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Peter van Wingerden is CEO and founder of Floating Farm on stage at GoTech World 2022

10 Noi 2022

Peter van Wingerden is CEO and founder of Floating Farm, a disruptive way of agriculture on the water, food production close to consumers in a totally new approach (climate adaptive). Floating Farm designs and develop sustainable farms on rivers, ports, lakes, water reservoirs and sea. 

On the occasion of GoTech World 2022Peter van Wingerden took the time to answer us a few questions:

Are you excited about the upcoming event and visit to Romania?

We are very excited to visit Romania and Bucharest. Unfortunately there is to little time to discover the country and explore more about the foodsystem, the products etc.

What is the Floating Farm project and what are its benefits compared to the current system?

Our goals is to produce healthy food close to consumers. Transportation of food by trucks, plains and ships is polluting to the environment. Many food losses are created by transportation and the quality of food is getting worse by adding all kind of e-numbers to maintain a longer shelf life of the product. Besides that the awareness and understanding of food by many citizens is gone due to the far away distance of production.

And awareness is an important value. If there is no value in the produce we throw it away with the same ease as anything else.

So producing food close to consumers (in cities) is the essence. Finding space in the city to do so is the next step. You can look at rooftops, caves etc., but we looked into the water.

Water is a universal element in the world so if you can design and build a food production module on the water you can easily copy this anywhere in the world.And obviously we are facing a huge climate change in the upcoming fifty years with major impact on sea-level rise and rainfall. By building on the water we are climate adaptive as we call it. So it does not matter how high sea-level will rise, we can always produce healthy food.

How did this idea come about?

We were working in New York City on a floating project when Hurricane Sandy hit New York very bad. All streets were flooded and no truck could enter the city to supply the stores with food. So empty shelfs and no food available was the result within 2 days.

From that moment on we were thinking about a change of our floating program. Knowing that climate change will occur and have a deep impact on the current way of foodproduction, floodings and rainfall we decided to build floating farms in the city.

In the conditions of the global food crisis and the destabilization of the distribution system, can the Floating Farm system solve certain problems?

We can contribute immense to the change of the current system of food production and distribution. The geo-politics and interdependencies on other countries is a not desirable situation. Countries/cities needs to produce their own food as much local as possible. Reduce transportation and dependencies on other countries whether it is food, water or energy.

With our modular floating system we contribute to a local food security strategy. We know how to handle large animals in the city (cows and dairy), to produce vegetables and eggs. All floating.

How does Floating Farm solve the problem of soil and water pollution?

The current Floating dairy farm in Rotterdam port is part of a circular city. We do not need soil to feed our cows. We collaborate with the leading food university in the Netherlands (Wageningen) on the circular agriculture and feed the cows with high value (vitamins, fibres, fat, protein) residual streams from the city.

Our technology makes sure that we do not dispose any waste in the water. We turn the manure and the urine of the cow into organic fertilizer that goes back to the city.

Is raising animals in the Floating Farm system much more expensive than the traditional system?

It is not more expensive. The system is comparable to regular farming systems. We safe even transportation and pollution. The combination of production (milk) and processing (dairy) is financially very interesting.

Is this concept intended only for cities or can it be generalized for the province as well?

Any place on the water is suitable

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