Scaling up initiatives for upcycling of food

On 13 September 2022 Foodvalley NL organises a first hybrid event for their Upcycling Community. The event aims to inspire community partners with innovative developments, initiatives and research outcomes related to ‘upcycling food’, presented by knowledgeable speakers.

Major opportunities

The Upcycling Community focusses on scaling up the use of residual streams for human consumption to take a big step towards a circular sustainable food system. There are great opportunities for new products that want to apply circular raw materials. But to realise this, knowledge, technology and a transition of current supply chains are needed. Challenges such as product quality, safety, consumer acceptance of circular food concepts and the environmental gain or loss of processing side streams into food grade ingredients need a pre-competitive approach.

Accelerate upcycling food

To accelerate the transition of upcycling food, co-creation and rock-solid cooperation are needed. That is why Foodvalley NL is starting an Upcycling Community, to create a safe environment where organisations can develop their ideas together and gain inspiration from each other. With the right support and a mix of cross-sector organisations, we can make a circular impact. Although the Upcycling Community takes a broad view of residual flows from food production, it started with the residual flow brewer's spent grain. This, due the enormous potential based on the nutritional value, volume and potential areas of application.

Join our first hybrid Upcycling Community event on 13 September 2022

During our first hybrid event on Tuesday 13 September in Wageningen, the Upcycling Community will be inspired with technical processing methods to create high value out of coproducts. The Upcycling Community will also explore the market strategy to create scale for circular ingredient and circular food concepts that needs to go along with consumer acceptance. Prior to the plenary meeting, there will be a networking lunch with lots of inspiration for upcycling from food waste to food!

Does your company want to grow within the upcycling of food? Are you curious what the Upcycling Community can mean for you and would you like to join this event? Please contact Caroline Duivenvoorden, Programme Manager Circular Agrifood, for more information about the Upcycling Community.

Questions? Get in touch

Caroline Duivenvoorden
Programme Manager Circular Agrifood

What our community says

"We’re really looking forward to joining this community, building on the how we’ve seen the Protein Community develop since its inception and the opportunities this has identified. As a member of the Champions 12.3 10x20x30 initiative, a global coalition of leaders from governments, businesses and civil society, we’ve committed to halve food waste. However to transform the food system we cannot do this alone - we view partnership as the new leadership and we’re embracing collaboration with others for change – that includes suppliers, retailers, our peers and governments. We hope this community will grow and ultimately help foster collaboration across different areas of the food industry to find ways to upcycle materials at all stages of the food chain."

Alistair Smith, Senior R&D Manager at Unilever

"Because WASTE ME UP is working in the field of valorization with Brew Saved Grains, we would like to share knowledge and experiences with others companies involved in this same topic. We would like to build some projects to improve this subject. We are convinced that it's important to work together to go quickly and deeper and specially with some partners from others countries"

Frédéric Maudy, president at WASTE ME UP

" Green Cell Technologies mission is to market, sell, distribute and logistically support Disruptors to our clients in all associated industries. Our expectation for this community is to gain exposure to the processers and academia to spread the word as to the benefits of Disruptor Technology so that the consumer can gain from its benefits and the environment can benefit from it. "

Roy Henderson, Chief Executive Officer at Green Cell Technologies

Save the date | Upcycling Community event

Foodvalley NL organises a hybrid event on 13 September from 12.30 – 16.00 CEST. We invite Upcycling Community partners to meet and explore the Upcycling Community network. This event start with a lunch at 12.30 – 13.00 followed by an inspiring programme which ends 16.00 CEST. The central theme will be ‘Food applications and consumer acceptance of BSG ingredients.

Are you not an Upcycling Community partner yet but would you like to join this event? Please contact Caroline Duivenoorden for more information.

Save the date | Foodvalley Innovation Insights

The next Innovation Insights event, exclusively for our Foodvalley Partners, will be held on 27 September, 2022 from 9.00 – 10.30. Programme and registration for our Foodvalley partners will follow soon.

