Towards an expertise centre for commercial food forests
The Food Forest Institute (FFI) wants to make Flanders the leader in commercial food agro-forestry: the most circular form of food production. We will plant three commercial food forests of 1.5 hectares with farmers of different backgrounds to use as test plots.
Definition of commercial food forest: A circular agricultural system consisting of: perennial woody crops (trees, shrubs, etc.) in polyculture, where work is done at different heights so that maximum use is made of the surface area and a maximum harvest is guaranteed. A semi-natural ecosystem that, once in place, requires little to no input of water and external fertilisers.
FFI is an expertise centre that provides consulting, market analysis and planting of commercial food forests for farmers as well as facilitating partnerships between food agro-foresters and local markets, food processing companies and consumers. The main objective is to stimulate a transition to circular and local food production: food produced by trees is robust and low-input. This message is also promoted to the consumer.