World’s first floating farm takes shape in Rotterdam

Aslak Berge

The dairy farm will be launched during the autumn.

“Moving everything on land is a hopeless strategy, area-wise, economically and for the environment. Many people talk about moving salmon on land, but nobody is coming up with the idea that pigs should taken to sea,” said Marine Harvest, C.E.O, Alf-Helge Aarskog in an interview in the Norwegian news site, Bergens Tidende, in 2014.

But now a Dutch company thinks the time is right to go to sea. Not with pigs but with cattle.

According to the BBC, the world’s first offshore dairy farm in the Port of Rotterdam, with room for 40 dairy cows, is now under construction.

The Dutch property company Beladon, will be launching the initiative which will see cows being milked by robots. The farm will open by the end of 2018 and will produce 800 litres of milk per day. The site will also be hurricane proof.

“With increasing demand for healthy food, fast-growing urbanisation and climate change, we can’t rely on the food production systems of the past any more,” said Beladon engineer Peter van Wingerden talking to the BBC. Van Wingerden told the publication that he came up with the idea in 2012 when he was in New York working on a floating housing project on the Hudson river.

He pointed out that the business model is “easily scalable.”

“At least 80% of what our cows eat will be waste products from Rotterdam’s food industry,” says the farm’s general manager, Albert Boersen.

On board the fleet, the company will also grow its own feed which in turn will be fertilised by the cows.


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