How do we ensure that healthy products from the land reach consumers in a sustainable way? Student teams set to work with that question during the first edition of the AgroAgenda Noord-Nederland hackathon. From the NOM, Business Developer Agrifood Joep de Vries was involved as an expert to guide the teams.
The gray heads of this world determine policy now, but the youth will soon have to actually solve all the big problems.Joep de Vries, NOM
During Dutch Food Week, the AgroAgenda Noord-Nederland and the Food Alliance Noord-Nederland, together with Rabobank and NOM, organized the first edition of the hackathon for students from northern educational institutions. And that tastes like more, agrees Joep de Vries: 'This was a very nice start, so we should definitely continue with that. For future editions, more companies with concrete challenges should definitely join in, because the students came up with really beautiful and diverse solutions.
As an example, de Vries cites combating waste. 'For example with broccoli. We usually throw away the stalks and that is a real waste. Not in the first place because it contains all the nutrients, but also because you don't use a significant part of this vegetable at all. One of the teams came up with the idea of finding another use for this residual product, for example by processing it into toothpaste. I thought that was a really fantastic idea. It's also really nice to see how all the participating teams come up with completely different solutions.'
Split between young and old
And not only for the students themselves is it a learning experience, de Vries believes. 'The gray heads of this world determine policy now, but the youth will soon have to actually solve all the big problems. And we are in a huge split in the way of thinking. This is why such a hackathon is also very valuable for companies. Just to see how sustainability lives among students and how important it is when choosing their future employer.
With only a nice green talk, they really won't come to work for you later.