Supporting Dutch entrepreneurs in developing their skills to accelerate

Every step of an entrepreneur’s journey is a step into the unknown. Having access to valuable resources and unique facilities, communities of peers, coaches and capital is crucial in converting innovative ideas into scaling businesses. Foodvalley NL’s objective is to help entrepreneurs get access to whatever they need in order to become successful and accelerate their innovations.

Foodvalley NL partnered with the ‘Landelijke ROM’s’ and their Business Innovation Program Food (BIP Food). Dutch (also non-tech) innovative companies and companies with innovative business ideas can apply. So SME’s (MKB) with innovative ideas as well.

Foodvalley NL partnered up with BIP Food

With supporting the BIP Food start-ups and/or SME’s can sharpen their focus on promising ideas and how to translate them into concrete new revenue models. These innovative companies are active in the agro-food sector in the broadest sense. These include agriculture and horticulture, the food processing industry, data and technology companies and (logistics) service providers.

Calling all innovative entrepreneurs (start-up and SME)

In 10 sessions, entrepreneurs are trained to engage with customers, develop products, strengthen impact, build a business model, create a team and enhance collaborations.

The Business Innovation Program Food also facilitates interactive sessions for entrepreneurs to translate theory into practice. They receive practical assignments and are coached, one-on-one, by business developers from the relevant Regional Development Agency (Regionale Ontwikkelings Maatschappij).

Practical information

  • The programme starts on 7 September 2022 and ends in mid-November 2022.
  • Participation in the programme is free of charge, but a lot is expected of you.
  • The meetings take place every week on Wednesday morning.
  • Are you enthusiastic and do you have a good feeling about the programme? Register now for the Business Innovation Program Food.
  • More info: Business Innovation Program Food | Oost NL (in Dutch)

Save the date | Partner event 3 November 2022

Foodvalley NL would like to invite you to our exclusively Foodvalley Partner event on 3 November 2022 from 16.00 – 19.00 CEST at our office in Wageningen.

The aim of the event is to explore Foodvalley’s network in its full scope, with all our communities and network partners. This day will focus on connection, innovation and match-making. We will also celebrate the fifth anniversary of The Protein Community together with all Foodvalley partners!

Explore and connect with Foodvalley’s network and save the date 3 November 2022 in your agenda. Information about the programme will follow soon.

* Please note: this event is exclusively for Foodvalley Partners. Are you not a partner yet but would you like to join this event? Contact us at: partner@foodvalley.nl

This catering embraces plant-based proteins

Foodvalley Podcast 5 | Hutten

In the fifth episode of this podcast series, Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Lead for the protein shift at Foodvalley NL, meets Drees Peter van den Bosch in his family house in Lopik. Drees has had a long career in the foodservice industry and is ambitious to contribute to the protein shift in his current role as CEO of Hutten catering. Jeroen and Drees discuss challenges, possibilities and the need for a pro-active government role.

Listen to the podcast (in Dutch)

Drees en Jeroen on…

…the strength of short chains
“It’s easier and faster to work sustainably when the food chain is short and we mostly work with local farmers and partners. It makes it much easier to experiment together and develop a shared view of what our shared future should and can look like.”

…challenges and taxes
“The challenges we face over the next ten years are too big to be able do deal with, without the contribution of lawmakers. Big players, like Hutten, other catering companies and retailers for example, have to direct the consumers more actively towards sustainable alternatives. By presenting them with less choices for example and make the healthier and more sustainable ones more attractive. This requires government policies that help promote healthier choices like lowering the tax on fruit and vegetables.”

…an active government
“It’s inevitable that we’ll move towards a more sustainable agricultural system and we need a healthy perspective for our farmers to continue their businesses. I miss vigor and a sense of urgency with our government. We all know what the future holds and what needs to be done. And it will be a tough and painful process. But the longer we wait, the more it will hurt.”

…the EatLancet menu
“The EatLancet menu is a study that has calculated what it takes to supply the growing world population with an healthy and sustainable diet. At Hutten Catering, we have made this menu the central point to all our operations. Our experience is that if we take the time to develop great recipes and make sure the presentation of our products is excellent, our guests will make the switch to this diet without problems. Within one, maybe two months, everyone will have developed new and healthier habits.”

