How can consumers be tempted to consume more vegetable proteins? What innovative crops are in the pipeline? During the third international edition of the Foodvalley Summit ‘The Protein Plan(et)’ on 17 October 2019 experts will discuss solutions for the protein transition.
Food producers, growers, breeders, investors, research institutes and the government are coming together in Wageningen to share knowledge, to strengthen the connections between the meat, fish, dairy and vegetable sectors and to find new business partners. This edition is an initiative of Foodvalley NL in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research, KeyGene and The Protein Cluster.
The protein transition
Protein transition is one of WUR’s investment themes. “Because a protein transition is urgently needed”, says Stacy Pyett, co-coordinator of this investment theme and one of the speakers at the summit. “In the West we eat more animal protein than necessary, to the detriment of our environment and our health. At the same time, one quarter of the worlds’ children suffer stunted growth due to protein-related deficiencies. We can solve this by moving to more sustainable sources such as legumes, aquatic crops and insects, by stimulating consumers to make sustainable choices, and by creating equitable and resilient systems.
Pyett: “This summit is an excellent platform for experts to discuss the solutions. The discussion will be centered around three themes: The Bigger Picture; The Consumer Perspective; and Growing, Breeding, Soil.”
Five WUR experts
During the Summit numerous national and international experts are presenting the latest developments in their fields, with - amongst others - five Wageningen experts:
Stacy Pyett, program manager Proteins for Life and coordinator of the WUR Investment theme ‘Protein Transition’, will give a holistic view of the protein transition and explain how WUR supports the development of sustainable, equitable, and nutritious protein systems. Through concrete examples, she will highlight technology developments for mild processing and production of plant-based foods.
Ingrid van der Meer, business unit manager at Wageningen Plant Science, will talk about new (aquatic) plant protein sources, such as duckweed. What are the hurdles to use this aquatic plant for human nutrition and when to expect the first duckweed-based food products?
Ken Giller, professor Plant Production Systems, presents the importance of nitrogen-fixing legume crops (peas, beans, soya, cowpea and groundnut) in diets and on soil health, with a focus on African famers.
Emely de Vet, professor Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles and coordinator of the WUR investment theme “ Protein Transition’, together with Stacy Pyett, will talk about the role of consumers in the Protein Transition and how to shift consumers habits towards choosing a more sustainable plant-based diet.
Evelien de Olde, researcher at the Animal Production Systems group, will talk about the role of animals in the transition towards a more circular food system.