A step forward in making Texel sustainable in terms of food production would be to encourage local production and consumption of food. Since it is off from the mainland of The Netherlands local food production in Texel will reduce the pressure on the mainland. This a win-win condition in every aspect.
Tourists (50% of the consumers) will be interested to try out the local delicacies. Texel will then benefit from the income generated by these sales, in turn reducing the need to receive goods from the mainland. This means, no transport costs since it does not rely on the centralised system where packaging and processing facilities are far away from the consumer. There is more controlled local food production since the island has a population limit, this results in lesser wastage of food. No middle men, implying that the food goes directly from the producer to the consumer. This implies that instead of a three variable system (Producer – Retailer – Consumer) we are left with only a two variable system (Producer – Consumer). This ensures better product quality with quicker response to feedback from the consumers.
Ownership of farms
In a centralised scenario where the mainland is usually more resistant to shocks and changes 1 farmer acquires complete ownership of the farm land, however, islands are most prone to shock and calamities. Hence there are two ways to mitigate damage taken by the farmers:
- Government Policies: Policies could be made protecting the farmer’s income in case of a natural calamity.
- Distributed ownership: The farms can be owned by multiple people with the profits distributed in their respective percentage of ownership. This will ensure that the farmer does not completely get affected.
Having such sort of protective schemes can encourage people to take up farming and produce local food for the island.
The government of Texel should not encourage entry of fast food chains because this will affect the restaurants serving locally produced food. Also, if they are allowed to set up their outlets in Texel, they will need to abide by their quality control and will need to import ingredients from their trusted distributors (who would be on the mainland). This defeats the purpose of a sustainable island.
Having such a hold on who gets to set up the restaurant will further encourage locally produced food and improve the eating habits of people and provide healthy food to the consumers.
To become a self-sustaining island and to see that people eat healthy and locally, the government is one of the key players and the policies and laws that it creates will affect the entirety of the island. People must be encouraged to work together by having distributed ownership of the farms and emphasise on restaurants providing local delicacies. All these factors can play a role to the citizens of Texel to eat locally and healthy.
- Dubuisson-Quellier, S. 2008. Consumer Involvement in Fair Trade and Local Food Systems: Delegation and Empowerment Regimes GeoJournal 73(1).
- Guyomard, H., et. al. 2011. Eating Patterns and Food Systems: Critical Knowledge Requirements for Policy Design and Implementation.