…a greener deal
“The Green Deal on crops that are high in protein can be a game changer for our industry and we are willing to commit to ambitious goals. We strive to add more value to the food chain than we take from it by 2030, and the Green Deal that Jeroen and Foodvalley NL are working on will help us all move forwards.”

Please note: this serie is Dutch spoken. Also available on Spotify and Anchor.

Questions? Get in touch

Jeroen Willemsen
Innovation Lead Protein Shift
+31 6 177 380 37

About the podcast: 20 years of protein transition in the Netherlands

Listen to candid conversations with Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation lead Protein Shift, and professionals about the protein transition. What developments has the protein transition made in recent years? Where are we now? And what will be the position of plant proteins in the future?

Protein farmers join forces for better position in agrifood chain

Lupin, field bean, soybean, chickpea: these are just some examples of leguminous crops that are particularly rich in protein. Moreover, they bind nitrogen. By growing them on Dutch soil, they make an important contribution to the protein transition and sustainability of agriculture. The farmers’ desire is present, but they are encountering hurdles. Therefore Foodvalley NL helped the farmers to unite in a Producers Organisation (PO).

A fair price for a valuable product

“It cannot be the case that all partners in the supply chain profit from plant protein-rich products except the farmer himself,” says farmer Henk Janknegt, brand-new chairman of the PO Dutch Protein Farmers, officially established on 8 June 2022. The farmer saw interest in plant proteins grow and therefore included field beans in his crop rotation plan. “With success: the second year a good harvest followed. My field beans were processed into veg burgers, which were on the shelves of a large supermarket chain. Then the frustration set in. Transporters, processors and supermarkets were making good money, while I was paying for all the costs and even had to pay extra. I had two options: stop or try to fundamentally change the system.”

Farmers must tell their story

As a board member of the Dutch Agriculture Farming Association, Janknegt got to know Jeroen Willemsen of Foodvalley NL. Willemsen quickly saw where the shoe pinches: “Of the price that consumers pay for their veg burger, only a maximum of 5% goes to the farmer. The margin distribution throughout the chain must be more fair. In addition, more consumer appreciation is needed: a consumer study by Foodvalley NL at the end of 2021 showed that more and more consumers are willing to pay extra for home-produced meat or cheese, but are not yet sufficiently aware of plant protein-rich products made in the Netherlands.”

Henk Janknegt: “Foodvalley NL gave us the insight that we as farmers must tell our story: to the retail sector, but also to the consumer. We have to show that Dutch cultivation of protein-rich crops has a positive impact. We contribute to agrobiodiversity; help solve the nitrogen problem; make agriculture more sustainable, contribute to the protein transition and to making our country more protein self-sufficient. In these times of raw material scarcity, this is important. By joining forces, we can achieve a better economic position. Foodvalley NL therefore suggested setting up a PO and brought us in contact with the right people to realise this.”

Cooperation is the strength of a PO

“When a farmer has to negotiate on his own with a much larger buyer, he is in a much weaker position. That is why European agricultural law allows farmers to organise themselves,” explains Maria Litjens. Maria is an expert in agricultural law and obtained her PhD in 2018 on the topic of Producer Organisations. “A PO, recognised by the national government, offers farmers a lot of opportunities. For example, they can match supply to demand, optimise production costs and cooperate in marketing. Because agricultural law takes precedence over competition law, they are even allowed to make price agreements. Of course, that only works if the members comply with it. Cooperation is the strength of a PO,” says Maria.

That cooperation pays off, confirms André Jurrius, owner of Ekoboerderij de Lingehof. As co-founder of LekkerLupine, Jurrius is also closely involved in the establishment of the PO Dutch Protein Farmers. André: ” Lupin farmers were pioneering separately. We sensed potential, but were unable to seize it. Thanks to LekkerLupine, 15 farmers are now working together on product development and marketing the lupin bean. As a PO you are even stronger. That is why the lupin farmers also joined the Dutch Protein Farmers.”

