First consumer survey on home-grown plant proteins published

To find out what the attitude and knowledge of consumers is around home-grown plant proteins, DVJ Insights conducted a consumer survey on behalf of the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands (an initiative of Foodvalley NL). The consumer survey provides, among other things, insights for the Green Deal Protein-rich Crops that stimulates the cultivation, processing, and consumption of regionally grown proteins. Read the research here.

Local foods have become more important

The results from the study, conducted among 500 Dutch consumers, are promising. For example, in the past year local foods have become more important to 4 out of 10 Dutch respondents. This is mainly due to the climate agreement and the COVID-19 crisis. But availability and media attention play a role in this as well.

Half of the consumers are therefore more motivated to buy plant-based products. The main motivation is health, while price is the main barrier to make a purchase. Supporting local farmers and sustainability and climate are of most added value to consumers.

Recommendations from the study

The research offers great opportunities for the promotion of protein-rich products from Dutch soil. Consumers currently associate local products mainly with meat and dairy. A lot of work is needed to give plant protein-rich products the positive association and value as well. For example, how to enhance biodiversity and soil fertility. The research provides concrete guidelines for this. Read more about these recommendations here.

Who are the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands?

"We bring plant proteins from the Netherlands to life. For soil, biodiversity, farmer, and citizen", is the slogan of the Protein Farmers of the Netherlands. An initiative of Ekoboerderij De Lingehof, Proeflab Wageningen, Taskforce! Korte Keten and Foodvalley NL. Thirty Dutch protein farmers are committed to the (re)appreciation of Dutch protein farmers and their locally grown products. Because local, vegetable proteins are profitable on all fronts: health, sustainability, and a circular economy.

The Protein Farmers of the Netherlands do this by sharing knowledge about local plant protein products, by seeking cooperation between growers, processors, developers, and makers of end products. Also, by researching the market and consumers with this consumer study.

Questions? Get in touch

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

Listen to the podcast: Personalised nutrition will be the future (in Dutch)

A transition of the food system is necessary to make it healthier and more sustainable. But what is needed in order to have sufficient healthy food available for everyone in 2050? Our Innovation Lead Food & Health, Judith van der Horst-Graat shares her vision in this podcast made for the Health, Food & Technology event on 1 December 2021, where she is one of the key-note speakers.

She answers questions such as:

  • Why will we not achieve this target in 2050 if we continue like this?
  • Why is it difficult to make the healthy choice the easy choice for the consumer?
  • What is personalised nutrition and what does it involve?
  • Why will personalised nutrition be the tool of the future?
  • Aren’t we becoming (too) dependent on digital advice? Or what possibilities does it offer?

Questions? Get in touch

Judith van der Horst
Food & Health
+31 6 139 473 57

Listen to the podcast: international business opportunities and the initiatives for SME’s

Edith Bosch, former Olympic Judoka and entrepreneur talks to Jeroen Wouters in a podcast by TeamNL Tokyo Expo. The Expo connects sport and business. In the Olympic spirit, sport is at the service of social development and in this way, sport – and TeamNL – help Dutch companies and our country stand out internationally. The TeamNL Expo was created as a business platform where Papendal, NOC*NSF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offer (online) events tailored to and stimulating international business. Jeroen, as lead Global Connections shares how Foodvalley contributes to creating international business opportunities within the field of innovation and what initiatives there are for SME’s.

Questions? Get in touch

Jeroen Wouters
Global connections
+31 6 120 729 97

Podcast Protein Farmers of the Netherlands: ‘Eat more homegrown plant proteins’

Never before have we come so close to the protein transition. In other words, less animal protein and more plant protein on your plate. More and more initiatives and companies are initiated, the Dutch Protein Shift Ecosystem is expanding rapidly.  Like the vegan start-up Freggies, De Nieuwe Melkboer and The Protein Brewery – Innogusto. In the past two years, the market with plant-based variations on meat, dairy and fish grew by 50% in Europe. With a market value of roughly four billion euros(!). A niche market has long since ceased to exist. Today, the protein transition is big business.

Although all the ingredients for a change seem present, consumers and politicians need to raise the bar and set new ambitions, according to Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Lead Protein Shift of Foodvalley NL.

Why? That question is answered in the podcast of ‘Protein farmers of the Netherlands’. For this purpose, protein farmers André Jurrius from LekkerLupine, Bart Grobben from De Nieuwe Melkboer, Henk Kerkers from Bijzonder Brabants and Jeroen Willemsen, our Innovation Lead Protein Shift from Foodvalley NL were interviewed. Listen now.

