Food valley NL assists game-changers with their ideas that enable a more sustainable food system to emerge. Pioneers who assist customers in leading greener and healthier lives play a critical part in this transformation. Jeroen Wouters, Lead Global Connections, talks to Marc Arts about his firm GreenFood50 and the progress they accomplished together in this second episode. “Marc is swiftly moving forward because of his desire, transparency, and readiness to communicate with his clients and business partners.”
The label GreenFood50 was not chosen at random. Greenford is rational, and the ’50’ represents the fifty million people that are added to the world’s population every year and who we must feed sustainably. It’s a difficult topic, but Marc Arts is certain that locally farmed quinoa may help him and his team construct part of the solution. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I’ve always been interested in ingredients.” In his office on the Wageningen campus, he explains, “I decided to do something with that.” “I found quinoa during an inspirational trip to Latin America in 2014.” Healthy plant proteins, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids, and a low glycemic index are just a few of its critical qualities. I learned that the Dutch Quinoa Group began cultivating it in the Netherlands the same year, after decades of breeding by Wageningen University. Everything came together for me at that point.”
The entire chain
Arts expects that quinoa will follow in the footsteps of the potato as a success story “It’s also a South American crop that has exploded in popularity in the United States. Here, too, the initial step was to explore methodologies and applications, and we’re now doing so with quinoa. The fundamental advantage of the WUR horticulture initiative is that quinoa may now be grown locally. It could only be imported from three South American nations until recently, but now we can grow it locally and responsibly owe to new types. ” Quinoa takes minimal water to grow, and the crop’s processing is similarly energy efficient. ” The WUR created a quinoa variety that lacks the bitter membrane that is designed to preserve the plant in the Andes’ high mountains. As a consequence, there is no need to rinse and then dry, making the process highly environmentally friendly: easy processing, few kilometers, and pesticide-free cultivation. We’ve also taken control of the cultivation process from the ground up, allowing us to maintain quality control from the start. We maintain the entire chain in our control, which allows us to go a long way in terms of quality and sustainability.”
Top sport and a strong bond
The foundation was already in place. Now it made sense for Arts, who has extensive experience with ingredients at DSM, to collaborate with a group of eager young Wageningen-based food technologists to create quinoa ingredients and applications. But after that, it’s just a matter of getting to market. A difficult task for a corporation that still needs all of its resources to research, test, and develops. Arts ended up at Foodvalley NL to have access to a relevant network that may assist GreenFood50 in a variety of ways. His key query was about whether markets have a true demand for quinoa-based novel components. Jeroen Wouters was his natural companion in this situation. At premier sports center Papendal, he established the first contacts that brought GreenFood50 into the scene. Wouters adds, “That was during a Foodvalley Expo in Papendal.” “Chef Erik te Velthuis prepares meals for the athletes at the facility. Together, we were sure that quinoa’s high protein and amino acid content fit well into a top sports diet, and so the connection with Marc was formed. That link exists within our organization. Which partners pique your attention, and what kind of response do you require from them? The connection between Papendal and GreenFood50 was instantaneous. ” Arts: “Working with a cook to translate our components into practical meals and goods is a critical step for us. People will want to know what you can achieve with our quinoa ingredients if you come there to share your tale. And you’ll believe it when you try quinoa granola or a quinoa burger.”
Awarded on a global scale
Arts attended Food Matters Live, an international showcase on food and innovation in London, the next year with Wouters and goods. It was a warm welcome into the international network of Foodvalley NL with the baggage from the early partnerships in Papendal, and to top it off, he received the Food Matters Live Innovation Award for his quinoa ingredients. Arts remembers, “The relationship with FoodValley NL brings quick credibility.” “Of course, as a start-up, we could never put on a show this enormous at an international conference on our own. We built relations with a large sports nutrition company in England the next year in London, and they have since obtained all quinoa in their products from us.” Wouters is pleased with the progress that GreenFood50 has made inside the network. “The quinoa was introduced the first time, the concept received an award the second time we went on the road, Marc was there with items to sample the third year, and by the fourth year, he had developed a supplier connection with a worldwide client. That is, without a doubt, magnificent to watch.”
Wouters was not surprised by the creation of GreenFood50. “I regard Marc as a gamechanger because he is open, focused, and unafraid to communicate with potential consumers.” He is an experienced entrepreneur who understands what he has and where he wants to go. That combination of knowledge and the desire to make a meaningful impact in the protein transition and the field of health confers a great deal of influence. Things can go quickly if you can enter our international network under the banner of Foodvalley NL. Our network is seen by large and specialized parties as a testing ground where new and wonderful things happen, which reflects on GreenFood50. Marc has a solid narrative in Europe since he can make both the main and final products here. This can be spread much further. GreenFood50’s production and processing are scalable, so if the market expands, the company will be ready to keep up. We will work with GreenFood50 in the next months to connect with multinationals and map out what questions, investments, and innovations are involved. Together, we can identify the issues that need to be addressed for GreenFood50 to become the partner that intended partners require in the future.”
GreenFood50 and the voucher for innovation
Marc Arts (Marc): “We were able to reap one of the first benefits of our work with FoodValley NL almost immediately: we were qualified for an Innovation Voucher since we had presented our proposal successfully. This is a commitment that FoodValley NL will aid us with our innovation’s expertise and costs. As a result, we were able to take significantly larger and faster moves in the critical early stages of our growth. You can’t create without collaborators, and Foodvalley NL is one of them.”
Friendly to the food mile. Quinoa has been bred by WUR from a South American localized crop to a food source that can be cultivated locally everywhere on the planet. The crop may be cultivated sustainably since it requires less water and tillage. To avoid mold formation, the seeds must also be dried within twelve hours. This requires that the crops be at a reasonable distance from the processing factories, ensuring that the quinoa travels minimal food miles. The meat replacement soy brought from tropical regions stands in sharp contrast.
Allergen-free and additive-free. The purity of GreenFood50’s quinoa is so high that it is guaranteed to be allergen-free and additive-free, making it suitable for any diet.
Food and Wellness. Quinoa’s proteins and amino acids make it an ideal plant-based protein source for making the necessary protein transition. GreenFood50 produced prototypes with no more than five or six natural components, unlike the earlier generation of meat substitutes, which had more than twenty substances.
Vitality and self-assurance. The fact that elite athletes support GreenFood50’s goods instills faith in the company. After all, in a world where everything is measured in hundredths of a second, athletes and coaches don’t take any chances. It’s no surprise, therefore, that GreenFood50 is now providing worldwide infant food makers due to their exceptional faith in the ingredients and their safety.