The same applies to Anna van der Bijl. Together with her husband Peter, she is experimenting with growing chickpeas. “Although the chickpea is not unknown here, the cultivation is completely new in the Netherlands. That makes it exciting. For example, you don’t know how many hours of sunshine are needed, or how to deal with weeds. Sharing knowledge and experience is therefore very valuable. If our experiment succeeds, we want to scale up. That’s when you also want a realistic price for your product. Thanks to the PO, farmers can support each other,” says Anna.

Committed to protein crops from our own soil

Foodvalley’s Innovation Leads Jeroen Willemsen (Protein Shift) and Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel (Circular Agrifood) initiated the Dutch Protein Farmers. Early 2021, Foodvalley NL – in cooperation with Ekoboerderij de Lingehof, Proeflab Wageningen and the Taskforce Korte Keten – brought together the first protein farmers. “Foodvalley NL is committed to a future-proof food system. It is our role to turn challenges into actions. In the cultivation of leguminous protein crops, sustainable agriculture and protein transition go hand in hand,” says Jeroen. Colleague Jolijn adds: “Food security, continuity and local production are current topics. To make agriculture more sustainable, you need ecologically and economically sustainable production. It is no longer self-evident to get raw materials from far away. It is in the interest of all chain partners to offer farmers continuity with local production. I am therefore honoured that we can commit ourselves from Foodvalley NL to protein crops from our own soil.”

Questions? Get in touch

Jolijn Zwart- van Kessel
Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood
+31 6 82096140

Questions? Get in touch

Jeroen Willemsen
Innovation Lead Protein Shift
+31 6 177 380 37

Join us: together we are strong

Are you already a protein farmer or do you want to start growing protein crops? The PO Dutch Protein Farmers dedicates itself to a healthier earnings model for the cultivation of high-protein crops and shares experiences about practical sowing, cultivation and harvesting. The PO also acts as a discussion partner for the authorities. Join us now, together we can strengthen our economic position in the plant protein chain.

Dutch Protein Farmers: more homegrown plant proteins

The Producer Organisation Dutch Protein Farmers, founded by the ‘Nederlandse Akkerbouw Vereniging’ (Dutch Agriculture Association) and initiated by Foodvalley NL, is the first producer organisation of and for farmers of protein crops. Both organic and conventional farmers are welcome; farmers who already cultivate or want to cultivate protein crops, from Faba bean to lupine, from soy to chickpea. Together, they want to achieve sustainable and profitable protein cultivation, with fair prices for farmers.

The market for protein crops must change

For human consumption, and especially for animal feed, many protein-rich raw materials are transported from far away. For example, from Canada, South America, Russia or Ukraine. This can and must change according to the Dutch Protein Farmers. Farmers, processors, supermarkets, caterers, consumers and the national government can all benefit from Dutch leguminous protein crops. This will make us less dependent on imports, which contributes to the Dutch Protein Strategy. The Dutch Protein Farmers also contribute to more sustainable agriculture, a healthier soil and solving climate and nitrogen problems. To achieve this, the market for protein crops has to change drastically.

Combining forces

In order to achieve this, the Dutch Protein Farmers combines knowledge and strengths of farmers of leguminous protein crops. Through their cooperation, they have a stronger negotiating position and can obtain better contract conditions and prices. They are interesting for large buyers and end suppliers such as supermarkets and caterers; by working together, farmers can supply a larger volume of plant proteins.

Sharing experiences

Members also share practical sowing, growing and harvesting experiences and draw up a research agenda for the coming years. In this role, the Producer Organisation is also involved as a partner in the forthcoming Green Deal on Protein-rich Crops.

"We need our protein farmers to become less dependent on the import of plant proteins" - Jolijn Zwart- van Kessel, initiator of the Dutch Protein Farmers

Developments & News

Committed to protein crops from our own soil

Foodvalley’s Innovation Leads Jeroen Willemsen (Protein Shift) and Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel (Circular Agrifood) initiated the Dutch Protein Farmers. Early 2021, Foodvalley NL – in cooperation with Ekoboerderij de Lingehof, Proeflab Wageningen and the Taskforce Korte Keten – brought together the first protein farmers. “Foodvalley NL is committed to a future-proof food system. It is our role to turn challenges into actions. In the cultivation of leguminous protein crops, sustainable agriculture and protein transition go hand in hand,” says Jeroen. Colleague Jolijn adds: “Food security, continuity and local production are current topics. To make agriculture more sustainable, you need ecologically and economically sustainable production. It is no longer self-evident to get raw materials from far away. It is in the interest of all chain partners to offer farmers continuity with local production. I am therefore honoured that we can commit ourselves from Foodvalley NL to protein crops from our own soil.”

