As a medical student in Amsterdam, I became convinced of the need to stimulate organic food and farming for the benefit of nature, the environment and health. This led me to establish an organic restaurant. In 1977 I set up an organic farm and an organic food shop next to my medical practice, and I also started promoting the conversion of farmers in the Dutch province of Fryslân. With a nature conservation organisation (one of) the first agri-environmental programme(s) in the Netherlands was developed. In 1991 I founded the Avalon Foundation in order to promote similar activities in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. Networking is in my blood, and my experience in the field of institutional development, (co-)organising international conferences and project financing comes in handy. Current issues to be further developed are the relation of organic farming and food with nature conservation, climate change and energy use.