Appreciate our protein farmers

The Protein Farmers of the Netherlands is an initiative of Foodvalley NL, the Taskforce Korte Keten and grower Andre Jurrius of Ekoboerderij de Lingehof. Their message? Homeground plant protein-products and their growers deserve more appreciation. Because plant-based proteins are healthy, good for our planet and they stimulate the economy. And to politicians: appreciate our protein farmers and stimulate their agriculture with financial support. “For example, when testing new varieties, scaling up cultivation and increasing yields.”

A long-term vision is essential for this, according to Willemsen. “Farmers think in terms of cultivation and harvest years. 2030 sounds far away, but for the farmer it is ‘only’ 8 sowing and harvesting years away. Let’s hope there will be a minister of agriculture who understands this very well.”

Do you want to contribute to a sustainable food system?

Did you become enthusiastic after listening to the podcast? And are you curious how you can contribute to the protein shift from your field of expertise? Check out what Foodvalley can do for you!

Participate now

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

Growing number of innovation facilities in Shared facility finder, with new insect production

The number of innovation facilities connected to Shared facility finder is growing and recently updated with insect production facilities. This helps accelerate innovations within these growing businesses even more. Take a look at this useful facility map now!

On its mission to create a global sustainable food system, Foodvalley NL initiated the new programme ‘Insects’, In order to meet the growing demand for proteins, the world needs new resources. Insects have proven to be well-suited as such a resource. They are important (and becoming more suitable) for both feed and food applications. Algae, duckweed, and cultured meat are also new resources that could potentially replace less sustainable ones. The use of testing, upscaling and production facilities is key for this new and growing domain of insects.

Five new production facilities

Shared facility finder is connected and creates an overview of innovation facilities of companies that have facilities to test and produce insects and which they will share with others. To accelerate innovation of this new type of protein production. Already, five insect production facilities are part of Shared facility finder.

What is Shared facilities?

Shared facility finder offers companies and organizations in the agri-food a wide range of top-class innovation facilities available at your fingertips. Find and share research equipment, facilities, and technologies. More than 50 facilities are available. Connect with partners and co-investors and explore available funding. Maximize productivity by sharing and using facilities to test your innovations before launching them on the market.


Are you interested to find out more information on the available facilities already and get in touch with one of the facilities? Or interested to start sharing your insect-related facility, from farming, processing to packaging of insect products or ingredients to maximize your capacity? Take a look at and contact Foodvalley NL or call Petra Roubos, Lead Shared facilities: +31 317 48 79 91.


Petra Roubos

Lead Shared facilities
+31 317 48 79 91

Booster 2021 for obesity-reducing initiatives is now open for registration

Food Innovation Hub Europe launched Booster, a brand-new prize award for initiatives involved in reducing obesity. The incentive was announced late July 2021 by Marije Beens, Director-General Agro at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The announcement was made during the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome. Worldwide initiatives can now register online for the Booster until October 1st. European collaborations receive extra points in the assessment.

Booster’s objective

The objective of the Booster is to surface ideas for the partnership within the Food Innovation Hub Europe and beyond. Candidates can submit their idea, activity and offering in the field of obesity reduction, including upcoming development steps. The multi-partner initiative can be in existence, or the initiative can come into existence via this Booster. Deadline for entry is October 1st 18.00 PM CET. The three winners will be announced on World Food Day (15 October 2021).

30,000 euros development budget

The three awards, each worth 30,000 euros, are to be used to support the initiatives in their next development steps. The winning initiatives are also monitored for a year and gain access to a large international food network. This way, Food Innovation Hub Europe accelerates the cooperation between relevant parties and the creation of obesity-reducing solutions. In the search for initiatives, the focus is on personalised nutrition approaches and technological applications.

Accelerate collaboration

The hybrid session ‘Catalyzing Country-led Innovation to Transform Food Systems’ at the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit turned out to be a good breeding ground for calling for obesity-reducing initiatives. Marije Beens: “Innovation requires a system-wide holistic approach and integrated policies. These should be supported by multi-stakeholder partnerships at all levels to scale up effective innovations. The Booster is a brand-new prize award that will support this kind of collaboration.”

Powered by Food Innovation Hub Europe

This Booster is powered by Food Innovation Hub Europe, an initiative of the World Economic Forum together with public, private and civil society sector partners with the belief that we can only change a food system together. Local, regional, national and global parties have to join and work transparently and energetically to accelerate the transition to an efficient, inclusive, sustainable, nutritious and healthy food system.

