The Netherlands is unanimously considered as the headquarters of european foodtech. So nobody should be surprised if F&A Next , one of the most important events related to agrifood-tech, is being organized by four true dutch behemoths such as Anterra Capital, Rabobank, Startlife and Wageningen, with the collaboration of the most important player of agrifood-tech ecosystem such as PlugAndPlay, AgFunder, which first published the “European AgriFoodTech Investments Report 2021”, Foodhack and Forward Fooding "At Forward Fooding, - says Alessio D'Antino, founder and CEO - we are all about building and fostering the global FoodTech ecosystems. Creating a collaborative environment, and enabling meaningful collaborations between entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, and other ecosystem stakeholders, is the best recipe to tackle the most pressing challenges that our Food System is facing. Thus, we are proud partners of F&A next as they share our mission of showcasing the 'creme de la creme' of Europe's FoodTech innovation.''
The 6th edition on 26th May 2021 (the second one fully virtual) hosted 31 speakers and 7 panels. But of course the value of an event must not be measured exclusively by figures, but even by facts. Facts such as networking, education, knowledge, ideas, proposals, content and so on. And F&A Next has given some interesting insights being able to delineate and turn a spotlight on the future of food.
THE ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN SCENARIOS
As stated above, the event hosted 7 panel discussions. The panel “Chasing proteins: will plants Neventually replace the animals? Needs no further explanation. After the intro of the two speakers Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat and Kees Kruythog , CEO of The LiveKindly Collective, the moderator, Adam Anders, Managing Partner of Anterra Capital, started a kind of somehow funny true or false quiz questions. And speakers' answers offered some interesting insights. In fact to the direct question “Will plants eventually replace the animals? Kees answered «True» Marteen answered «False». Considering that LiveKindly a behemoth in plant-based while Mosa Meat is a pioneer of cell-based and, this difference of opinion is absolutely plausible.
This difference was even more obvious when they were asked to share their opinion about what is needed to accelerate the transition to alternative proteins "Changing the consumer habits" said Kees, who can rely on a lot of innovative and interesting products already on the market. “Speed up the authorization process" commented Maarten, who’s still discussing with authorities about cell-based products approval.
The discussion continued with another widely discussed topic related to plant-based, meaning ultra-processed products. Substantially both panelists agree on the fact that it's not important how much the food is processed, but which and how many ingredients and raw materials are used in the process.
Nothing could be more true.
WILL BE THE NEXT HEROES?
Ali Morrow, Principal of Astanor Ventures, Nicky Deasy, Managing Director of The Yield Lab Europe and Tanmay Annachhatre, Investment Manager at Blue Horizon Ventures, were the judges of “Next Heroes in Foodtech” which showcased 4 interesting foodtech startups striving to revolutionize the food system.
Habitual developed a “new approach to type 2 diabetes”. "We combine two clinically-validated tools - said Napala Pratini Co-founder & COO during the pitch - to help patients achieve prediabetes and type 2 diabetes remission at scale"..
Then it was the turn of Michelle Egger Co-founder & CEO of Biomilq. which developed a patent-pending technology allows the creation in the laboratory of breastmilk with the same composition and more than 2,500 components, but at the same time a reduced environmental impact, compared to the “original”.
The third startup pitched was FUL Foods , active in the Next Gen Foods based on microalgae. "We integrate the spirulina features into a range of products and we started with functional beverages - said Julia Streuli Co-founder & CEO - As Next Gen Brand we are passionate about intersectionality between social lifestyle and wellness".
Last but not least, Ayça Dündar Founder & Director of SoluBlue, a startup which developed an "innovative packaging material able to absorb excess moisture and prevent food rotting to keep food fresh for longer. As a result we can extend the shelf life up. For tomatoes it can be up to 400%".
That was part of F&A Next 2021. A spotlight on future of food.