Protein transition across regional borders allows entrepreneurs to flourish

Helping entrepreneurs by stimulating inter-provincial cooperation and thereby increasing the national and international impact of initiatives within the protein transition. It is the goal of a joint initiative of the provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Flevoland – within The Protein Cluster. “This will enable entrepreneurs to fulfill their ambitions for sustainable protein, better and faster,” says Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Manager at Foodvalley NL. The collaboration starts, officially, on 13 October 2020, during the Foodvalley Summits.

Entrepreneurs, who have committed to the protein shift, have been receiving support from various provinces and Regional Development Agencies (ROMs) for a number of years. This cooperation is intensifying, now that, after Gelderland, Overijssel, Foodvalley NL and Oost NL initiated The Protein Cluster 3 years ago, the provinces Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Flevoland have also joined this business network. Currently, The Protein Clusters counts 65 members. With this extended cooperation, there will be even more companies that benefit from support in their plant-protein businesses.

Cooperation across provincial borders

“We bring together entrepreneurs from different provinces with complementary ambitions, networks, products and facilities. Growers, processors and end users, for example, alongside producers and food designers,” Willemsen illustrates. “The protein transition does not stop at the border of a province or a country. This cooperation is, therefore, a valuable new step in the development of the protein transition ecosystem as imagined by Foodvalley NL and its partners.”

protein transition field sky  protein transition rainbow windmill  
(photo 1&2: Dutch Edamame                                                                                                      photo 3: Seaweed Harvest Holland)

Faster growth

Companies can grow faster with an multi-province approach. Mark Laponder of Evolution Meats knows this better than anyone. The entrepreneur develops and produces 100% vegetable products with the taste and bite of meat. “As an entrepreneur I look beyond the borders of Gelderland, my own province. Some of our raw materials, for example, come from Zeeland, and the storage and distribution of our products is taken care of from our production site in Limburg. When our partners receive support from their own province, we benefit too.”

Promotion abroad

Protein transition across provincial borders also helps promote Dutch vegetable protein products, technologies and services further afield. Laponder: “The Protein Cluster is also an enabler: member companies join forces in creating a shared global platform. It’s great that we can present ourselves together at global events such as Floriade 2022 in Almere, and major food fairs in Germany and France.

Want to know more?

Want to know more about Protein Transition without borders? Contact Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Manager Protein Shift at Foodvalley NL.