Food forests in the Netherlands: A study on landscape policy and its effects on the food forest movement in the Netherlands

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Global food supplies are under increasing pressure as currently dominant food systems appear unsustainable. The Dutch food system is known as a very complex and efficient one. In the past decades, copious amounts of economical and environmental problems have occurred, leading to increasing resistance against modernised farming methods. Alternative ways of farming emerge, with the food forest movement being one of the most popular ones. These alternative farming methods are usually not yet represented in existing policy and subsidy regulations. The goal of this thesis is adding to the debate of the reform of the Dutch food system and examining the possible role of alternative farming methods in this process. For this, the following research question is formulated: How does Dutch landscape policy comply with enabling or restricting the development of food forests? From the research results, it appears that even though food forest keepers maintain good communication with governments, policies are still experienced as restrictive. On paper, governments recognise the potential of food forests to fulfil social, economic and environmental goals. In practice, policies and subsidy regulations are still aimed at conventional farming businesses. The research results can be explained by looking into the ideological background of both parties.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen