Five European food clusters have united in the New Frontiers in Food Fast Forward (NF4) project to help small and medium sized companies enter other major global markets. Innovative sports nutrition firms can benefit from becoming particularly well-positioned.

The NF4 project is a collaboration between the Foodvalley NL food cluster in The Netherlands, Clusaga in Spain, the Valorial and Vitagora clusters in France, and Wagralim in Belgium. Together, they aim to share knowledge and link SMEs with networks of industry experts in China, Brazil, the United States and Canada. In each of these four countries, the project intends to organise an international mission, so European food businesses can connect with local organisations.

“The aim is to support the internationalisation of innovative small food companies,” said Foodvalley project manager Tjerna Ellenbroek. “The participating companies can meet the food clusters and share ideas about entering those markets.”

Value chains
The project centres on three value chains: processed foods, health and nutrition food products, and – in the United States – “connected food”, which covers the use of IT in the food industry. SMEs that want to become involved in the project can choose the area most relevant to their business, as well as the international market that most interests them.

Target group
For sports nutrition products, Ellenbroek suggests companies could benefit from any of the three chains, depending on the company’s focus. “It depends on the target group you have in mind, if it’s specialised or the general public,” she said.

The Chinese and Brazilian markets are more focused on processed foods, she added, while in the United States, the main focus for NF4 is on IT in the food sector. The project’s Canadian mission centres on health and nutritional food products, including the Bénéfiq conference on health ingredients in Quebec.

“China is the fastest growing Asian market in foods, but from a world perspective, Brazil is one of the fastest growing markets,” she said. “…There’s a lot of interest from European companies in those markets.”

Local expert
After selecting a value chain and a target market, SMEs are then able to connect with a network of local experts who can shed light on how that market is organised. They can choose either to apply separately, or to use the project as a kind of matchmaking service to work together and jointly enter new markets.

Companies can also apply for different internationalisation vouchers to help cover travel and trade show registration costs, co-funded by the EU’s COSME project which aims to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized European firms.

More info: www.newfrontiersinfood.eu

Interested? Join the Foodvalley Summits Proteins of the Future & Sports & Nutrition, 10-11 October, Ede, The Netherlands with a.o.:

New markets outside Europe in 2018-2019, 11 October 13.30 hrs
Ready to explore new markets for personalized nutrition, health ingredients? Easy access for European companies to Canada, USA, China and Brazil via the European project New Frontiers in Food.

More information: Program & Registration