To reduce nutrient losses from the food system, it is necessary to improve biomass management and foster change. Such a change is often hindered by a lack of stakeholder interaction. Therefore, a qualitative case study and a practical application of the innovation platform approach in the Dutch-German border region Rhine-Waal were carried out to determine challenges and opportunities in the agro-food-waste system towards circular nutrient management in a nutrient-saturated and intensive animal production-dominated localized area. Twenty-one actors participated in a half-day workshop. A bottom-up approach was chosen as it increases trust between stakeholders and supports the acceptance of research processes. This study identified opportunities and challenges perceived by stakeholders participating in the innovation platform approach to facilitate a transition towards local circular nutrient management. We observed that challenges and opportunities exist at three levels: the individual actor’s level, the system level and the interconnection of the system with its wider environment. With a variety of stakeholders from animal and crop production to the food processing industry being present in the study area, the current demand and supply of biomass is very diverse. This diversity has been identified as a distinct opportunity for the establishment of a biomass exchange network in the area. However, information on demand and supply of nutrients between actors is currently scattered and information sharing hindered by the lack of direct monetary benefits. The lessons learned using the innovation platform approach are a first step towards improving nutrient circularity at a localized scale in nutrient-saturated areas.
- Innovation Systems and Digitalisation