Erik Smale


Erik Smale is a farmer in the eastern part of the Netherlands. After finishing his MSc at Wageningen he started working for a small consultancy firm, Boerenverstand (Farmers’ sense). Combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience proofs that biodiversity and environment issues are actually profitable.



In the Netherlands, about 60% of the culture land is maintained by dairy farmers to produce cattle feed. Maintaining biodiversity in culture land is important in order to keep productivity of the land over the years. Erik Smale presents experiences of dairy farming in the balance between improving biodiversity and productivity from the soil. The theoretical approach of the Natural Capital Protocol, the IDF approach and the FAO LEAP approach are tested towards the sustainability program Foqus planet of FrieslandCampina. The objective is how to translate a global approach to practical tools for farmers. At farm level biodiversity and environment themes are not issues but a mind-set. If you go out-the-box and understand that biodiversity is actually making your farming business more profitable. Promising words of course but what if these words can be put in numbers? Erik Smale takes you to his farm and explains the opportunities.

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