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

Dutch Protein Farmer

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

Are you interested? Please contact Jeroen Willemsen.


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.

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 currently designed for animal proteins can be retrofitted for various alternative, plant-based 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 earning opportunities.

Curious to learn about the potential of your facility? Foodvalley NL would like to help you by offering this unique  Facility Switch Quickscan for all our partners. Do you want more information about how to find a facility? Do you want to know what facilities you can use? Get more information about the Shared Facility Finder.



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

After the successful 2021 edition with Willicroft, De Nieuwe Melkboer, Grassa and Rival Foods, Invest-NL and Foodvalley NL have decided to broaden the focus in 2022. Companies that are active in the themes protein transition, circular food chain (regenerative agriculture and waste stream valorisation), precision agriculture and personalised nutrition can apply as of today. The Fastlane programme combines customised guidance, personal coaching and a network of world-class experts. Based on an intake, assessment and selection day, five companies will be selected to participate in the second edition. 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.

Is your company on the verge of exponential growth? Have you acquired your first customers, or are you about to? Is your team both ambitious and divers and driven to impact the foodtransition? Apply now by sending and email containing your slidedeck and ambition to fastlane@invest-nl.nl.

Application closed on the 4th of March and the program starts on the 7th of April 2022.


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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