Better and sustainable food: The theme in Noord Brabant in 2018


The provincial government of Brabant and AgriFood Capital have decided to make better food in Brabant the theme for 2018. The programme on which this is based is to be devised by entrepreneurs. The ambition is to make Brabant the first province with a food agenda. A publicity campaign based on the 'food experience' is intended to attract visitors to the province. This is what VisitBrabant is going to be working on in the weeks and months ahead.

This was the message today during the kick-off of the ‘WeAreFood 2018’ theme year. Anne-Marie Spierings, who is a Member of the Provincial Executive and holds the Agricultural Development portfolio, and chairman of the AgriFood Capital foundation, Ton Rombouts, made a passionate plea for cooperation throughout the entire chain during an event at the provincial government building attended by 300 or so entrepreneurs and representatives from the Brabant-wide food sector.

Better food

We Are Food is a theme year that offers numerous opportunities. Brabant not only wants to be the most productive region in the field of agrifood, but also the most sustainable and innovative. Anne-Marie Spierings told those present, “Although Brabant already has a reputation for being a region where the emphasis is on enjoying life, we need to do more. We want to speed up the transformation in our food chain, so that mass production can be replaced by a sustainable approach based on a balance between people, animals and the environment. The time is ripe to put this into practice and reap the benefits”. Ton Rombouts added, “We understand food like no other and there is now an opportunity for us to become the best in the world. I believe this is something we can achieve together”.

 

Kitchens

The event in the provincial government building was attended by around 300 representatives from farms, tourist information offices, educational institutions, event organisations and supermarkets, as well as local authority administrators. They were told that they can register for a total of twelve so-called 'Brabant Kitchens'. This is where new initiatives or plans are going to be developed. Registration is possible until October 2017. The Kitchens are going to be supervised by the best experts in the country. Each Kitchen will be given € 10,000 start-up money which is intended to be used to carry out research, for example, or to cover printing costs.

Detailed information on the Kitchens is going to be made available during the Dutch Agrifood Week. “The idea is that each month in 2018 will be dedicated to a certain theme, for example, the Eating Together month, or the Month of the Insect,” explained project leader Robert Jan Marringa from AgriFood Capital.

Ideas can be tested during three regional events (27 to 29 March in Helmond, Waalwijk and Roosendaal). Participants can register for a Kitchen from 1 April onwards.

Lian Duif, who was responsible for the Jeroen Bosch year and who is now programme manager for the We Are Food theme year, told those attending, “A publicity campaign will focus on all the magnificent food initiatives taking place in Brabant. The food experience plays an important role during a visit to a town, city or province. Visit Brabant is going to help us with this”.

Bob Hutten, who is the person behind the Wastage Factory [Verspillingsfabriek], was also at the event. “We waste an unbelievable amount of food. It is a problem we really need to tackle and one we can help each other with. I for one am keen to help out”, was his message to everyone present.

Many of the entrepreneurs present were full of praise for the initiative to make ‘Better Food’ the theme of 2018. Koen Sanders (Efteling) commented, “Food is an important factor in our business as well. Although a lot of visitors to the Efteling theme park like to eat chips, there is also a demand for a healthier option”. Cheese producer Jasper Spierings added, “What I really want to do is shorten the chain. Consumers want to be told the real story!”.

European Region of Gastronomy 2018

 

Brabant is going to be the European Region of Gastronomy in 2018. The provincial government of North Brabant and AgriFood Capital are members of the network of European regions and want to place the theme of gastronomy and sustainable and healthy food on the international agenda.

The Regions of Gastronomy Platform and the European Region of Gastronomy Award aim to contribute to better quality of life in European and world regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability, and stimulating culinary innovation.

IGCAT - International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts, and Tourism - organises the award with the support of European institutions. IGCAT is an international interdisciplinary network of experts aiming to empower and facilitate local communities to realise the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts, sustainable tourism, and other local resources.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Wassim Hallal

    Aarhus/Central Denmark Region 2017 will celebrate our widespread and innovative use of local ingredients.

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    Robert Palmer

    European Region of Gastronomy is a pioneering project of cultural and economic significance to all regions who participate.

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    Montserrat Garrido Romera

    Sant Pol de Mar is proud to share knowledge in raising the quality of culture and gastronomy offers.

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    Carme Ruscalleda

    Catalonia is committed to raising the quality of local cuisine and food products.

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    Francisco de Calheiros

    Minho IN aims to create synergies with other areas that share the same views on competitiveness and economic development.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Maurizio Zanella

    East Lombardy promotes food and wine tourism, with a particular attention to local cuisine and sustainable food production.

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    Dzintars Kristovskis

    Technology and cooking is so advanced that I feel the urge to go back to the roots. Riga-Gauja 2017 European Region of Gastronomy is going to be about that.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Joan Roca

    I congratulate this initiative that highlights the richness and diversity of European gastronomy, at the same time as valuing chefs for their role in ecology and sustainability.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Anton Rombouts

    North Brabant 2018 will highlight how agrifood industries are protecting food and culture diversity.

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