Restaurant chain Humphrey's has its central kitchen in Bemmel (Netherlands). The goal of Humphrey's Restaurants is to use as many vegetables and herbs from the NEXTgarden greenhouse horticulture area as possible. Humphrey's has been discussing this opportunity with growers from the area for some time together with the municipality of Lingewaard. The province has started a program for innovations at the local level for short supply chains for food, and a project proposal has been submitted for the food supply for the restaurant chain. But even if no subsidy is awarded, the petitioners will consider continuing anyway.
A joint venture consisting of Humphrey's Restaurants, greenhouse growers and the municipality of Lingewaard want to develop concrete short-chain greenhouse horticulture. Based on existing research (carried out by Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, among others) and experience gained from the NEXTgarden greenhouse horticultural area, the partnership will draw up a project plan (including one or more business models). The project plan is aimed at sustainable and socially supported innovation in the short food supply chain.
Why this project?
Consumers want more fresh, safe and healthy food. Consumers also want to know more and more about where the food comes from and how it is produced. Humphrey's Restaurants, which has 16 branches in the Netherlands and a central kitchen in Bemmel, where food is being prepared, wants to respond to these developments. One possibility for this is the so-called short food chain. The distance between the producer and the consumer is as short as possible in both technical and 'emotional' terms.
There are already initiatives nationally and in the region. That's why Humphrey's wants to get as many vegetables and herbs as possible from as close as possible to its kitchen. The choice fell on growers who are active on the territory of Lingewaard. For growers in greenhouse horticulture, a dialogue with Humphrey's Restaurants can produce a new revenue model. From a social point of view, the short chain is interesting because it contributes to more awareness about food and a reduction in CO2 emissions. The latter is due to the shorter transport distances needed to ship the food.
Execution in 2019
In consultation with NEXTgarden (greenhouse horticulture development in Arnhem-Nijmegen) a number of growers were found willing to take an initiative together with the municipality of Lingewaard and Humphrey's Restaurants for a joint project: Innovation in the short chain greenhouse. This initiative includes vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and strawberries. It will also include herbs such as basil, mint, parsley and cilantro.
The project will be carried out by an agency, which will be managed by the partnership. The costs of implementing the project amount to about 50,000 euros. If the requested subsidy is granted, the partners won't incur additional costs other than the time they invest. The province will probably make a decision on the application in April or May 2019. Partners are therefore also looking at options should the subsidy not be awarded.
For more information:
NEXTgarden (gemeente Lingewaard)