About Dirk Roep

I'm Assistant professor at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University. Besides teaching and supervising thesis students, I'm involved in research on multifunctional agriculture, food provisioning and place-based development. My specific angle is transformative capacity, joint learning and innovation and institutional reform

Eco Intensive Agriculture Conference proceedings

The proceedings of the Eco Intensive Agriculture Conference are available at the website of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). Rural Sociology was represented by our chair prof. Han Wiskerke and Jessica Duncan (Food Governance).

Jessica Duncan’s Pecha Kucha (a presentation of 6:20 with a series of 20 slides that change every 20 seconds) was called ‘Governing the Doughnut: the role of scientists in transformations towards sustainable food systems‘, watch the video above.

Han Wiskerke was one of the six key note speakers, presenting ‘Eco-intensive agriculture and the provision of public goods‘. All six key note speakers were asked to make short statements on four questions and this was recorded. These short video are also available at the NIOO website. Below the answer to question 4: What step is needed now?

Alternative Food Networks in Calabria – PhD-thesis Simona D’Amico

Simona cover PhDApril 28, 2015 at 11.00 am Simona D’Amico will publicly defend her PhD-thesis ‘Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) in Calabria. A sociological exploration of interaction dynamics‘ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The defence ceremony will be streamed live by WURTV but can be viewed later as well. A pdf copy of the thesis can be downloaded from Wageningen Library, but is under embargo till April 28.

The PhD-thesis aims at advancing the understanding of identities and roles of non-mainstream food systems. It focuses on AFNs which operate in the context of rather traditional agrifood systems, engage in both food provisioning and raising civic awareness, and collaborate with a wide range of actors, such as producers, consumers, civil society organisations and institutions. In particular, the research studies an AFN – GAS M – in Calabria – Southern Italy – by shedding light on the dynamics of interaction during the organisation and implementation of its activities.

Appeal to Ahold to join the Fair Food Programme

In a campaign (Facebook page) with different activities such as an picket-line at the venue of the annual shareholders meeting Wednesday April 15 (12.00-14.30) an appeal is made to Ahold to join the Fair Food Program just like McDonalds, Burger King and worlds largest retailer Wallmart already did. An open letter to Ahold has been published with an online petition. The letter is signed by a.o. FNV, Fairwork and our Rural Sociology Group. If you have viewed the video above, you can visit the website of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), initiators of the Fair Food Program, learn about the Fair Food Program, what they ask and sign the petition if you agree Ahold should join the program now.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) Fair Food Program is a unique partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. It harnesses the power of consumer demand to give farmworkers a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, and to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued agriculture for generations.

Food Chains is a documentary on the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Fair Food Program. Next Thursday April 23, 19.00 (Forum building, room C222), Food Chains will be shown followed by a panel discussion with a member of the CIW. This event is co-organised by the Boerengroep, Otherwise, RUW and the Rural Sociology Group

RETHINK – Farmers from Salzburg (Austria) explain diversification as a strategy to strengthen resilience

RETHINK is a transdisciplinary research project supported by the European Commission and funding bodies in 14 countries under the umbrella of FP7 and the RURAGRI ERA-NET. The Rural Sociology Group has a seat in the RETHINK Advisory Board.

Researchers from BOKU have made three short films (also with English undertitles) in which farmers explain their family farm strategie in terms of strengthening their resilience.

Resilience refers to the capacity of social, economic, and environmental systems to cope with a hazardous event or trend or disturbance, responding or reorganizing in ways that maintain their essential function(s), identity, and structure

1. Resilience needs diversity – Diversity needs balance

Five farmers form Salzburg (Austria) farmers talk about the advantages of having different income sources (both on- and off farm) to strengthen their resilience. But they also point out the challenges related to managing diversity. They talk about what it takes to successfully manage diversity, especially to ensure that the workload for the various family members is not too high and that quality of life does not suffer.

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Family Farming Futures – PhD-thesis by Henk Oostindie

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March 20, 2015 at 1.30 pm Henk Oostindie will publicly defend his PhD-thesis Familiy Farming Futures. Agrarian pathways to multifunctionality: flows of resistance, redesign and resilience‘ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The defence ceremony will be streamed live by WURTV but can be viewed later as well. A hard copy of the thesis can be ordered by sending an email to Henk.Oostindie@wur.nl or a pdf can be downloaded from Wageningen Library (embargo untill March 20).

