Floating Farm – From cow to city to cow

Land scarcity, climate change, rapid population growth concentrated in and around the big cities, these are all important factors behind the concept of Floating Farm. The world’s first floating self-sufficient farm has been operational in Rotterdam since May 2019. Dairy products are sold locally so transport and pollution is reduced. A large part of the cows’ diet consists of organic residual flows from the city, like grains from local breweries and peels of potato processing. Rainwater is collected and used as drinking water for the cows and manure is made into compost.

As more people live in the big cities far away from the sites of dairy production, a massive amount of transport is required to deliver dairy products to consumers, increasing pollution and imposing a heavy burden on infrastructure. Floating Farm is a way to get dairy production off the ground in urban areas, reducing both transport and pollution.


“The whole concept has been very carefully considered and tested before being developed. We created a model that can be replicated around the world where there’s water.” 

Peter van Wingerden, initiator of Floating Farm

A showcase for the circular economy and circular farming

Circularity is an essential principle for the Floating Farm. Water supply and drainage, generation of energy, waste processing and feeding will all be dealt with in the Floating Farm’s ‘closed system’. The use of solar energy, the collection of urine and manure for recycling into compost, the cleaning and re-use of rain water; these all mean that the Floating Farm will not leave behind any negative footprint.

In addition to supplying fresh dairy to the city, the largest possible part of the raw materials used, including the rations of the farm’s cows, consists of residual flows from the same city. For example, the cows are fed spent grains from a number of Rotterdam breweries, bread from Rotterdam bakers and grass from Feyenoord.