There is huge gap between the lives of those who live in cities and farmers. People who live in the country see food production with their own eyes in their direct vicinity every day. This is where our food originates. However, most people live in urban areas. They know foodstuffs from the point of view of shops and not from the production practice. And food production is not usually something that’s on their minds. Products are in the shops. Fine. So be it. This separation of these two worlds has led to all kinds of ‘truths’ being thought up about life in the countryside or about producing food. Such as idyllic views of happy farming families and animals happily grazing the fields. But also stories about the causes of various veterinarian diseases, mega animal houses or crop farmers who infect the entire world with chemicals.
Agricultural entrepreneurs are aware of their economic and social responsibility to produce and provide the necessary food. Some entrepreneurs have attuned their business policies to small-scale production. They produce just enough for the population of the local area and sell their goods through local shops. There are also entrepreneurs who make foodstuffs for people who live much further away. Their products are sold through large distributors, such as retail chains. Sometimes on the other side of the world.
There is no such thing as the typical Dutchman, German, city dweller or farmer. People all over the world have their own specific wishes and requirements. They all want their own food, in their own way, and based on their individual budgets. Agricultural entrepreneurs face the enormous challenge of fulfilling all these different consumer wishes together and feeding the world. And they also have to consider the requirements of all the other links in production chains and – not entirely unimportant – their own earning model. Affordable foodstuffs, produced in a socially and businesswise responsible manner, combined with attractive images and sustainable nature. No easy job. Agricultural entrepreneurs – the farmers – are down to earth. They tend to see things the way they are, plain and simple. They don’t easily get upset by angry townspeople who complain about products, their working methods or the nearness or size of their farms. And that’s a good thing. The availability of food and nature is not as self-evident as it appears to be. It is a necessary challenge to tell people what this takes and what the dilemmas are. You do not get appreciation just like that. It asks for plain and simple communication. Down to earth and informed.