Newcomers are crucial for both the conservation of European agriculture as for the development of the European countryside. The European project Newbie puts successful starters and their business models in the picture and organizes an annual competition for these “newbies”.
The first Newbie competition in Belgium is meanwhile ongoing. Until December 23, 2018, farmers could put forward their candidacy. Eight laureates are now competing for the Newbie award. De final ranking will be determined by the amount of Likes for their business on the facebook page of Newbie.be. The other part of the ranking will be done by an expert jury.
The Newbie winner can already look forward to a publicity stunt and an exchange with other new farmers in Europe.
The profiles of the laureates are very diverse. But at least one thing they have in common: they show a lot of ambition and entrepreneurship. The Newbie team of the KU Leuven wishes them all eight a lot of success!
- An Adriansen quitted her job in the care sector, and started with the plans for a mixed cattle farm with 980 meat calves and 159 meat goats. Her dream is to open up her farm in the future for care initiatives.
- After his economic studies Olivier Mehuys entered the farm of this parents and opted resolutely for sustainable and regenerative agriculture. He is focusing now on the production of “nature” beef and eggs via a mobile chicken stable.
- Stéphanie De Caluwé developed with the help of two investors an innovative community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative, called “Den Halsberg”. The focus is currently especially on vegetables, herbs and flowers, but in the future the supply will be complemented with perennial plants, fruits and small livestock.
- Eddy Leclere and Colette Lammers are fruit growers from Sint-Truiden. They brought with their farm Jonecdo a new product on the market: Seprosa, a sparkling wine produced with locally produced fruit.
- Bert De Coninck works together with his father-in-law to further build out the family company that focuses on the production of pig sperm. Innovation in the company is brought by “Bereslim”, an application that connects all the actors in the value chain.
- Besides her half time job as an agricultural consultant, Evi Van Camp runs together with her husband and brother-in-law a farm business focused on the production of quality field-scale vegetables. Evi is the driving force behind several broadening activities of the farm, among others through a farm shop and care initiatives.
- Wim Fobelets is besides agricultural journalist also a farmer. On his arable fam he resolutely opts for added value: he grows especially “forgotten” vegetables, for example fodder beet, spelt and black oats which he markets through short supply chains.
- With the help of an employee and the support of her family and friends, Siska Vanpeteghem builds after the passing of her husband further on their shared dream: a mixed farm focused on the production of arable crops, fattening pigs and a variety of broadening activities.
All candidates are also visible on the Belgian Newbie Website