Since the 1990s healthy food has become more and more important. This has been accompanied by a growing awareness of the sustainability of our environment.
During the seventies several initiatives were developed to produce food in an environmental-friendly way. It started off with the basis of our food. A growing number of farmers were against the way in which grain, for example, was cultivated. At the time plant protection products were used extensively and nobody was sure exactly what the consequences of that could be on our health and the health of the soil. These farmers, pioneers, were in at the beginning of the development of two schools of thought namely ecological farming and bio-dynamic (organic) farming.
Ecological farming means that no chemical artificial plant protection products and no artificial fertiliser could be used in the cultivation of grain. By means of mechanical weed eradication and a good plan it is possible to farm without chemical substances. Bio-dynamic farming works in the same way, although a number of additional rules of thumb are applied, for example about the time for sowing and harvesting. In comparison to traditional agriculture the yields were much lower.
As more and more farmers switched to ecological cultivation, the processing of these grains also gradually started up. In Heeswijk-Dinther, Harrie van Grinsven set up a biological grain flattener and with that he laid the foundation of our company.
Other initiatives also started developing; from biological drinks to biological sandwich fillings and biological meat. And finally distribution centres were set up so that the by then large range of biological products became accessible to consumers. These products are currently available at the many health food shops in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Dutch consumers are changing. They are becoming much more aware of what they are buying. They take along their own carrier bags, buy cleaning agents without chlorine and do not want any products that have been genetically modified such as maize or soy. Thanks to these environmentally aware consumers the biological sector will play an increasingly significant role in the food sector in the years to come. Biological products are widely available to consumers. It is now up to you to ensure that biological becomes the norm.