Our Practical Approach
Our Practical Approach to shaping the future of food
Our journey is an invitation to everyone. Because you cannot solve the food transition from your organisation alone. The transition will only work if the whole system changes with it. Only then will we achieve the important necessary breakthroughs.
Foodvalley has a specific practical approach based on years of experience in practice. Building showcases have taught us what works and what doesn’t. We redefine, connect and grow together. Collaborative action makes impact. This is not a straight journey towards 2050 and needs the development of the ecosystem. In this rich breeding ground we often find shortcuts and directly seize opportunities, other times we follow a winding road to keep everyone on board. We move matters forward on this journey finding opportunities on the three main innovation fields: Protein Transition, Food & Health and Circular Agrifood.
What is ecosystem development?
Ecosystem development refers to the process of creating and nurturing an ecosystem of businesses, organisations, and resources that support the growth of an industry or sector. For us this involves bringing together various stakeholders such as entrepreneurs, investors, government agencies, and educational institutions to build an environment that facilitates collaboration, innovation, and growth.
Our ultimate goal of ecosystem development is to create a self-sustaining network of support that enables viable businesses and new healthy sustainable sectors in food. As an independent organisation, we provide access to the right people, financial resources, shared facilities and best practices.
Long-term focus in three innovation fields
We investigate what is happening in the ecosystem, who the frontrunners are, what is missing, what is holding people back and why. This results in redefining barriers into paths for solution where our collective action is needed. Food transition is important for several reasons:
- Alternative protein sources such as plant-based proteins, cultured meat, and insect protein have a lower environmental impact, and can contribute to a more sustainable food system.
- Traditional industrial food production systems offer nutrient-poor foods that are high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats on the shelves and on our plates. With high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease directly related to this. We work on healthier and more sustainable diets to improve public health outcomes.
- Transitioning to more sustainable food production practices can create sustainable farming, food processing, and distribution, contributing to local economic development. Moreover, supporting small-scale food producers can help to preserve local cultural practices and traditions, supporting local livelihoods and communities.
Therefore we focus on three innovation fields and look for high impact, energy and our network and expertise. Overall, food transition is essential for building a more sustainable and equitable food system that supports the health and wellbeing of people and planet.
- Protein Transition
Transform the plant and alternative protein sector into a mature sector that can provide the ingredients needed for today’s and tomorrow’s meals.
- Food and Health
Make the healthy choice the easy choice, thereby helping people to age healthily. Less obesity and malnutrition by increasing the demand for food for health.
- Circular Agrifood
Resources are used in ways that optimally use and reuse natural resources, raw materials and products. All resources are used in ways that add most value to our welfare and wellbeing. People, animals and plants included.
A strong and broad partner network
We connect the frontrunners so they can work together to overcome collective barriers in the ecosystem. By connecting the dots we learn what they need to move forward.
- As network partners, they directly connect to us and to each other. They benefit from the collective knowledge and experience in our innovation fields and ecosystem development.
- As partners in one or more communities: the Protein-, Personalised Nutrition-, Upcycling-, and Regenerative communities. They commit to one another for the long term. These communities are rich breeding grounds for launching initiatives and creating widespread adoption. Participation is by invitation, this way we guarantee the right people with right mindset and synergy in contributions.
- As partners in an initiative, they commit directly to a result. Participation is by invitation, and we begin by identifying the most suitable participants from our international networks. In an initiative, we approach every side of an issue with all stakeholders. One example is the Foodboost Challenge in which young people develop new healthy food options that companies adopt and scale up.
Growing together in a complex environment does not happen automatically. We often get occupied by daily concerns, high energy prices, disrupted supply chains, and competing interests can make progress uncertain. It is critical to always keep the common objective in view and people to their role. And that is where we, as an independent party, play a crucial role. In initiatives we connect frontrunners directly to an end-result. How are our initiatives implemented?
- By frontrunners within the chain. By sharing common gains (the earnings model, the creation of best practices, the development and scaling up of companies) and burdens (risks, investments, data privacy) in initiatives. This creates new opportunities, like the Bean Deal.
- By frontrunners from various industries and sectors. First of all we develop common language together by defining standards and business cases that create prospects for all. For example, the Personalised Nutrition Positioning Paper. This often includes laying the groundwork for legislation, data privacy and funding for research and sustainable business models.
- By letting frontrunners drive supply and demand at the same time. Supply and demand have to align for a system to change in the long term. Thus, we develop the demand side: the way we look at our food and how we use it. And we encourage better, healthier choices by developing supply. For example, consider insect meal as an ingredient for new dishes.