Better Food in Brabant
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Better Food in Brabant

We Are Food

We enjoy eating, and we produce it with passion and with tireless innovation that is both viable and vital! We are proud of the rich world of stories behind our food: our traditions and our innovations. This is in our DNA. We Are Food. That is why Brabant will be “European Region of Gastronomy” in 2018. The motto for that year is Better Food in Brabant.


Healthy food and hospitality bring people together and connect them. Food is more than just a dish on your plate, it acquires meaning. Brabant’s “joie de vivre” is reflected in its rich tradition of delicious and healthy food enjoyed in a hospitable environment. That certainly whets the appetite!


Produced with dedication and love. This is honest food. Sustainable and local. Food that originates in a future-proof approach based on a better balance of people, animals and environment. Brabant no longer only wants to be the largest agri-food region but the most sustainable as well!


Smart and innovative food, with an eye for the environment and scope for innovation that is unlocked by unexpected connections between different sectors. Brabant is a front-runner in that area. But much more is needed for us to continue enjoying the values embodied in our food in the future as well!

These are the Kitchens of Brabant for 2018

Ten initiatives for improving Brabant’s food sector will each work out a theme for one month of 2018. Each of these ‘Kitchens of Brabant’ is working on innovative solutions in the food chain in its own way.


A jury consisting of experts in the field of food and hospitality selected these ten out of as many as 100 submissions. But because the number and quality of the submissions shows that Brabant is enthusiastic about the theme of Better Food, the jury wanted to give attention to all initiatives. That is why they will come together in the themed months, which are managed by Kitchen Chefs.

March: Together Against Food Waste

Kitchen Chef: Bob Hutten, De Verspillingsfabriek (Northeast Brabant)


Brabant is the first province in the Netherlands to take concerted action to combat food waste and increase awareness for this issue. The topic is brought to the attention of both consumers and business owners with a broad programme focused on what food waste entails. The pillars of the programme are preventing and reducing food waste and improving recycling processes. Joining the programme this month are the Eco Chefs. This initiative, which is led by the Society for Ecological Living and Gardening (VELT) and the Brabant Environmental Federation, aims to train young Eco Chefs from all over Brabant. In turn, the Chefs will encourage consumers to make good use of food surpluses in order to avoid waste.

April: Food From Brabant

Kitchen Chef: Marc Raaijmakers on behalf of the following vocational hospitality schools in Brabant: Rooi Pannen (Eindhoven, Breda and Tilburg), Cingel College (Breda), ROC de Leijgraaf (Veghel), Summa (Eindhoven) and Koning Willem I College (’s-Hertogenbosch).


Hospitality school students throughout Brabant are joining forces to make people in Brabant and other parts of the Netherlands, as well as international visitors, more knowledgeable about and respectful of locally sourced products. The students are working on a collection and presentation of local Brabant produce, which will be accompanied by stories from farmers and producers whose products are used in the recipes. In addition, the schools are working closely with Slow Food Brabant in an effort to bring the originally Italian Terra Madre network to Brabant. The Terra Madre network is all about good, clean and fair locally sourced food and giving food producers and consumers the chance to meet.

May: Eat Well, Live Well

Kitchen Chef: Henk Kivits, Food for Care (throughout Brabant)


Fresh, nutritious food has an important impact on patients’ physical condition. Offering people with type 2 diabetes seven meals a day that are low in salt and sugar and with measured portions of fresh ingredients has shown to have a positive effect on their health. The aim of this month is to get type 2 diabetes patients and their families educated and excited about food. In addition, a diet will be developed to, on the one hand, get patients on their way to controlling diabetes, and on the other, to prevent the rapid spread of this disease which is caused by unhealthy eating and living habits. The motto is to create a type 2 diabetes-free world starting with Brabant.

June: The Healthy School

Kitchen Chef: Scholengroep Het Hooghuis (Northeast Brabant)


The ‘Wereldburger’ lesson programme, which is currently being developed, aims to make young people more aware about food. This digital food innovation programme fits in with the world and interests of students. After all, burgers are a staple in the lives of many young people. Using digital resources, the students will be making healthy burgers online, and later also offline, while learning about each other’s cultures, the growth cycle and the flavour of the ingredients. The ‘Wereldburger’ lesson programme will also be made available to other schools in Brabant.

July: The New Farmer

Kitchen Chef: Tjacko Sijpkens, Het Familie Varken (Northeast and Southeast Brabant)


Pig farmers and scientists are teaming up to prove that pig farming can be both sustainable and efficient as they work on a new type of pigsty. Pigs that are raised in the most natural way possible have less stress and are demonstrably happier. Hence a new type of pigsty, with a new feeding system, nesting boxes, a pig toilet and a manure removal system that works instantly and processes the manure into a wide range of products. This integral, newly designed approach allows farmers to produce sustainable and animal-friendly pork at no extra cost. In the Month of the New Farmer, producers and consumers are invited to preview the concept. Plans for roll-out to other parts of Brabant are being explored. The first pigsty model will be developed in Boekel in 2018.