The role of Foodvalley NL

Foodvalley NL is a leading partner towards the development of the Food Innovation Hub Europe to initiate collaboration and co-create innovation projects to address continent-specific challenges and connects regional hubs in the various member countries to address common and region-specific issues.

More information? Contact Jeroen Wouters, Global connections Food Innovation Hub Europe.

Questions? Get in touch

Jeroen Wouters
Global connections
+31 6 120 729 97

Find Global connections

International network

Foodvalley NL boasts a large international network and has an enormous amount of experience in transforming the food system. Foodvalley NL has been active for almost twenty years, connecting partners, resources and facilities from all over the world. Using our global experience and international connections to accelerate innovation through collaborative projects: we are here to help you find the right business partners.

Build up your international network using our tailor-made advice and matchmaking skills. We provide a global platform for large corporations, SMEs and start-ups alike. Connect with new partners in our international network of companies and organisations: join the Foodvalley member network.

Global issues, global solutions

From an increase in lifestyle diseases to the need for sustainable food, many of today’s issues are global issues. And as the issues are global, so are the solutions. Find those international connections to help your organisation innovate faster. Improve the ecosystem with groundbreaking solutions that lead to structural changes in the food system.


The main focus of Global connections:

  • finding relevant partners
  • accelerating innovation through international cooperation
  • facilitating international interaction and global innovation.

Key activities

We invite international partners to join us in innovation programmes, projects and services.

  • Food Innovation Hub Europe, strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum network of global food innovation hubs. The aim is to connect parties that have a need for innovation with parties that can provide solutions.
  • What Design Can Do – No Waste challenge. Foodvalley connects the design sector with the food sector and continues to work on international cooperation in this field.
  • Go4Export, a programme that helps Dutch companies to expand internationally.
  • CO-FRESH is a multistakeholder partnership including 26 partners from 10 European countries.
  • Global FOODture Global FOODture is a project designed to boost the sustainable transition of the food system worldwide through collaboration and innovation.
  • Peer to peer learning for financing innovation in the food & bioeconomy. Foodvalley NL participates together with 4 other European partners in the project P2P FINBIO, to improve the access to funding for bio-based SMEs.
  • Establish your company in the Netherlands. The level of both the expertise and the cooperation in the Netherlands is very high, making for an inspirational environment for innovation. Non-Dutch companies that want to settle in the Netherlands can turn to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and OostNL for support. Contact Jeroen Wouters for guidance.

Participate now

  • Put your business on a global stage
  • Connect internationally, meet innovators, partners, investors
  • Be the first to hear about the latest developments
  • Be inspired, learn about best practice at an international scale
  • Participate in collaborative innovation projects
  • Global connections, participate in international activities and events

What our members say

‘After setting up a branch in the Netherlands, we became part of the Foodvalley network. By being part of Foodvalley, we can scout for innovative solutions.’

‘As an international research organisation, we joined Foodvalley to find partners to work on innovative projects.’

‘We recently obtained a facility in The Netherlands and are looking for more insights into food innovation, that is why we joined the Foodvalley network!’

‘We found an innovative ingredient for positive reformulation and joined Foodvalley to find partners for co-developement. Currently we are talking this through with another Foodvalley member!’


Want to know more about Global connections and what we can do for you? Contact Jeroen at or +31 6 120 729 97.

Jeroen Wouters: experience and passion

Jeroen has earned his degree in food microbiology at Wageningen University & Research. This is where he found his true passion: to take scientific discoveries and make those available to all. He started his professional career working for NIZO, where he filled a number of international positions. His work always revolved, inevitably, around the same themes though: technology, food, taste and health. Another recurring theme was the necessity to bring together different parties and have them cooperate in order to achieve innovation and growth.

As of 2014, Jeroen is devoting his skills, experience and sizeable network to the success of Foodvalley NL. Jeroen also holds a position at the Dutch Olympic training facilities at Papendal. He is the innovation manager for sport and nutrition. This is a specific interest of Jeroen’s: the combination of sports and food. “Connecting people and organisations that truly complement each other”, that about sums up Jeroen’s daily challenge and joy. He is dedicated to putting science into practice.

Participate now

Jeroen Wouters
Global connections
+31 6 120 729 97



Tjerna Ellenbroek
Relations Liaison
+31 6 134 839 54


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