The Centre of Expertise for Natural Livestock Farming is convinced that joint learning and sharing experiences stands at the basis of sustainable development of livestock farming. Natural Livestock Farming is based on farmers’ experiences, natural cycles and local markets – as well as the use of local livestock breeds, medicinal plants and other natural resources.
The common goal is to promote practical experiences on natural livestock farming within the Netherlands and elsewhere by organizing exchange programs, training and the promotion of natural livestock farming.
The final goal of the Centre is a better world in which milk and other livestock products are produced in a sustainable way: a way in which soil is enriched, animals live well, farmers get a decent income and milk is healthy and without chemicals.
The focus of The Centre of Expertise for Natural Livestock Farming is international collaboration with partners all over the world on the topic of Natural Livestock Farming. Natural Livestock Farming is based on farmers’ experiences, natural cycles and local markets – as well as the use of local livestock breeds, medicinal plants and other natural resources.
Activities to achieve those goals include organizing exchange programs, training activities and promotion of natural livestock farming – based on the following concepts:
- Strive for a healthy balance between humans, animals and environment
- Dynamic linkages between ‘old’ practices and ‘new’ knowledge adapted to local circumstances
- Exchange of knowledge based on (farmers’) practices, and participatory methodologies of strengthening these
- Stimulate the so-called ‘cycle-approach’ in agriculture at the basis of healthy soils and good farmers’ income
- Reduce the use of/resistance against antibiotics and other agro-chemicals, such as anthelmintics and insecticides
- Strengthen the use of natural resources, such as medicinal plants and local livestock breeds
- Strengthen local innovations and entrepreneurship through local markets
- Take into account the 11 lessons learnt in Dutch (dairy) farming
Natural Lifestock Farming (NLF) has grown out of long-standing international networks, such as the ethnoveterinary medicine and Endogenous Livestock Development (ELD) network. When Dutch Farm Experience was founded in 2010, collaboration was established with other Dutch organizations working in this field, such as NVF, RIKILT, VKON and Louis Bolk Institute.