Increasing local availability and consumption of plant-based proteins has the added benefits of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen runoff reduction and increased biodiversity. It will help create the right balance between animal and plant proteins and contributes to the growth of new sustainable crops that adds to regenerative circular agriculture. That is what Foodvalley NL is committed to.

Questions? Contact us!

Jolijn Zwart- van Kessel, Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood (left)
Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Lead, Protein Shift (right)

Foodvalley initiated the foundation of the Dutch Protein Farmers producer organisation.

On Friday 6 May 2022, the producer organisation (PO) Dutch Protein Farmers was founded by the ‘Nederlandse Akkerbouw Vereniging (NAV) (Dutch Arable Farming Union) and registered with the Chamber of Commerce, initiated by Foodvalley NL. The PO is committed to the profitable cultivation of protein-rich crops from their own soil with a fair earning model. At the start the PO consists of 29 growers of different leguminous protein crops.

The PO Dutch Protein Farmers is the first producer organisation of and for growers of protein crops. Both organic and conventional farmers are welcome; growers who already cultivate or want to cultivate protein crops, from field bean to lupin, from soy to chickpea. The main objective is to achieve sustainable and profitable protein cultivation together, with an earnings model and fair prices for farmers.

Import from far away must change

For human consumption and, in particular, for animal feed, many protein-rich raw materials are imported from far away. For example, from Canada, South America, Russia or Ukraine. This can and must change according to the PO Dutch Protein Farmers. Farmers, processors, supermarkets, caterers, consumers and the national government can all benefit from Dutch leguminous protein crops. This way, we become less dependent on imports and contribute to the goal of the Dutch Protein Strategy, a more sustainable agriculture, a healthier soil and solving the climate and nitrogen problem. To achieve this, the market for protein crops must change drastically.

Cooperation

Early in 2021, Foodvalley NL, together with Ekoboerderij de Lingehof, Proeflab Wageningen and the Taskforce Korte Keten, brought together the first protein farmers. This led to cooperation with NAV and now to the establishment of the PO Dutch Protein Farmers. The PO combines the knowledge and strengths of growers of leguminous protein crops. Through their cooperation they have a stronger negotiating position and can obtain better contract conditions and prices. The organisation is also interesting for large buyers and end suppliers such as supermarkets and caterers; by working together growers can supply a larger volume of protein crops.

Share experience and research

In addition, the members of PO Dutch Protein Farmers share practical sowing, growing and harvesting experiences and draw up a research agenda for the coming years. In this role, the PO is also involved as a partner in the forthcoming Green Deal on Protein-rich Crops.

Tell the story

Finally, the members of PO Protein Farmers of the Netherlands tell the story of the Dutch leguminous protein crops. The consumer study ‘Homegrown Proteins‘ (2021, in Dutch) revealed that few Dutch consumers know the value of leguminous plants. Which will result in healthier soil, greater biodiversity and a more sustainable, circular agriculture. Everyone needs to know this in order to make a conscious choice for products with home-grown plant proteins.

Appeal to farmers

The Protein Farmers of the Netherlands organises its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, 8 June 2022 from 14.30 to 17.30 hours, at the Ekoboerderij de Lingehof in Randwijk. Among other things, the board will be elected and the policy determined. Are you or do you know a Dutch grower who would like to attend the inaugural meeting? Register via www.eiwitboeren.nl

Foodvalley NL supports the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands

Innovation leads Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel and Jeroen Willemsen from Foodvalley NL initiated and support the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands who want to realise a fairer price, a better position in the value chain, more knowledge exchange and central coordination of research.

