Stagnation and dynamism in three supply chains: agriculture and foods, building materials and construction, energy

Harry Lintsen

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At the time, extreme poverty could be fought by, among other things, economic growth. That demanded another approach to the exploitation of natural capital and accordingly to innovation in the three main supply chains. In the agriculture and foods supply chain (one of the three main chains in this study, based on organic raw materials) experimentation with new techniques did take place (among other things the use of guano as artificial fertilizer) but this did not lead to practical innovations. In the supply chain of building materials and construction (the second main chain based on mineral subsoil resources) the construction of a national road system amounted to an important innovation in road infrastructure. Hardly any innovations were undertaken in the fields of water management and housing construction. It is remarkable that little was done about the social problem of organic wastes, including human and animal faeces. Public hygiene was not one of the most important societal issues of the time. In the energy supply chain (the third main supply chain based on fossil subsoil resources) innovations were equally lacking, in particular applications of steam power. Up to 1850 the Netherlands did not industrialise on the basis of steam and coal.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWell-Being, Sustainability and Social Development
Subtitle of host publicationThe Netherlands 1850-2050
EditorsHarry Lintsen, Frank Veraart, Jan-Pieter Smits, John Grin
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76696-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76695-9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018


  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Foods
  • Hygiene
  • Industrialisation
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Steam technology
  • Water management


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