What is a More Sustainable Protein System 

Demand for alternative proteins has skyrocketed in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue growing. This encompasses enormous potential for new business opportunities and sustainability alike. However, production demands higher quality ingredients, but availability of knowledge, technology and facilities lags behind. This roadblock is occurring more frequently throughout the entire chain, from resource production to processing and distribution, slowing the rate of new product introductions to consumer markets. A standstill within the EU on breeding development of protein-rich resources has also exacerbated the problem. Consequently, many source ingredients have yet to be optimised for processing, decreasing availability of key nutrients.

Local protein production and making these products available and appealing to consumers. It requires exploration of trade-offs between various goals and dependencies for successful implementation. Steps must be taken to reveal the problems needing to be solved. And it is necessary to investigate possible solutions to test to come to best-fit alternatives to the current situation.

Foodvalley NL takes Initiative

Foodvalley NL is taking the initiative to build coalitions of gamechangers that can solve these supply-side bottlenecks to get new, high-quality plant-based products to consumers faster. We see potential for localised protein production chains to improve quality and availability. Also, tapping into existing animal-protein and cross-crop knowledge can be a valuable source for rapid technology transfer for alternative protein applications.

So if you have a good idea, let us know!  Contact Jeroen Willemsen or Leo Koning

Green Deal Protein-Rich Crops (The Bean Deal)

Relevant for: farmers, retailers, food industry, NGO, governments

Foodvalley NL is working in co-creation with NGOs, farmers, the (food) industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality on the Green Deal Protein-Rich Crops. The aim of this Green Deal is increasing the EU's self-sufficiency in plant proteins and to improve soil quality and biodiversity. The Green Deal also aims to create a good and fair earnings model for farmers. This Green Deal contributes to the protein transition and with that to a balanced eating pattern of plant and animal proteins.

The deal is part of the National Protein Strategy (NES). The intended signing of the Green Deal will take place during the Summer 2022. Parties signing the document will commit to a successful implementation of the Green Deal.

Are you interested? Please contact Jeroen Willemsen, initiator of the Green Deal Protein-Rich Crops or Marjolein Brasz, chairwoman of the Green Deal Steering Committee.

Dutch Protein Farmers

Relevant for: Dutch farmers, retailers, food process industry

Foodvalley NL brings farmers, the food industry and retailers together to improve the earning capacity of Dutch farmers committed to making the transition to growing new protein crops. Increasing local availability and consumption of plant-based proteins has the added benefits of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen runoff reduction and increased biodiversity. We are actively mobilising farmers to participate in this initiative. Part of this approach is the launch of a new quality label, “Dutch green protein farmers”. It can be used to improve the market value of products made with locally sourced protein-rich crops. With the result increasing business opportunities for all stakeholders involved. Given its success in the Netherlands, we are now exploring other regions to effectively implement a similar model.

The Dutch Protein Farmers also published a first consumer survey on home-grown plant proteins. Read the research here (in Dutch).

Are you interested? Please contact Jolijn Zwart- van Kessel or Jeroen Willemsen. Or read more about Dutch Protein Farmers.


Relevant for: European farmers, retailers, food process industry

CO-FRESH is a multi-stakeholder partnership including 26 partners from 10 European countries.  Starting from current best practices and key success factors of innovative value chains, and the state of the art in technological and non-technological approaches. The main objective of CO-FRESH is to (re)design and pilot innovative systemic approaches to agri-food value chains to scale up this innovation at the European level. These innovative approaches will improve the economic, social and environmental performance/efficiency of these value chains. This is achieved through smart integration of technological, social, organisational, managerial, and institutional innovations; all of which serve to make them more sustainable. The developed tools and formats are applied in seven pilot cases representing diverse fruit and vegetable value chains across Europe.

Foodvalley NL leads a pilot case on fava beans for plant-based meat analogues. In this pilot case Foodvalley NL, supported by Wageningen University & Research, has brought together 11 key actors in the Dutch fava bean value chain.

Are you interested or do you have questions? Please contact Leo Koning.

Protein Facility Switch

Relevant for: food processing industry

Investment in new facilities is badly needed to accompany the accelerating protein transition in the longer term. However, short-term solutions are also needed. Luckily existing facilities can be retrofitted for various alternative, plant protein applications. A perfect opportunity for existing companies looking to venture into this rapidly growing market. Foodvalley NL offers the opportunity to quickly check whether your current production space, machine or line can be made suitable for the processing of raw materials, the production or packaging of plant-based products. This way, you help the protein transition and create new business opportunities. 

Curious to learn about the potential of your facility? Or are you looking for a protein processing facility? Expand the application of your protein processing facility in the Protein Facility Switch initiative! Connect with us

Would you like more information about which facilities are already available or are you interested to share you spare capacity? Or would you like to get support with funding your innovative facility? Get more information about the Shared Facility Finder. 


Relevant for: entrepreneurs in the critical phase of commercialization and expansion

Companies that are active in the themes protein transition, circular food chain (regenerative agriculture and waste stream valorisation), precision agriculture and personalised nutrition have applied to participate in the Fastlane programme 2022. The  programme combines customised guidance, personal coaching and a network of world-class experts. After each company has determined its own objectives for the programme, a customised plan is developed and implemented in six months in close cooperation with various experts. The ultimate goal is to be ready for the next investment round.

Applications for the 2nd edition are now closed. If you’re interested to apply for the next edition, please send us a message to fastlane@invest-nl.nl .


Green Protein Alliance

The Green Protein Alliance (GPA, 2016) is a social movement that is committed to restoring the protein balance in the Dutch food pattern: from 60 – 40 (animal – vegetable protein) to 50 – 50 in 2025. The GPA does this with members who offer perspective to consumers, for example retailers and B-2-C brands, and with partners who contribute to the credibility and monitoring of the (impact of) activities of the alliance.

Are you interested? Please contact Jeroen Willemsen.


The Protein Community (TPC)

Relevant for: everyone related to the topic that wants active involvement

In The Protein Community we create a safe environment where you can partner up on your ideas and find inspiration from each other. We create a direct exchange with a mix of cross-sectoral organisations working on the same topic. Foodvalley NL provides professional community management with proper scouting of new community partners, organising and preparing community sessions. You are informed on our latest initiatives and you can provide direct feedback. On top of that you get access to our innovation platform, for facts and figures, partners, funding opportunities and facilities. Explore the ecosystem for support and engage with the TPC community online. Contact Leo Koning for more information

Do you want to be a partner of the protein community or do you want support the community?
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