In 2018, Dutch friends Daan and Matthijs were motivated to find new products to support more 'nature-positive' farming in the Netherlands. The partners searched for products that were of consumer interest, had viable business models, but would also have a positive impact on the Dutch pastures. They identified an opportunity for local, herbal teas that support the restoration of biodiversity in the natural ecosystems in the region.
Now established as a small business named Wilder Land, the company pays farmers a premium rate by area to offset small, high-value parcels of land to cultivate its raw materials (herbs), while also sharing additional grass feedstocks already used by farmers.
As soon as the Wilder Land founders met the established progressive farmer community of Wij.land, as well as the innovative project team it was an easy process to develop a supply chain sufficient for several years of growth.
In turn, the mission of the business is strongly aligned with the goals of Wij.land to diversify pasture income sources in support of biodiversity and environmental health, as well as provide a source of inspiration for other projects and businesses in the area.
Following intensive testing - equaling many cups of tea - Wilder Land products have received awards for novelty and quality, as well as for demonstrating undiscovered potential of food sources in the Dutch landscape.
Thanks to the engagement of Wij.land farmers and customers, the company has already secured enough supply for near-term growth. However, it is still expanding its network of collaborating farms because of the environmental and social impact.
The team is continuing to experiment with new product lines and conducting research on innovations that can support their partner farmers. In enabling Wij.land to register interest levels of potential suppliers, identify and source new raw materials from local suppliers, track production inputs and monitor / communicate the environmental impact, the Open Landscape Network helps to facilitate the validation and scale-up of new businesses like Wilder Land.
Once a successful product or service has been developed, the information and functionality of the system allows straightforward food quality tracking, ESG-related impact reporting, and reduced financing costs for impact. This helps raise support for business' engagement with projects, and raises feasibility of farm transitions.
As a result the achievability of larger transitions to a more sustainable food-production system, and thus healthier landscapes, is being improved.