Newbie discussion circle on access to labor and Flemish Award winner announcement
On the 8th of September the Flemish Newbie team held a double event combining a discussion cirlce on access to labor with the announcement of the Flemish Newbie Award winners.
Discussion circle on access to labor
Access to good and reliable labor is one of the key issues of new entrants in agriculture. High quality labor is often hard to find and seasonable labor is, especially in these extraordinary times, in high demand during peak times. Hiring labor comes with a lot of administration and is often one of the key monthly costs. We invited three speakers, each new entrants, to talk about their experiences with hiring labor and how they experienced the process. Our first speaker was Tom from a growing microgreens farm Pachagreens. He talked about hiring permanent labor early on in your farming career. Permanent labor is often found too expensive for new entrants so his experience was valuable. Our second speaker was the couple behind new farm Maïsterplan, Janne and Maxime, who hire student workers for their corn maze and contractors for their agricultural activities. While student workers are cheaper than permanent workers, they require a different style of management, which both are doing excellently. Our last speaker was Daniel from Kopje Zwam. He talked about more creative ways of hiring labor, like with shareholders or license holders. His background in banking helped him to develop these models.
A practice abstract and practice description will be available later this year.
Newbie award winners 2020
Winners? Yes! This year the Flemish Newbie team decided to award not one, but two separate awards. Like last year participants had to convince both our jury comprised of steering group members and their own network through a social media component. While 2019 was certainly very successful, this year our participants surpassed our expectations in the social media competition so massively that we had to award it separately.
Our jury price winner is Tom from Pachagreens! You can check out his farm video here. Tom produces microgreens in a small greenhouse but plans to expand in the near future. How he found a niche (he was the first to produce microgreens in Flanders), manages his labor, negotiates with large retailers and advertises his farm really impressed our jury.
Our public price winners are Janne and Maxime from Maïsterplan. Supported by a very strong local and social media network Janne and Maxime managed to score the most points in this competition. In total almost 2000 people voted on their farm. Wow!
Our five laureaten from top to bottom: Pachagreens, Maïsterplan, Urban Harvest, Vrijselhof and Kopje Zwam.