the new landscape
We dream of a landscape that is in balance with nature and in balance with the people who live and work there. An attractive Dutch landscape with grazing cows, herb-rich pastures, full of birds and flowers and with clean water. But also a landscape in which new forms of land use enrich the landscape, such as new (aquatic) crops or recreation. We dream that our daily food from the land is becoming healthier each day, because the soil is more balanced and less dependent on chemical inputs. We dream of an agricultural system in which farmers do not have to worry about their financial situation and in which young farmers with great ideas can start a profitable business. We dream that the beauty of nature and the diversity of the landscape can be experienced by everyone. That is the new Dutch landscape.
We develop sustainable business models and we test them with the people in the landscape (farmers, ecologists, entrepreneurs, residents, etc.). It all starts with an idea that we test on a small scale. If the test is successful, we will make it bigger. We have several business models that we test. For example:
- On agricultural lands and in natural areas we improve the soil biology by looking at the balance in the soil and by replacing chemical inputs with natural ones.
- We process grass cuttings from natural zones, locally on farms, for example by making a soil improver or pellets.
- We are experimenting with new harvests that match a higher water level, such as azolla, an aquatic crop.
- We are working on new, long-term forms of cooperation between farmers and nature organisations, that enable farmers to transition to more sustainable businesses.
Our pilot fund supports farmers financially. We ensure that we connect the right people, experts and organizations to make each pilot and project a success.
Commonland and the 4 returns®
Wij.land is founded by Commonland, an international organisation based in The Netherlands. Commonland restores landscapes with local partners (such as Wij.land) and revives surrounding communities through developing business cases that yield 4 returns®: return of inspiration, return of social capital, return of natural capital and return of financial capital.
Wij.land now acts as a separate legal entity, but we continue to collaborate very closely with Commonland and our work is based on the 4 returns® philosophy. For the Dutch landscape, this means an approach that yields:
return of inspiration
the Dutch landscape as a source of inspiration
return of social capital
farmers as essential partners for food and landscape
return of natural capital
return of financial capital
sustainable business cases for entrepreneurs