The PhD-thesis compiles different national and European research projects on multifunctionality and multifunctional agriculture Henk Oostindie was involved since 1999. He has thus gained both a broad and profound knowledge of multifunctionality as a concept and as practice. He is a highly esteemed colleague at our Rural Sociology group.

Bodem Anders! conferentie 19 & 20 maart 2015

Bodem Anders 2015

Gezonde bodems zijn de basis van gezond, duurzaam voedsel. Op donderdag 19 en Vrijdag 20 maart organiseren een groot aantal organisaties samen de Bodem Anders! conferentie in Den Bosch. Doel van de conferentie is een dialoog om samen te werken aan oplossingen voor duurzaam bodembeheer. Met o.a. John Liu (Green Gold) als key-note spreker. En met workshops, films, lezingen en excursies over: bodemvruchtbaarheid; jonge boeren; bodem en gezondheid; boerenkennis en wetenschap; kringlooplandbouw; besluitvorming en beleid; toegang tot grond; stadslandbouw.

Meewerkende organisaties: ZLTO, Hivos, Greenpeace, Milieudefensie, Waterschap AA en Maas, Natuur en Milieu, Wervel, Wageningen soil network, Toekomstboeren, Stichting Grondbeheer, Stuugroep landbouw innovatie Brabant, Orgapower, van Iersel, CLM, Brabantse Milieufederatie, OtherWise, Boerenverstand, ILEIA, Boerenverstand, Orgapower, NIOO, The Hunger Project, Estafette, Oxfam Novib, Nederlands Melkveehouders vakbond, Demeter, future farmers movement, bewust bodem gebruik, CSE, Stichting Ecologische Landbouw Ghana, Van Iersel, Aarde Boer Consument, NMI, Down2Earth.

Voor meer informatie en registratie: http://www.voedselanders.nl/

Internship: diversification strategies of farmers in peri-urban Amstelland

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Amstelland is a traditional meadow landscape, dominated by dairy farming, and framed on three sides by the cities of Amsterdam and Amstelveen. The vicinity of the city offers threats and opportunities for farmers in Amstelland. The area is intensively used for recreation.

Citizen organisation Stichting Beschermers Amstelland (SBA) is concerned with the future of the area. SBA presumes that preservation of the landscape is connected to economic sustainability of the farms. For that reason SBA is interested in the strategies of farmers towards diversification and pluri-activity. A number of farmers already have added multifunctional activities to their conventional farm. Most farmers are member in the environmental cooperative De Amstel and take agri-environmental measures. Some farmers have started a B&B or sell products on farm. The peri-urban situation leads to high land prices, slowing down opportunities for farm enlargement. As a result, more farmers are likely to consider diversification and pluri-activity as an alternative strategy.

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International Master Sciences of Rural Development (IMRD) – Application open till March 15 2015

IMRD Programme

IMRD Programme

Wageningen University is partner is the International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD) and providing an advanced module in Sociology of Rural Development in the 3rd semester.  Students can subsequently do their MSc-thesis in Wageningen. Till March 15 2015 students can apply for a scholarship. See the IMRD website for more information.

Origin Food: a market for identity – course starts March 16 2015

Monday March 16 2015 we will again start with the course RSO-21806 Origin Food: a market for identity.

Montbeliarde cheese made by the Meester Affineurs nearby Wageningen

Montbeliarde cheese made by the Meester Affineurs nearby Wageningen

The main aim of the course is to provide for a broad and scientific understanding of the growing importance of food products with an indication of origin within the globalising agro-food system. The course is obligatory in the specialisation Gastronomy of the Master Food Technology. No specific prerequisite knowledge is asked. The course is open to students from other Masters. Different educational backgrounds is stimulating for an interdisciplinary study of Origin Food Products in groups.

Food products with a geographical indication are becoming more important worldwide, both in economic and cultural terms. In the course a distinction is made between Origing Food Products with a protected Geographical Indication (PDO, PGI or TSG) based on EU-regulations such as Parma ham, Boerenleidse kaas, Café de Colombia and not officially acknowledged Origin Food Products locally sourced by e.g. restaurants, shops or online box schemes.

The course deals with a range of questions on OFPs organised in five themes: 1) Linking people, place and product: the construction of distinctiveness; 2) Regulation and legislation; 3) Marketing and branding; 4) Sustainability impact; 5) Consumers’ appreciation, regional gastronomy and food tourism.

The course consists of a combination of lectures, group assignments to study some Origin Food Products more in detail and a gastronomic excursion, often seen the higlight of the course.

For more information you can contact Dirk Roep (dirk.roep@wur.nl).