The Circular Economy of Floating Farms

July 16, 2021 — The Big Picture

July 19, 2021

In May 2019, we opened the world’s first Floating Farm in the Port of Rotterdam. Since then, we’ve had 40 cows producing healthy milk and organic manure. Let me tell you about it.

Why the Floating Farm?

Our planet is under tremendous strain and we are (in) directly experiencing the consequences. Climate change, rising sea level, and the predicted growth in world population from seven to nine billion people will significantly increase the need for fresh (potable) water, clean energy, and healthy food.

This pressure will exert itself particularly on the production and consumption of goods, including foodstuff and its ensuing logistics chain. In the Netherlands, agricultural transport is responsible for one-third of the entire freight transport. Food production within proximity to the consumer allows the logistics chain to shorten drastically. Producing food within cities will help raise awareness of food production, reduce food losses and the pollution associated with transportation.

Photo: Floating Farms

Sustainable, Circular, and Animal Friendly

Floating Farm produces day-fresh dairy products using animal-friendly and sustainable methods. The production is circular: the nutrients, energy, and water cycles are closed as much as possible, to recover minerals and other nutrients.

Together with our partners we obtain 80% of all the feed for our cows from residual waste-streams in the city. We collaborate with beer-breweries, golf courses, bakeries, and city retailers who provide orange-peels after they have pressed fresh juice.

Our cows are the most natural biomass upgrade animals we have: they turn controlled city-bio-waste into healthy protein for human beings. The manure from the cows is in turn processed into organic fertilizer for plants and parks in the city of Rotterdam.

Cities in delta areas that have a strategic location, where waterways flow deep into the city centre, are particularly suitable for our floating high-tech solution.

To make our food chain less vulnerable to climate change, especially flooding, and to relieve pressure from the environment through less transport and loss of food, we see a solution in floating high-tech farms in cities, where space is available.

Summer at our farm Photo: Floating Farms

Floating Farm can sustainably and efficiently contribute to an autonomous food program. For more information, get in touch with us via

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