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F&A Next: Day 2



Open House Diaries F&A Next

For us, today was all about scaling up regenerative agriculture – recognising the barriers, opportunities and the need for collaborative action to stay within our planetary limits for food production. 

We need to move away from the linear approach to food production we currently rely on. The value chain needs to make it easier for farmers to move towards regenerative agriculture rather than the other way around. To that end, we launched a call for partners to join us in shaping a future of regenerative sourcing. Also, a recap of Enterprise Singapore’s session on Global Foodture that strengthens collaboration between companies, startups and research institutions in the food industry, targeting Asia. And, of course, meeting the usual and unusual suspects in the chatter at F&A Next and our Foodvalley Open House…

Scaling up regenerative agriculture

We need to remove barriers to the adoption of regenerative agriculture. It’s about matching supply and demand, mitigating investment risks and making the ecosystem work. 

That is why a coalition of Foodvalley NL as the Food Innovation Hub Europe Initiative and EIT Food supported by the Food Collective is launching the Regenerative Innovation portfolio. In this portfolio, solutions are stimulated by the collective power of coalition networks, aiming for better-aligned solutions, shorter time to market, viable business models and ultimately healthy, sustainable sectors.

This requires recognising that the specific landscape guides local initiatives. And that it involves all the specific stakeholders of that landscape – farmers, businesses, government, and NGOs – in developing the solutions. Adding ecosystem services scales up the locally developed solutions. We are at an early stage. To get on the right track, government support is needed. But besides the right resources, we need to tell the story of successful projects and uncover what works.  This is a multi-level approach. Practice what you preach! We are ready to launch and need partners to support us as early birds. Partners who want to scale up through innovation – by sharing costs and knowledge and learning from other innovative initiatives.

“It’s about regenerative practices such as mixed crop production that look promising. But services that connect the ecosystem are just as important. Then it’s about setting up networks of growers and producers for knowledge exchange and product validation. Together, we can create success stories and create a learning environment.”

Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel, Innovation Lead Circular Agrifood.

Connecting with Asian markets

Enterprise Singapore’s session focused on Global FOODture, which was established to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative and sustainable food solutions from an Asian perspective. The session focused on how to provide access to resources such as funding, expertise and facilities to drive innovation and sustainable growth in the global food system. 

In the corridors: F&A Next and Open House

Building on the international perspective, it was about the importance of valorisation and innovation ecosystems with regional, national and international importance. 

And the other main topic, of course, is the importance of collaboration. If you really want to scale up, you need organisations that connect all the dots and make it possible. And that is our strength. 

We demonstrated that strength again in the Food Transition Game, facilitated by Guido Laman and Karolien Niederer, during our Open House. In a very practical way, participants discovered what it takes to work in a complex food system. The result: Insight into your role in the system, the way forward and with whom.  

With investors, companies and startups all in one place, the conversation was naturally about money. Where are the different parties putting their money, and what kind of financing do they think will enable the transition? Curious? The dialogue for funding continues until 25 May at 11 PM; please join here.

Are you looking forward to F&A Next 2024?

Next year marks our 20th anniversary. We will, of course, continue with our Open House. But you don’t have to wait that long. Following all the great connections over the past few days, just get in touch.