ETC is not only active in development cooperation abroad; we also work closer to home. Here, as there, our goal is to contribute to sustainable actions of citizens, businesses and government. Our work in rural areas in the Netherlands benefits from our experiences in the South. In our projects, we act as the link between the practices of farmers and field parties on the one hand and the policies of governments and sometimes large companies on the other hand. We encourage interaction and exchange between these parties that is stimulating and inspiring for all. This helps to build confidence in each other for bringing about the desired, durable change.
There is a growing public interest in sustainability and rural development. There is shift from agriculture to rural development. Citizens seeking a reconnection to the food system and their surroundings, farmers increasingly take into consideration the local landscape in which they operate, the care for their environment and the sustainability of their production. The countryside has become an increasingly multifunctional area where both farming, recreation, living, nature and energy have their place.
Our ambitions and goals
Our vision is a viable Dutch countryside with vital and sustainable rural enterprises. ETC believes that residents and business owners in the Dutch rural areas are the ones primarily responsible for the changes they aspire in their living and working environment. People know the strengths and weaknesses of their areas. Therefore they are also best equipped to come up with solutions for, for example, the demographic decline in many rural areas or the dilemmas tied up with intensive farming. ETC is there to support people in seizing the opportunities that their environment offers in a meaningful and sustainable way. We encourage interaction and exchange between these parties that is stimulating and inspiring for all. This helps to build confidence in each other for bringing about the desired, durable change.
Practically speaking this means that we support parties to take initiative and responsibility for the development of their areas. ETC has forged long-term relationships with key people in the Dutch countryside. We help them propose, visualize and realize innovative solutions. We are used to standing with one foot in the clay and with our other foot in the chamber of the CEO or the provincial house. In this process we act as the content advisor and facilitator. We do not dictate our clients what to do, but we share our knowledge and experience when thinking and planning together. We have learned that this approach has the best chance of realizing a more liveable countryside with vital and sustainable rural enterprises.