The Belgian Newbie team of KU Leuven and the German Newbie team of Fachhochschule Südwestfalen are developing a Massive Open Online Course together about how to create a strategic business model in the agricultural sector. The course will be hosted on EDX, an international learning platform, starting from January 2022. For this course, the two Newbie teams are working together with Rikolto, Odisee hogeschool and ILVO to create learning material: slides, video lectures, exercises and case videos.
The case videos need to be very diverse in order to represent the whole world. They have to differentiate in terms of scale, ideology (e.g. conventional vs organic), supply chain complexity and geography. Various cases were recorded in Belgium, Germany, Tanzania, Ghana and Nicaragua. Most case farms were run by relatively young starting farmers.
The Belgium Newbie team visited the German Newbie team between 29-30 April to record the German cases. Three cases were recorded during this exchange.
The first farm was Blume Serkshof in Lohne. This is a family farm that has been passed on from generation to generation and which is now owned by Paul Blume. He runs an organic farm that cultivates around 17 different crops on +- 160 ha and houses around 7000 laying hens. The final products are not only sold to organic shops and supermarkets, but also directly to local habitants in their small farm shop. In this farm shop, they aim to display their social and environmental values and norms (Naturlandbetrieb Blume Serkshof).
Next we visited Jan Berglar’s farm. He owns a large pig farm in Lippstadt-Overhagen. Jan breeds high quality pigs which he sells directly to the large regional slaughter houses. Just like the previous farmer, Jan is a successor and has a lot of knowledge of his profession. This is essential in his sector, because the pig farming sector is very competitive in his region. Furthermore, the farmer explained how regulations influence his profession and how he, through technology and knowledge, was able to create a high quality end product that is valued across the world.
The final farm we visited was Beltie Bio Beef, which is run by Dustin and Paulin Hoffmeier. The farm breeds belted Galloways, a Scottish breed of beef cattle that is raised for their quality marbled beef. The cows are raised organically and graze on nature conservation areas. It goes without saying that this was only possible through the good partnerships they have created with the local conservation area associations. One of their strengths is that they make optimal use of social media and online sales to attract large set of customers (@beltiebiobeef).
These videos will be integrated in the final MOOC. The launch is planned for December 2021.