On November 8th, 2018 the Agro & Food Congress in Almo, Twente took place. Held at the Stadslab Indië, the Congress brought together various businesses and initiatives to stimulate cooperation in the region’s agricultural and food sector.

The Congress was opened by Mayor Arjen Gerritsen, from Almelo Municipality. The Mayor recognises the importance of local food production and in partnership with Green Knowledge Portal Twente and Green Metropolis Twente, commits to the goal of feeding 15% of the Twente’s inhabitants with locally produced food.

The Congress program included inspiring keynote presentations on the benefits of local consumption of goods, towards strengthening the connection between urban and rural areas, the environmental benefits from energy savings potential of local production, as well as enhancing regional health and local economic growth.

A presentation by the Green Knowledge Portal Twente addressed a new initiative called the Twentse Canteen. The initiative will actively contribute to the 15% local consumption goal of region Twente, through stimulating cooperation between governmental organisations and local food producers. The Twentse Canteen was developed as part of the Interreg Europe project RUMORE: a collaborative project between six European regions that work together to improve cooperation between urban and rural areas.

The speakers provided a valuable catalyst to inspire and spark discussions amongst Congress attendees about local production benefits. Attendees represented regional agricultural and food initiatives, companies and projects in Twente, including:  Mineral Valley Twente; Graskip; Fox restaurants; Viermarken; LEADER; SkierWöske; Twentse Kantine and Buyers Almelo.

In next steps, the Municipality of Almelo in partnership with the Green Knowledge Portal Twente will investigate how to put into action the ideas from the Congress. Meanwhile, the Green Knowledge Portal provides a platform for further information about the Agro & Food and Sustainability for interested readers.

The growth in cooperation between the local food production sector in Twente is inspiring - leading to more sector synergies to achieve short chain and tasty products that Twente can be proud of!