Metropolitan Food Clusters (MFC) have been developed since the end of last century, starting from in-depth research of the agri-food system of North-Western Europe. In applying the concept, we work according to the following principles:

  1. Integrated co-design of ‘hardware’, ‘orgware’, and ‘software’: 
    Including production and processing technologies, logistic systems, and infrastructure and spatial lay-out (hardware); cooperation between knowledge institutes, businesses, and governmental and non-governmental organisations (orgware); and knowledge development, education and communication (software). 

  2. Increase resource use efficiency to produce more with less:
    Applying modern efficiency-oriented technologies in production, processing and distribution to optimise productivity with minimum use of land and all other resources, such as energy, water, minerals, space, human capacity, etc.

  3. Vertical integration from farm to fork:
    Integration of the different links in supply chain (inputs, production, processing, distribution) in clusters, reducing transportation and transaction costs, controlling bio-security risks, enhancing market responsiveness, and securing smart distribution of value captured along the chain.

  4. Horizontal integration:
    This combination of several vertical supply chains (e.g. plants and animals) enables industrial ecology by keeping the value of rest- and by-products within the system, and reducing waste and emissions.

  5. Intelligent agro-logistics:
    Efficient transport of fresh products between supply and demand- creation of multiple connected networks within food clusters, and between clusters and retailers and consumers on the one hand, and providers of raw materials on the other; also includes the communication network linking the players in the system such as consumers, producers, service providers, etc.

  6. Creating a “Space pump”:
    Doing the right thing in the right place-by increasing the potential of high productive land and transition of low productive land into other land-use functions. Less space and land acreage are needed to realise resource use efficient agriculture and food production in clusters, thus, freeing ample land areas for other functions, such as urban, forests, water, recreation and biodiversity.

Click here to read more about our concept.