First For Hooghoudt
The use of rainwater for food production is unique and has never been applied on a large scale before. At the same time, however, it is very global to start using rainwater as an alternative to tap water. Climate change is putting increasing pressure on the drinking water supply, while the demand for drinking water is increasing due to economic growth and population growth. This has already led to a shortage of clean drinking water for more than a quarter of the world's population.
The idea for using rainwater started from a project in the municipality of Groningen in which the rainwater on the Euvelgunne industrial estate must be disconnected from the sewerage system. Climate change also causes more and more nuisance during heavy showers and the sewage system can no longer handle this. The Hooghoudt distillery is located on this business park.
VIDA Demonstration project
The European VIDA project was also running during the Groningen uncoupling project. This is a European project funded from HORIZON 2020 to support innovations by small and medium-sized enterprises operating in European food chains and aiming to improve the efficiency of water use, food, energy, and key enabling technologies.
As part of this project, the company D2D Water Solutions received a grant to demonstrate that the Drop2Drink unit they developed can make drinking water from rainwater and that it is suitable for use for food production. 'We are of course very proud of this result and very grateful that Hooghoudt has participated so actively in this project', says director Johan Bel. 'Only in this way do innovations get a chance'.
Municipality of Groningen
The municipality of Groningen is very happy with this demonstrable result of sustainability and circularity. 'Due to the changing climate, flooding is becoming an increasing problem in our municipality', emphasizes Alderman Glimina Chakor (Sustainability & Circular Economy). 'By keeping clean rainwater out of the sewer, we are gradually making Groningen sustainable and climate-proof. I think it's great that we can achieve this with so many different parties and companies on Euvelgunne.'
Hooghoudt has, of course, been involved in various progressive projects for more than 130 years, and the Grain Republic in Bad Nieuweschans will open its doors this year. This project also fits in perfectly with our idiosyncrasy.
Arno Donkersloot: 'As a family business, you can only remain relevant for future generations by innovating, taking on challenges and deeply understanding what you stand for. Innovation and technology are part of this and enrich the craft of distillation. Creating the world's first jenever from rainwater fits in perfectly with the voyage of discovery that Grietje and Hero Jan Hooghoudt started in 1888.'
The first production of rainwater jenever consists of a 'limited edition' of 700 bottles. This is available at some of our ambassador liquor stores. With a successful reception in the market, this will certainly be followed up.