Working process

The role of Wageningen MFC is to coordinate during the process of design and implementation of a metropolitan food clusters or agroparks. We identify four different phases that are being used to streamline the process which are elaborated below. To be able to manage risks during this trajectory, we work in an iterative way in which the demands of the assigner are being answered by using the cooperation between the assigner and us. Moreover, blueprints and implementations will get more elaborate and detailed as the process continues. This way of working is called co-design. We work in co-design together with the assigner and relevant stakeholders during the whole trajectory of design, implementation and operation. 


Phase 1: Feasibility Study 

The feasibility study is an early-stage analysis of the whole trajectory. Its aim is to acquire basic information, to get acquainted with the assigner and relevant stakeholders, and to execute a first inspection of relevant regions and sites, to assess its business potential based on an analysis of the demand for its products, and to investigate its potential markets and available resources. It results in an advice on the feasibility. In case of a positive advice, also an elaborated definition of the assigner's aspirations, a description of the road to follow, and an elaborate project definition of the next phase is given.  


Phase 2: Conceptual Master Planning 

The conceptual master plan defines the total layout of the aspired metropolitan food cluster or agropark. Conceptual Master plan consists of plans for ‘hardware’ (infrastructure, accommodations, installations), ‘software’ (human resource development, knowledge development, quality control) and the ‘orgware’ (strategic and operational management structures, procedures of permits and allowances, cooperation between stakeholders). It includes a zoning plan, a business plan, a functional make-up of the site, a stakeholder force field analysis and designs of hardware, orgware, and software. Its final chapter is a detailed project plan for the next phase. The objective of the conceptual master plan is to engage all relevant stakeholders to agree on its execution.


During the Conceptual Master plan an iterative process is created wherein the demands for the plans are being specified from the existing situation generating new, smart combinations that are needed to realise the aspired outcome. The design process is supported by continuous in-depth diagnosis of relevant aspects such as market demand, availability of resources and raw materials, site specific characteristics, logistics, government legislation, labour force, and knowledge network. In this phase the co-design partners are the assigner and local stakeholders as well as the technology and service providers that will execute the conceptual master plan in the next phase of executive master planning. 


Phase 3: Executive Master Planning 

The executive master plan is the collection of the ‘blueprints’ for specific elements in the conceptual master plan. These include hardware such as greenhouses, process facilities, infrastructure, but also orgware such as the specification of a permit trajectory, cooperation agreement on joint water management as well as software such as curricula and quality management plans. On the basis of the blueprints generated in this phase, final and coordinated decisions for implementation can be taken and executed. In other words, the building process will be started and fully executed. Wageningen MFC will supervise the entire trajectory to guarantee that the final outcome is in line with the previous research. 


Phase 4: Assistance During Implementation and Operation

During the operation Wageningen MFC and its technology partners will continue the service of education and training, technical assistance, and continuous innovation. This to ensure that the metropolitan food cluster or agropark continues to deliver high-quality food and continues to make steps in efficiency will be made.