Innovating with dairy and plant alternatives

In the third episode of our Foodvalley podcast series, Jeroen Willemsen from Foodvalley NL meets Margrethe Jonkman. Margrethe is the global director of research and development at FrieslandCampina. This company is an important and innovative player in the protein market. FrieslandCampina works together with its cooperation of farmers and was very early with the introduction of Valess, a price winning brand of plant-based alternatives to meat. Together, Jeroen and Margrethe discuss working together, introducing innovations and the importance of nutritional education.

Listen to the podcast (in Dutch)

Margrethe and Jeroen on…

“I am convinced that innovations and the introduction of new products alone are not enough to really change consumer behaviour. We need a balanced approach that also includes education.”

…knowledge and nutrition
“Consumers don’t have a lot of knowledge about nutritional value. I sincerely believe we should start educating children in elementary school, so we all know the importance of our diet and the impact of exercise for the rest of our lives.”

…playing a part in the transition
“We all have our role in making the transition towards a healthier and more sustainable food system possible. Producers and farmers, but also the consumers that make their food choices are all vital, because investing is very difficult during a transition: how can a farmer or producer invest in a market that has not fully taken shape? It is tempting to focus attention and investments towards the proven projects you already know and trust.”

…polarisation and partnerships
“It’s not helpful to frame the discussion surrounding food in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices. We need to shift from polarisation towards partnerships. And let’s be proud of what we have accomplished in the Netherlands. We have a long history in the production of quality dairy and exceptional farmers with a wealth of knowledge.”

…working together
“We need to make the transition towards a new food system achievable for the farmers and they need our support. Make things happen together! I strongly believe we need to make the transition together with our farmers. I am always impressed by their vision and ambition when I talk to them and I am sure we can accomplish great things with our forces combined.”

Questions? Get in touch

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

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