Pioneering with plant proteins with The Vegetarian Butcher

Our food system needs to change. Because the way in which it operated, isn’t sustainable. That’s why Foodvalley NL also has been working on the transition to a more sustainable diet that contains more plant proteins than animal proteins. This is a shift towards a more sustainable system that is also healthier and kinder to both humans and animals.

Twenty years into the future

Jeroen Willemsen is Innovation Lead Protein Shift at Foodvalley NL. Years ago, he pioneered with plant proteins as an innovative entrepreneur. For this series of 6 podcast, he will engage other visionaries and game changers in conversation. He’ll invite them to look back with him on twenty years of protein shift in the Netherlands and challenge them to look twenty years into the future. Together they will discuss what can, will and must happen in the next decades.

Check out the podcast (in Dutch)

In this first episode of this podcast series, Jeroen meets Jaap Korteweg. Jaap is the founder of the vegetarian ‘meat’ brand The Vegetarian Butcher. Together they look back at the early days of development and discovery and try to predict the direction the world of food and innovation will take.

Jaap and Jeroen on…

…the Tesla mindset
“From a sustainable point of view, it would have made sense to produce a small, lightweight electrical car. But tesla turned everything around. Their success is built on the fact that they make big and fast cars. That’s what convinced the true petrol heads to make the switch to Tesla.”

…boring beans
“Apparently, we like meat too much and don’t enjoy beans enough. The consumption of beans has been declining dramatically over the past fifty years. The consumer thinks beans are boring. So we decided to think of ways to produce ‘meat’ from beans.”

…misconceptions on meat
“It’s a major misunderstanding that vegetarians don’t like meat. It’s the other way around: they like meat, they just don’t like all the problems surrounding the production. If we wouldn’t like meat so much, we would all have become vegetarians ages ago, because it’s healthier, more sustainable and cheaper.”

“…It’s the job of the government to plan for the long term. That means we should be supporting sustainable agricultural initiatives right now. That’s also a question of common sense, because we have a lot to lose. Our country is a major exporter of agricultural products and that business model is at stake."

“…We have to do right by the farmers that are risking and investing a lot to really help advance the protein shift.”

Want to hear more? You can listen to the complete Foodvalley NL podcast with The Vegetarian Butcher here or on Spotify or Anchor.

Questions? Get in touch

Jeroen Willemsen
Innovation Lead Protein Shift

+31 6 177 380 37


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