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F&A Next: Day 1



Open House Diaries F&A Next: Day 1

So, after yesterday’s preview, today really kicks off F&A Next. Omnia as the epic centre of the food transition where on location but also far and wide – and online – it was a whirlwind of interactions storming over us…

Getting to know and the buzz

The morning started for our CEO Marjolein Brasz at the Anterra breakfast that was reverberating from the captains’ dinner last night. Yes, Practice Leadership also means investing in relationships while enjoying food. Investing understanding each other, informally sharing barriers and interests. And forging the iron when it’s hot at the right time. Are there new opportunities in the air, are there new initiatives to be forged? Yes, investing is a hot topic. But especially impact investing. 

Sitting at the table was a good opportunity for deep dives on root causes for what is happening and what is not. Answers can be found in a fertile ecosystem, where innovations can grow. Interesting to see the shift from investing for output in Euro’s towards investing for impact. Where do you put your money? The dialogue for funding continues until 25 May as 11PM, please join here.

Open House with a special guest, Micky Adriaansens – minister of Economic Affairs

After opening F&A Next, our economic affairs minister sought the lee in Plus Ultra. Our board member Rens Buchwald showed her around and Marjolein Brasz took her through the story of the Foodvalley Approach using the freshly illustrated glass house.

Meanwhile, Christiaan Weij of Smaakpark already shared his passion on fermentation with a group of gourmets. Did you know that fermentation offers you great innovation lessons from nature? Microbes are killing competition, making it healthy food.

The Food Transition Game proved to be a very practical way to experience what it takes to work in a complex system, connecting people lost in translation. The result: Insight into your role in the system, the way forward and with whom. Discover and plan your journey. Guido Laman and Karolien Niederer will run the workshop tomorrow at 2pm.

Main stage for personalised nutrition and redefining the protein transition

Then what happened at Omnia? After a blazing opening by Sjoukje Heimovaara (WUR) and Micky Adriaansens on the strength of hotspot Wageningen and its international appeal, our partners and innovation leads came to the spotlight. Judith van der Horst – Graat with Mike Collier (McLaren Racing) & Rodrigo Jesus (Salus Optima) on personalising human performance, an AI-driven approach to personalised nutrition (PN). Judith stated that PN is currently a niche market but with huge opportunity – now is the moment to step into PN. Why was McLaren on stage? Mike Collier: “Of course we are famous for Formula 1, but McLaren has a legacy in healthcare, strategic partnerships and research, looking to taking research out of the lab and using it in the real world.  For example, they are currently working on Personalised Nutrition without changing the physical product through offering a physical product with a digital service. It is all about capturing data and from there creating tailoired, personalised programmes. “With three big areas of attention: Accessibility, affordability and creating an ecosystem by getting all stakeholders involved,” according to Rodrigo Jesus.


Jeroen Willemsen participated in a panel discussion on Redefining the Protein Industry with Gregor Tegi (Arkeon), Hans Huistra (Meatable) and and Bettina Hamelin (Ontario Genomics, moderator). In this inspiring session, Jeroen highlighted the vast progress and opportunities in redefining the protein industry towards a more plant-based one. As we continue to make strides in bringing more plant-based options to market, consumers’ habits, preferences and routines remain of the utmost importance.


The energy and drive to support and grow the protein shift is stronger than ever before. “In 15 years from now, we will look back and say these are the roaring twenties for plant-based proteins,” Jeroen said. Hans Huistra highlighted once again the value of agri-food talent and experience in the Netherlands and that we need to work on making available of it internationally.

See you tomorrow?

Tomorrow: Regenerative Agriculture – we are all looking forward to Jolijn Zwart van Kessel on stage!

09:30 – 10:15 Jolijn will elaborate on how the developing initiative ‘Regenerative Agriculture Innovation Portfolio’ is a huge opportunity to help bring regenerative agriculture to scale. The core of this European-oriented Portfolio of Initiatives is to support innovative cross-value chain collaborations for regenerative sourcing solutions in Europe.

12:30 Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel and Damien Jourdan from Danone will discuss how to scale regenerative agriculture through a collaborative value chain approach and what role CPGs play in this.