- 28 January 2022
- Posted by: Iris ten Have
- Category: IFFI's column in Evmi
Royal Koopmans introduces Nedertarwe: sustainable wheat from Dutch soil
Nedertarwe. Royal Koopmans initiated the wheat project in 2012 and launched the product at the end of last year, 2021. IFFI spoke with Bauke Wierda, Sourcing Manager at Royal Koopmans, to discover more about this product and the philosophy behind it.
The idea to produce Nedertarwe initiated as a desire from Koopmans to differentiate itself within the mill market. “Koopmans is not the largest factory within the mill landscape. Our German colleagues have bigger mills.” Nedertarwe is unique in two ways: it originated from Dutch soil and is trully sustainable all at once.
Wierda: “We reached our final product, Nedertarwe, after a long process of research. We researched, baked and analyzed more than hundred different wheat varieties.” Together with farmers and collectors, a critical mass of the desired wheat race was produced. The goal to produce wheat that finds its origin in the Netherlands is completed. Once this goal was reached, Koopmans decided to make the product sustainable. Thus, Nedertarwe is unique in its Dutch origin, and once again in its sustainability.
As far as sustainability concerns, Koopmans focuses on three main pillars: biodiversity, soil health and crop protection. Bauke Wierda: “Farmers need to comply with many different rules and restrictions these days. We did not want to put more pressure on them. Therefore, we collaborated with farmers, fourteen of them, and asked them what agricultural process could be completed in a more sustainable manner, within the margin of their capabilities.” They finally settled on three sustainability aspects: biodiversity, soil health and crop protection. Biodiversity can be stimulated by creating field margins, bee hotels or eyries. ‘Soil health’ implies giving back to the soil what you took, ensuring a neutral balance. For example, providing organic fertilizer to the soil. In terms of crop protection, the challenge is to use as little pesticides as possible. Koopmans did not consider completely eradicating the use of pesticides as it can cause crop diseases.
At the moment, Nedertarwe is only sold to bakers. This is a great way for bakers to set themselves apart from bread sold by supermarkets.
Wierda about IFFI
“The powerful network is IFFI’s greatest feature. We may not be the biggest industry in the market, but we make use of our network in the most efficient way.”