2015, from

[5]Ecomare. Landbouw op Texel.   Retrieved 14-11, 2015, from

[6]Iris van den Brink, B., Syed Aaquib Hazari. The current argicultural sector, the relevant trends and current initiatives.   Retrieved 13-11, 2015, from

[7]PR Landbouw. Landbouw Folder.

[8]PR Landbouw. Teelt op Texel.   Retrieved 14-11, 2015, from

[9]Ecomare. Veehouderij op Texel. Retrieved 15-11, 2015,  from






[15] Municipality of Texel, ‘‘Wist je dat van Texel’, retrieved on 04-01-2016 from;1659,

1.6 Appendix A


Arable Farming

Coarse Horticulture


Flower Bulb Production




blue grapes


chicory roots
























sugar beets


fodder beets


seed potatoes


consumption potatoes

plant potatoes

grass seed

spinach seed

mustard seed

green manure

poppy seed

Cole  seed


Brussels Sprouts

Appendix B


Wadden Sea

North Sea




European Flounder


European Flounder








Tub Gurnard

(Rode Poon)

Tub Gurnard

(Rode Poon)





Rock Gunnel


Common Dab


Common Dab
















European Plaice


European Plaice


Red Snapper

(Rode Snapper)

European Sprat


Spiny Dogfish








Nile Perch


European Eel


Atlantic Halibut




Atlantic Cod


Atlantic Mackerel


Striped Red Mullet


Rose Fish (Roodbaars)

European Anchovy


Haddock (Schelvis)

Snoekbaars (Zander)

Turbot (Tarbot)

Sole (Tong)

Whiting (Wijting)

European Seabass


Monkfish (Zeeduivel)

Wolffish (Zeewolf)

Garfish (Geep)

Table 1. Different fish, caught or imported by Texel fishermen [12] [14]