New tool provides insight into sustainable agriculture

Commonland landscape partner Wij.land has developed the BoerenWijzer to help farmers define and achieve their sustainable agriculture goals. The tool is based on Commonland’s 4 Returns framework and shows how well a farming company scores on sustainable themes grouped in six categories: Soil, Climate & Water, Flora & Fauna, Animal & Feed, Operations and Society.

The model has been specifically developed for regenerative agriculture in the peat meadow area and uses 4 Returns to provide a holistic view that also takes into account, for example, the recognition and appreciation by society, job satisfaction and the learning network of farmers.

Sustainable goals

The BoerenWijzer provides insight into where farmers are now in their sustainable transition. It also offers inspiration and shows which steps can be taken to make the company more sustainable on certain topics. This makes learning and setting goals central, regardless of where the company is now. The farmer determines in which categories he or she is motivated to change and in which he or she wants to excel. This approach ensures that a diversity of companies is created, which reinforces what they are good at and what the local environment and communities need.

For each theme, goals can be set for a more regenerative business. For example, one person would like to reduce the use of fertiliser (Soil), another sees opportunities for meadow bird management and nest protection (Flora & Fauna), or a farmer decides to open a shop, campsite or walking path to welcome visitors to the site (Society)

The prototype of the BoerenWijzer was developed in collaboration with Black-tailed Godwit. The further development of the BoerenWijzer takes place in close collaboration with several Wij.land farmers. Wij.land’s ambition is to scale up this year so that the model becomes available to all Wij.land farmers.

In order to realize this upscaling, a technical application has also been developed for the BoerenWijzer instrument. This makes it easy to retrieve, transform and visualize the data of farmers. The tool was conceived and designed in collaboration with Humboldt Environmental systems and is part of a larger digital infrastructure, the open.landscape.network. 

Commonland landscape partner Wij.land has developed the BoerenWijzer, a tool based on the 4 Returns framework, to help farmers define, achieve and measure their sustainable agriculture goals.

The BoerenWijzer shows how well a farming company scores on sustainable themes grouped in six categories: Soil, Climate & Water, Flora & Fauna, Animal & Feed, Operations and Society.

It has been specifically developed for regenerative agriculture in the peat meadow area and uses 4 Returns to provide a holistic view that also takes into account, for example, farmer recognition and appreciation and job satisfaction.

The BoerenWijzer provides insight into where farmers are in their transition. It focuses on learning and goal-setting by offering inspiration and showing which steps can be taken to make the company more sustainable on certain topics.

The farmer determines in which categories he or she is motivated to change and in which he or she wants to excel. This approach ensures that a diversity of companies is created, which reinforces what they are good at while meeting the needs of the environment and local communities.

For each theme, goals can be set for a more regenerative business. For example, one person would like to reduce the use of fertiliser (Soil), another sees opportunities for meadow bird management and nest protection (Flora & Fauna), or a farmer decides to open a shop, campsite or walking path for visitors (Society).

The BoerenWijzer was conceived and designed in collaboration with Humboldt Environmental Systems and is part of a larger digital infrastructure, the open.landscape.network.

The tool’s prototype was developed with Grutto and its further development is taking place in close collaboration with several Wij.land farmers.

Read more (in Dutch) on Wij.land’s website.

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