On Wednesday the 12th of December, The Protein Cluster organized it’s second acceleration session, this time together with the “Veldbonen keten praktijk innovatie project” (in English the “Fava beans practice chain innovation project”). During this meeting, the central question was how to bring fava beans back on the market, both for food and feed applications, in the Netherlands. It was discussed how the various initiatives that already exist in this area can reinforce each other, and an overview of the different stakeholders in the entire chain was made.
This Fava bean project is led by Jolijn Zwart van-Kessel from ZwartvanKessel Advies and is supported by the Dutch province of Overijssel. Five companies, covering the entire fava bean chain, are involved in this project: Agricultural company De Kortenhof, AgruniekRijnvallei, Frank Food Products, Bobeldijk Food Group and bakery Fuite.
At the end of the session it was concluded that one of the main setbacks for commercializing fava beans as a source of plant-based protein is consumer awareness. The fava bean is known under a lot of different names in The Netherlands, like fava boon, faba boon and veldboon, which leads to a lot of confusion. Besides, most Dutch consumers are not aware of the fact that fava beans are an excellent source of proteins, can be used as a main ingredient in meat alternatives due to its positive characteristics like color and taste, and can be grown very well in The Netherlands (in contrast to for example soy beans).
The group of fava bean experts is planning on continuing their work together to bring the fava bean back to the Dutch market. To be continued!
Martine Boetje | Project Manager Foodvalley NL