To provide a worldwide population of ten billion people by 2050 with tasty, affordable, healthy and sustainable food, we need to adopt a circular production and consumption system. Why? To meet the pressing need to create more value across the whole food production chain. How? By using less raw materials and energy and by producing less waste.
Our ambition with the Circular Agrifood Innovation field is to achieve robust food production that creates balance in our living environment and respects both the climate and the environment. In the process of creating such a production process, we aim to significantly reduce the use of raw materials and loss throughout the chain.
The pillars for achieving sustainable production are:
- Developing technology (that leads to new resources and less food waste, that is sustainable for both humans and animals and leads to a viable business model for all parts of the chain);
- Designing products without residual waste;
- Learning how to use residual flows in the best possible way;
- Researching how we can produce more locally (European).
1. New crops:
Through the Innovation field Circular Agrifood, we are stimulating the development of new or improved crops as a sustainable alternative to existing, less sustainable resources. We also strive to grow higher-quality crops that positively impact the food patterns of consumers.
In order to meet the growing demand for proteins, for example, we need 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.
3. Circular raw materials:
Right now, a lot of waste is wasted and is converted into biomass at best. To create a more sustainable and circular agrifood chain, we need to valorise residual flows by using them as resources for insect feed or food applications. That is why Foodvalley is a partner of the ‘No Waste Challenge’: a global initiative to reduce the amount of food wasted.
Another example is brewer’s spent grain:
We want to extract the maximum value of large residual flows. We support our member MaGie Creations to make brewer’s spent grain suitable for use as flour in bread, which results in a bread containing much more protein and fibre than ordinary bread. In this innovation programme, Foodvalley brings together the necessary parties in the food chain.
4. New processing methods:
By targeting technique and technology, chains can become more sustainable and, for example, produce less waste. In this endeavour Foodvalley collaborates on sensoring, data and new robotics. In the international project ThinkEast Netherlands (programme ‘Data-driven transition in food’), Foodvalley connects the relevant partners to each other. A recent example of new processing methods is ‘Foodvalley Champion 2020’ In Ovo, and its sustainable and animal friendly innovation in-egg gender typing.
- Keeping you updated: on circular agrifood consortia, projects, governmental activities, developments, innovative ingredients, products and facilities, and companies active in the field;
- Tailor-made advice on development, upscaling and marketing;
- Useful tools such as innovations scans, the facility map and visualisation of the Circular Agrifood network (August 2021);
- Meet potential partners and investors.
Would you like to know more about the Circular Agrifood Innovation Theme? Or do you want to discuss participation in a key activity or initiative with us? Contact Jolijn Zwart - van Kessel, Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood.
Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel
Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood