The new chairman Jacqueline Smit and treasurer Nick Matulessy found reinforcement for the foundation’s board with Chris van den Haak. In addition to the three-headed board, reNature’s founders Marco de Boer and Felipe Villela are becoming board members. The new board has set the main goals of the foundation for 2023 in the development of one Model School and two Model Farms per year, along with making the impact of regenerative agroforestry accessible.
Jacqueline originally joined the board in 2018 as treasurer. Feeling at home in her new role as chairman of the board, she will ensure the foundation reaches its target of spreading the positive message of regenerative agroforestry. Her background in the public sector, combined with her clear-sighted view on how to chart the course to a nature-inclusive food system, will benefit this mission. Besides chairman at reNature, Jacqueline Smit is also chairman at Esprix, founder of Rockport Ink, a board member at VAR/VRT, and an advisory board member at SeederDeBoer.
Nick initially joined the board in 2018 as secretary. He earned his financial expertise by boosting affordable architecture through his company. As the foundation’s new treasurer, Nick Matulessy’s entrepreneurial mindset will help the foundation’s activities stay within the budget.
New addition Chris van den Haak, partner at BDO, studied accountancy at Nyenrode University. He has more than 25 years of experience in audit and advice and has been working at BDO since 2002. Besides board member at reNature Foundation, Chris is also Head of the Public Sector Market from BDO Netherlands. Specialized in healthcare, he established and expanded the BDO Healthcare Sector Group towards its current position. His experience in working with larger organizations will pave the way for the foundation to become a worldwide leading entity in regenerative agriculture.
reNature’s co-founder Marco de Boer utilized his background in marketing communication to secure reNature's position in the global landscape of regenerative agriculture and agroforestry. Besides running his advertising agency Bohemia Amsterdam, Marco managed the growth of the foundation and the BV.
Co-founder Felipe Villela is the face of reNature. He was selected by Forbes as one of ‘Brazil’s 30 under 30’ for the year 2020 and is a source of inspiration for the board. Felipe acquires the opportunities that enable the foundation to do its respected work.
In 2020, the foundation received €260,000 of funding for two Model Schools and one Model Farm. Besides these larger amounts, the foundation also received the first donation from Stichting de Roeper of €4,000. Additionally, private donations and reNature’s Insetting program combined provided €2,300. With these donations, reNature was able to launch projects in Kenya, Brazil, and Portugal.
The foundation promotes the use of sustainable agriculture, so-called regenerative agroforestry, which is characterized by setting up a polyculture of crops that reinforce and complement each other, resulting in higher yield variety in and returning the natural balance between nature and the farmed area.
The foundation aims to achieve its goal by providing information to local authorities, cooperatives, and farmers while guiding the implementation of regenerative agriculture. The foundation also wants to offer information to educational institutions, from primary schools to universities, to spread the knowledge of regenerative agriculture and agroforestry. Private donations to the foundation enable it to assist small farmers where necessary.
reNature realizes Model Farms and Model Schools which generate positive social impact for local communities. A Model Farm covers 1 to 5 hectares for which a product-specific production system has been developed that serves as inspiration for the surrounding farms. At a Model School, farmers and communities are actively involved in a three-year educational program. These two initiatives can be funded with institutional or larger private donations.
Measuring the effect of regenerative agriculture and agroforestry is still in its infancy. Empirical evidence is needed to promote agroforestry. The reNature Foundation has set up its own science team that is researching this together with, but not limited to, Wageningen University. This research can be financed with institutional and private donations or with the foundation’s own money.
The promotion of regenerative practices remains an important factor in achieving the goals of reNature Foundation and can only be financed with institutional and private donations.
I am excited to be part of this great team with the drive and a dream that will lead to a more healthy and inclusive world. We cannot do this without the support of the local teams and our partners that help us to reach our goal of 1 million ha of regenerated land in 2030.Jacqueline Smit, chairman @ Stichting reNature
Regenerating land through Agroforestry is the fastest and most economically viable method of securing our food production and a liveable earth as a whole. reNature simply obtained the best ability to connect the right dots and accelerate towards this sustainable future.Nick Matulessy, treasurer @ Stichting reNature
The worldwide crisis is a wake-up call that transformation is unavoidable. I am proud to be able to contribute to this respectable scale up organization and believe that reNature can be part of the solutions that are needed to create a better future.Chris van den Haak, board member @ Stichting reNature
I am proud to see the Foundation ready to scale up with Jacqueline, Nick and Chris. It is my personal goal to make regenerative agriculture mainstream.Marco de Boer, board member @ Stichting reNature
There's a big food system challenge ahead of us. And we strongly believe we can remedy it from its root cause: the soil and the farmers. reNature Foundation aims to regenerate land and empower farmers and communities. Let's do this.Felipe Villela, board member @ Stichting reNature
Stichting reNature (reNature Foundation) is a Dutch non-profit registered under RSIN: 858367142 and Dossier: 70542139 at the Chamber of Commerce, Amsterdam. The reNature Foundation promotes regenerative agroforestry systems to help farmers get out of this situation and gain confidence in nature-inclusive agriculture.