Three Dutch companies have teamed up to establish a “floating dairy farm”, which will be used to supply fresh dairy produce to the city of Rotterdam and could reduce the amount of space needed to rear cattle by up to 50-fold when compared to similar installations on land.
Courage, the innovation institute of the Dutch agriculture and dairy sector; city farming innovator Uit Je Eigen Stad; and floating concepts company Beladon have come together on the project, which will house a herd of 60 cows. It will be used to produce milk, cheese, butter, cream and yogurt.
Each cow will have around 160 square feet of space – more than most land-based dairy farms – while being contained within a space 30–50 times smaller.
The project is an experiment in urban self-sufficiency, with the companies aiming to establish whether it’s possible for an entire city to become entirely self-reliant in terms of food production and waste, clean water, and power.
In addition to an operational dairy farm, the platform will also serve as a high-tech, living laboratory where the floating farm can join together with several technical partners to research more efficient processes for food production, waste and water treatment.
We are a true living laboratorium , very transparent to visitors where research companies and universities are welcome to test and experiment on sustainable, self-sufficient dairy farm production. We encourage partners to help create better products and a better, cleaner, healthier world. – Project Team
The main advantage, it added, would be to bring the dairy producer and consumer closer together.
“Floating Farm is producing and handling fresh milk, very close to the consumers in the city, [and turning them into] fresh dairy products. We reduce the transport and logistics and save the environment with [respect to] greenhouse gasses.
“The power of healthy food is obvious. We know that many parts of the world still suffer from malnutrition. With our Floating Farm we can produce nutritious dairy products close to consumers in all cities that are in the proximity of water. We can train and educate local staff to operate the farm. By producing and selling day-fresh food close to the consumers, we reduce the logistic chain immensely.”