Geert van der Veer is the co-founder of Herenboeren who bought a farm with 150 families (now growing to 200 families) and hired a farmer to farm the land in the most productive and regenerative way possible. Producing about 60% of the daily food for the families at prices lower than a supermarket. Now Geert is working to help other local communities to do the same, and in doing so helping start 1000 locally owned regenerative farms all over Europe.
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They always start with local energy, if you want a local Herenboeren farm near you, you need to put in part of the work to gather the local community. Herenboeren will help you with the set up, finding/buying the land, finding the farmer and help run it. But they can’t bring the local energy together to form the strong local community needed to support a thriving Herenboeren farm.
It proofs really difficult to find farmers who can farm regeneratively at scale:
“We have one challenge here our farmers are always specialised in producing one product, and on our farm they have to do about everything that exists in that way”
We also talked about the role of impact investors in this local revolution. Geert sees two options:
- helping local communities acquire land for a Herenboeren farm
- helping Herenboeren (a service organisation which services the Herenboeren in their day to day operation) scale up
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