The Meat Roof

Rearing livestock at the highest level

The Meat Roof is a social-technical concept aimed at producing meat on rooftops in integrated systems that bring people together.

Use Case

The users of the Meat Roof are the people living in and around the building carrying the project. They collect green waste material to feed the animals, they take care of the animals and they maintain their living conditions. By rearing their own livestock, users will benefit both economically and socially; they will receive products from the roof and develop relationships with their neighbors. Users will take responsibility, work together, upgrade their neighborhood and learn how to take care of livestock. Finally, users get firsthand insight in their consumption patterns and are offered directly the possibility to change that.

Potential

Much of the world’s fertile land surface is covered by concrete jungles reducing the amount of land left to produce food and exerting larger pressure on the global environment. Green roofs can reduce this pressure by acting as a carbon sink, and the upgrade from green roof to Meat Roof will provide other advantages. These encompass technical ones like more efficient use of waste material, for example in the form of organic waste from households or heat loss from the building in general. Besides that, the world needs to rebuild its social stage on which city dwellers can fruitfully interact. The Meat Roof will change the world by creating consumer awareness but also by implementing concrete, technical upgrades to current food production cycles.

Business Case

The scientific basis for the Meat Roof will be summarized in a ‘User Manual’. This manual will be built on experience and research in one specific city, but will be written such that it can be used in all parts of the world and on different buildings with minor changes. Every Meat Roof will be supervised by professionals which are ultimately responsible for the animals and the people. Their main task is to enable residents to work independently on the project. Those people involved will be rewarded in some way according to their efforts. The meat will be processed by a contracted butcher and can either be branded as ‘Roof Meat’ and sold as new product, or it can enter regular markets. As the Meat Roof is committed to be sustainable and self-sufficient, this also applies economically.

Objectives:

  1. Produce meat locally in an integrated system which reduces the pressure on the urban environment and the lands of the world at large.
  2. Create or restore social cohesion in neighborhoods by getting people to work together on a fun and useful project.
  3. Create awareness of how meat is produced and (over)consumed, and consequently start a debate about the implications for animals and humans.

Team The Meat Roof

Wageningen, Netherlands

Our Team

Meat and Greet / Published January 10, 2016 by Wietse Wiersma

Meat and Greet

After the holidays we got back together to look back on the past half year and to determine our plan for the coming months. A lot of work has been done on the scientific background of our project, and we are at the beginning of translating our knowledge into an accessible manual for 'Meat Roofs'.

Today is the deadline of the Thought for Food pitch submission, which means the next ten days up until the winner announcement day are exciting. We are hoping to be able to meet other young bright minds and work on food security together in Switzerland this year, which we started to refer to as a 'Meat and Greet' in our case: talking about the meat roof in an inspiring, critical and engaging environment.

Best of luck to all teams and we hope to see you soon!

Film Festival Amsterdam / Published December 28, 2015 by Marijke Zonnenberg

Film Festival Amsterdam

A few weeks ago, our team visited the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, also known as IDFA. On the day we went, there were several documentaries about food and food production. We visited the movie 'Need for Meat' from Dutch filmmaker Marijn Frank about her addiction to meat and the documentary '10 Billion - What's on Your Plate' from Valentin Thurn. This last documentary was very relevant to the TFF Challenge and our project as it focused on the question 'How are we going to feed a world population of 10 billion people by 2050?' During the movie we saw several people in different countries with their own ideas on how to tackle this question. It was very interesting to see and it broadened our view of this topic and our own project.

Get engaged! / Published December 9, 2015 by Wietse Wiersma

Get engaged!

http://goo.gl/forms/yxk2xx7bFT

The quest for global food security is not a smooth one. There is little debate about if we should realize this goal, but there is much about how we should do that. We think that this is a good thing, that we need to keep talking about the meanings of our efforts and the intentions of our projects. To give everyone the opportunity to engage with the Meat Roof, we created a simple but elegant response form. If there is something unclear to you, ask us; it will help us to define our project more clearly. If you have any critique or recommendation, tell us; in the end we are also a link in the large chain of global food security. If you leave your contact information, we will get in touch with you, but it’s also possible to stay anonymous. You can fill in the form in Dutch or in English. We are looking forward to hear from you!

We did it! / Published December 5, 2015 by Wietse Wiersma

We did it!

Today we published our pitch! We took a few days extra to go over our texts but we felt confident about publishing it now, as the filming part was already done. Making the videos for our concept and pitch was very helpful because it forced us to distill the most important points from our idea and bring it in such a way that is both clear and convincing. Until January 10 we will be focusing on publicity and getting engaged with people to talk about our ideas. Besides that, we are working behind the scenes on a scientific backing of our project.

A Day We Will Never Forget / Published November 23, 2015 by Wietse Wiersma

A Day We Will Never Forget

We wanted to have firsthand experience of the meat industry to get ourselves really engaged with the subject. Together with two team members we (me, Anouk and Marijke from left to right in the picture) managed to get an appointment at a major meat processing company. The location we visited, in the Netherlands, slaughters 25.000 animals each week. During several hours the manager showed us every aspect of the process; from the point where the animals come walking out the trucks until their meat is wrapped up in plastic. It was an experience we will never forget and after our visit we felt more confident to tackle a topic with so many angles and issues. Even though it might be confrontational, we really encourage people to get to know the industry they try to change or in which they try to work.

