News - October 13, 2015

Food Valley Expo alights on campus

Rob Ramaker

A mobile soil laboratory, sustainable coffee cups, low salt food and a lot more science put into practice. Business and science are spending two days to find each other at the eleventh Food Valley Expo. This is the first time it takes place on the campus.

The kick-off was done by the former president of the executive board of Wageningen UR and current figurehead of the top sector Agrifood, Aalt Dijkhuizen who placed is hand on the tablet. For the first time the event this year is part of the broader ‘Dutch Agrifood Week’. In the coming days events are organized from Leeuwarden to the Westland to present the highlights of the Dutch agriculture and food sectors.

In Orion startups and businesses from all sorts of backgrounds come together to present their products to the gathered entrepreneurs, businessmen, politicians and scientists. For example SoilCare who is presenting their mobile laboratory with which a farmer can determine which resources in the soil are available and which are restrictive. Or Pectcof a business that can gain pectin from residuals of coffee beans. The meetings are also about reducing salt and innovative foodstuff where scientists and representatives of businesses think about the road from science to product.

A good idea is not a guarantee for success, says Rob Hamer, head of the Unilever Laboratory in Vlaardingen and part-time professor at the Wageningen University. It is only one of the puzzle pieces; something that scientists sometimes misjudge. A good idea for example also has to comply with all sorts of laws and regulation, it has to be able to scale up and it has to be cost efficient. Only when Hamer himself had switched to the business he really started understanding this. Hamer thinks that understanding the practice of business does not restrict the creativity but enriches it.

On Tuesday during the expo the Food Valley Innovation Award will be awarded to the most interesting food innovation.