5 questions for... FarmerRuud

Item date:

29 July 2022

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Smart Farmer BoerRuud stands for honest, delicious pork from Oirlo. In Limburg he is seen as one of the leaders in the field of circular agriculture.

About BoerRuud

Together with his brother Peter, Farmer Ruud is the driving force behind a thriving pig farm in Oirlo, North Limburg. On the farm he is working on closing the cycle and reducing the footprint.

1. Why are you involved in sustainable business?

It is important to anticipate the future. On the one hand for your 'license to produce', on the other hand for healthy future prospects and thus the feeling of appreciation.

Competing solely on the basis of cost price is not the way to go here in the Netherlands. We really have to do it on the basis of quality. That's our license to produce. And we do that together with the right local suppliers.

2. What, in your opinion, is needed to accelerate the path to a sustainable society?

As long as each link in the chain looks only at its own revenue model, we cannot work toward a larger, shared and cross-generational revenue model. Closed chains I see as the basis for this acceleration. With full transparency and integrity, we can enable consumers to make more conscious choices.

People often say that becoming more sustainable doesn't pay off. But if we bring companies into contact with each other - some companies look for opportunities for compensation, but find it difficult to compensate themselves - then you create a completely different dynamic. Instead of 'or or' it becomes 'and and'.

Making contact with other companies, which also want to do more than the market demands, I personally have not experienced as difficult. I like to make more and more conscious choices with a carefully built network. And thereby continuously expand my network. The flywheel is turning; the bigger the group, the bigger the steps.

"Sustainability can only be achieved if the entire chain takes responsibility"

3. What are you contributing to a smarter, more sustainable and healthier Limburg?

For over 8 years we have been making conscious choices. Not on the basis of cost price, but in terms of sustainability and finding outlets. Important sustainability ambitions, formed by a number of multinationals and large companies in 2015, inspired us to get started as well. Meanwhile, we have taken concrete steps on our farm to reduce CO2 emissions and food waste by 2030. It is now mid-2022, so we are exactly half way there.

For companies that want to put their money where their mouth is, we are very interesting. In recent years in particular, we have been involved in enthusing chain partners to make them more sustainable. Although it may all sound very nice, until last July the focus on cost price was still the least bad business model.

We can now call ourselves one of the five model companies in the Albert Heijn chain. Here we are working on a different and fairer earnings model with indexation on raw materials. As my father always taught us, we have not chosen the path of least resistance. We have stuck to a story with future prospects. That story is now becoming even brighter, because manure processing has improved over the past year. In this way, we can contribute to making it more sustainable.

4. How can other organizations/entrepreneurs make that shift? Do you have any tips?

I think it is especially important that you do what suits you best. In addition, I recommend that you also delve outside your own sector. Over the past 8.5 years I have spoken to thousands of people at our company and on location. All this input has fed me with different ideas and insights.

5. Why are you a member of shiftLimburg and what can this platform do for you?

Through the platform shiftLimburg, I can continue to expand my network and at the same time keep up to date with all developments in the field of sustainable and innovative entrepreneurship.

Written by

Ruud van Dijck