Our Mission

Today, over half of the world population lives in cities. All these people need food, preferably multiple times a day. This brings challenges, since cities are far away from the places where our food is produced, both literally and figuratively. While we are using far away land to grow our food and transport this across the world, we do not look at the possibilities we already have within reach in cities. Far above us, on top of buildings, we could set up dozens of farms. Some already exist and have crops on them, but we are taking it to the next level: we can get our meat supply from there as well. By installing integrated systems on roofs and rearing livestock there, we bridge the gap between the place of production and place of consumption. By engaging city dwellers in the process through cooperation and workshops, we hope to encourage them to think about their consumption. But we are not compromising: even in the concrete jungles of today’s world, we are providing the best quality, raising livestock at the highest level.

Our Background

We are a diverse and ambitious group of students, studying at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, which is well known for its focus on life sciences. Our different fields of education are International Development, Food Technology, Business and Consumer Studies, Biotechnology and Environmental studies. All different but complementary and that is what we need for the extracurricular programme we are involved in. In this programme, we have been working on the future of meat production for over a year already. We have talked with some key figures in the world’s meat production, both professors and people from companies. Through interviews and company visits, we have gotten a broad picture of the industry and thus are aware of the many controversies, misunderstandings and complexities surrounding the issue. Complexities and misunderstandings do not hold us back: we are trying to overcome them and that is why we came up with the idea of The Meat Roof. At the moment, we are developing a theoretical framework on how to realize such a roof, exploring social, ethical, practical and physical aspects of it. We are building a solid basis from which we can realize an actual roof. The Thought For Food Challenge can help us realize this roof and we want to make the idea widely known. We can achieve change by reaching as many people as possible. Our idea combines multiple issues of our future world, and with the debate our project generates we aim at making the world aware of the fragility of food security.

Meat and Greet / Published January 10, 2016 by Wietse Wiersma

Meat and Greet

After the holidays we got back together to look back on the past half year and to determine our plan for the coming months. A lot of work has been done on the scientific background of our project, and we are at the beginning of translating our knowledge into an accessible manual for 'Meat Roofs'.

Today is the deadline of the Thought for Food pitch submission, which means the next ten days up until the winner announcement day are exciting. We are hoping to be able to meet other young bright minds and work on food security together in Switzerland this year, which we started to refer to as a 'Meat and Greet' in our case: talking about the meat roof in an inspiring, critical and engaging environment.

Best of luck to all teams and we hope to see you soon!

Film Festival Amsterdam / Published December 28, 2015 by Marijke Zonnenberg

Film Festival Amsterdam

A few weeks ago, our team visited the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, also known as IDFA. On the day we went, there were several documentaries about food and food production. We visited the movie 'Need for Meat' from Dutch filmmaker Marijn Frank about her addiction to meat and the documentary '10 Billion - What's on Your Plate' from Valentin Thurn. This last documentary was very relevant to the TFF Challenge and our project as it focused on the question 'How are we going to feed a world population of 10 billion people by 2050?' During the movie we saw several people in different countries with their own ideas on how to tackle this question. It was very interesting to see and it broadened our view of this topic and our own project.

Get engaged! / Published December 9, 2015 by Wietse Wiersma

Get engaged!

http://goo.gl/forms/yxk2xx7bFT

The quest for global food security is not a smooth one. There is little debate about if we should realize this goal, but there is much about how we should do that. We think that this is a good thing, that we need to keep talking about the meanings of our efforts and the intentions of our projects. To give everyone the opportunity to engage with the Meat Roof, we created a simple but elegant response form. If there is something unclear to you, ask us; it will help us to define our project more clearly. If you have any critique or recommendation, tell us; in the end we are also a link in the large chain of global food security. If you leave your contact information, we will get in touch with you, but it’s also possible to stay anonymous. You can fill in the form in Dutch or in English. We are looking forward to hear from you!

We did it! / Published December 5, 2015 by Wietse Wiersma

We did it!

Today we published our pitch! We took a few days extra to go over our texts but we felt confident about publishing it now, as the filming part was already done. Making the videos for our concept and pitch was very helpful because it forced us to distill the most important points from our idea and bring it in such a way that is both clear and convincing. Until January 10 we will be focusing on publicity and getting engaged with people to talk about our ideas. Besides that, we are working behind the scenes on a scientific backing of our project.

A Day We Will Never Forget / Published November 23, 2015 by Wietse Wiersma

A Day We Will Never Forget

We wanted to have firsthand experience of the meat industry to get ourselves really engaged with the subject. Together with two team members we (me, Anouk and Marijke from left to right in the picture) managed to get an appointment at a major meat processing company. The location we visited, in the Netherlands, slaughters 25.000 animals each week. During several hours the manager showed us every aspect of the process; from the point where the animals come walking out the trucks until their meat is wrapped up in plastic. It was an experience we will never forget and after our visit we felt more confident to tackle a topic with so many angles and issues. Even though it might be confrontational, we really encourage people to get to know the industry they try to change or in which they try to work.

Our Team

Our Mission

Today, over half of the world population lives in cities. All these people need food, preferably multiple times a day. This brings challenges, since cities are far away ...Read More

Our Background

We are a diverse and ambitious group of students, studying at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, which is well known for its focus on life sciences. Our different ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.