Oats: new perspectives for food and agriculture?

Oats: new perspectives for food and agriculture?

Unique benefits

Oats are known to fit into a healthy food diet: they have a saturating effect, increase resistance to diseases, decrease blood cholesterol and stabilise blood sugar levels. Moreover, oats are important as a part of a gluten-free diet.

Next to these, oats are also of great significance in circular agriculture and in sustainable crop production and will improve the quality of the soil.


Despite these benefits, the production of oats has dramatically declined in The Netherlands over the past decades. One of the reasons was that farmers were offered better prices for crops such as wheat and barley. In the meantime, the volume of oats in the Dutch farming sector has become so small that it is more difficult to build up a meaningful and reliable position for food production. Also it has been recognized that both the taste and functional properties of oats could limit the application in a wider range of food products, for instance, bread and pasta.


Obviously oats deserve a place in society, especially since a transition is needed to sustainable agricultural practices and a healthier and more nutritional diet. The challenge is to develop a revenue model that benefits both farmers and food producers from field to fork. This model should acknowledge the positive characteristics of oats, both in economical value as well as in its societal significance.


The purpose of KFS is to process agricultural raw materials as fully as possible into high-quality food ; in other words, less waste, fewer additives and more sustainable practices.

KFS has set up a ‘Taskforce Oats’ which consists of a group of representatives from farming, processing, marketing, science and technology. Together they represent the oats’ supply chain. In a recently held workshop, potential solutions to improve the perspective for sustainable oat production have been discussed. Currently more concrete solutions are being explored. Contact Caroline van der Horst for the presentations and report of this workshop (in Dutch).

Read Position Paper Haver – Taksforce Haver 2022 (in Dutch).

In co-operation with Maastricht University, an MSc thesis has been prepared in order to better understand the drivers and hurdles of oat consumption. Results of this study will become available end of July 2022. Also see https://toekomstvoorhaver.jouwweb.nl (in Dutch).

Want to know more? Contact Caroline van der Horst.