August: The Healthy Community

Kitchen Chefs: Hans van Kuijk and Norbert van de Hurk, GezondDorp (Southeast Brabant) together with Bart van Strien, Hallo Brabant, wij zijn Alphen-Chaam (West Brabant)


In a small community in Brabant, a GP and a sports physician came up with the idea to work together to make their village healthier. This idea resulted in a movement has united the entire village. The healthier lifestyle has been embraced and is now embedded in the community. The local bakery and snack bar have even adapted their product range. In Alphen-Chaam, the only Cittaslow municipality of North Brabant, the Slow Food idea is supported by the whole community. The villagers are collectively engaged in finding healthy and honest alternatives for foods with too much salt, too much sugar and too much fat. This is done by linking business owners who use one another’s products, waste and by-products. This month the two healthy villages will serve as a source of inspiration for producers, consumers and other communities in Brabant.

September: Producing Food Together

Kitchen Chef: Douwe Korting, Herenboeren (throughout Brabant)


Herenboeren have developed a new, innovate and attractive production model. It’s nearby, sustainable and social: the cooperative farm. The cooperative farm concept is based on the idea that participants (households) each get an area of a farm with a professional farmer who cultivates the land. The households invest an annual fee and determine what ‘their farmer’ produces (vegetables, meat, eggs, fruit, potatoes, etc.) The cooperative farm concept contributes to shorter food chains, reconnects citizens and farmers, and provides a way for consumers to get back in touch with the seasons. Herenboeren will be introducing the concept to Brabant with the aim of starting similar farms in five other places in the province. Of course, everyone is welcome to visit Boxtel to learn more about the cooperative farm concept.

October: #DataFood

Kitchen Chef: Mark van der Pol on behalf of JADS, Ondernemerslift Plus, BIM and the Municipality of ’s-Hertogenbosch (throughout Brabant)


Big data will play a massive role in the world of food consumption and production, that much is clear. More than any province in the Netherlands, Brabant has excellent opportunities for becoming a frontrunner on the cutting edge of data science and agrifood. Take, for instance, customised ready-made meals with fresh and healthy ingredients, or an app that allows consumers to see what products at their local supermarket that are nearing their use-by dates are being marked down. This month is all about driving new data-driven business opportunities and innovations in Brabant’s agrifood sector.

November: Active With Food, For A Lot Less Worry

Phyllis den Brok (Northeast Brabant)


This month we look at food as an opportunity to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people in our society. By being actively involved in the preparation of meals, the elderly are able to live at home for longer and rely less on care services. Cutting vegetables, participating in traffic when going to the supermarket, interacting with cashiers – these are all examples of activities that can help seniors to participate and be engaged in society and to run their household for longer. Phyllis den Brok is an advocate for the elderly population and would like to use this month to promote food as a preventative measure to help the elderly remain self-reliant for longer.

December: Hospitality In Brabant

Ralph Geerts, Ravanello (West Brabant)


Brabant is known for its hospitality. This Kitchen focuses on what typifies this province: hospitality, a relaxed atmosphere and the enjoyment of sharing food with others. By harmonising the wishes, ideas and dreams of farmers, producers, chefs, business owners and consumers when it comes to food and perception, we give face to the local food culture. All this together completes the food experience. Kitchen Chef Ralph Geerts will be working together with the Breda University of Applied Sciences (NHTV) with support from Visit Brabant.

Pearls of Brabant

In 2018, Brabant will proudly bear the title European Region of Gastronomy. In its campaign WeAreFood, Brabant is showing the world what we have to offer in the field of food. All great food initiatives in Brabant deserve a stage in 2018!


Brabant is food

Together with you, we will turn a visit to Brabant into a culinary and hospitable experience. This will stimulate visits by tourists and strengthen the touristic image of Brabant’s food sector for 2018 and the following years.


Which food initiatives are there in Brabant?

What does our European Region of Gastronomy have to offer visitors in 2018 in order to make their visit an unforgettable experience? In the months ahead, WeAreFood will be looking at all initiatives that can add to and enrich our province’s offering in 2018. Are you engaged in preparations for an activity that is distinctive, accessible to a broad (international) public and applies high quality standards? If so, please register.



The run-up to WeAreFood 2018 will commence in April 2017. Any food-related events and initiatives can be registered from that time.


In the second half of 2017, we will organise meetings at which restaurateurs are invited as ambassadors of the WeAreFood year and will receive detailed information on the developments concerning the programme.


Later this year, we will be hosting an e-learning platform that will provide additional support for developing your knowledge and expertise to help you prepare for the food year.


We are developing a toolkit for all participants in the food year, in which marketing tools are offered for the local promotion of their events.

We will present the official programme for the public on 13 October 2017.

We Are Food is fed by