Increasing local availability and consumption of plant-based proteins has the added benefits of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen runoff reduction and increased biodiversity. It will help create the right balance between animal and plant proteins and contributes to the growth of new sustainable crops that adds to regenerative circular agriculture. That is what Foodvalley NL is committed to.

Questions? Get in touch

Jolijn Zwart- van Kessel
Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood
+31 6 82096140

Questions? Get in touch

Jeroen Willemsen
Innovation Lead Protein Shift
+31 6 177 380 37

“Make something that both consumers and producers understand and want”

Since this year it has been forbidden in Germany. Next year it will be forbidden in France. But in the Netherlands, it still happens every day: killing male chicks the day they hatch. Male chicks are ‘useless’ since they won’t lay any eggs. Wouter Bruins and his business partner Wil Stutterheim started working on a solution to this problem in 2011, when they were still students.

Away from the hype

They were pleasantly and proudly surprised when their company In Ovo was nominated as Foodvalley Champion in 2020. Of course, they themselves knew that they were rapidly developing a machine that could determine the sex of a chick before it was born. But around that time many companies said they were working on the issue. “When the world heard about the ban in Germany, people from all over came up with over-promising solutions. Everyone thought the problem would be solved within half a year.” As a reaction to this ‘hype’, In Ovo decided to work on their new technique in silence. But Foodvalley NL didn’t lose sight of them. “It was awesome that Foodvalley suddenly e-mailed us: congratulations on your candidate championship.”

Serious attention was not always a given for In Ovo. “When you start out as students, absolutely no one believes you. Everyone thinks you are cute and nice, but that doesn’t boost your credibility.” What doesn’t help is that the company is located in Leiden. “We are always asked why we aren’t located in Wageningen.” When In Ovo was nominated, Bruins did not know Foodvalley NL was not limited to food-stronghold Wageningen, but was already connecting food companies all over the Netherlands. “It is important to be organised like that. Especially in the food sector, where we are not that good in organising ourselves in thinking and acting differently. It is important that Foodvalley NL brings everyone together and lifts us to a higher level.”

Food Family

When In Ovo won the Champion Award, they were introduced to the network of Foodvalley NL. The meetings were not what they could have been without Covid-19, but Bruins still had the feeling that In Ovo became part of the ‘Food Family’. “Foodvalley NL has many stakeholders in its network. It helps a lot if such a organisation puts you on a pedestal. We also met with Rob Jetten, the current minister of Climate and Energy.”

In Ovo has grown significantly since 2020. The company has installed two new machines and hopes to have doubled its workforce from 30 to 60 by the end of this year. “We have been very careful to build up our team, because in the end that is the most important thing,” says Bruins. Perhaps Foodvalley NL can help, he thinks aloud. “They surely know people in the sector who have a lot of experience and would like to take on an adventure in a scale-up.” In Ovo’s mission is simple: to increase animal welfare and reduce co2 emissions.

Opportunities

In Ovo has just secured new funding of €34 million. Bruins and Stutterheim will use that to scale up production of their Ella gendertyping machines machines and to organise retailers and producers to end the killing of male chicks. In Ovo is also working on other means of improving the poultry sector. Despite the environmental burden, the sector will be around for many years to come, Bruins believes. “Many things in this sector are done inefficiently. There are many opportunities to make it better. In Ovo is now building a solution that monitors the hatching process, to prevent ‘second-grade’ chicks from hatching and being killed,” says Bruins. “It sounds difficult, but that’s how it works.”

Does he have any tips for new Foodvalley Champions? Wouter laughs: “That does sound very fatherly.” But he does have some advice. “Make sure you make something that both consumers and producers understand and want. To continue without their support is very outdated. Consumers today know what they want. And farmers are very smart, don’t underestimate that.”

About the Foodvalley Champion Award

Foodvalley Champions is the successor to the prestigious Foodvalley Award. The prize is presented every two years to the three most innovative companies in the categories of the Protein Shift, Circular Agrifood and Food & Health.

Evonik Industries, In Ovo, Niederlande

Questions? Get in touch

Jolijn Zwart- van Kessel
Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood
+31 6 82096140

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