The Protein Cluster organizes webinars, business acceleration sessions, thematic events on e.g. legal, upscaling and positioning, summits and one-on-one experts sessions. Please mark your calender for the upcoming events:

15-16 June 2021: Free From Functional & Health Ingredients Expo 

Thousands of food professionals will visit the Free From Functional & Health Ingredients Expo 2020 at the 15th and 16th of June, 2021, in the RAI Amsterdam. More than 350 exhibitors from over 53 countries will show their newest products and applications from ingredients in the field of Free From, Vegan, Functional and Organic to Retail & Industry. The expo will be held in Amsterdam.

This is the place to make new contacts and strengthen your current. Companies like Dawn Foods, Herba Ingredients and Döhler will already be there. Interested in exhibiting your companies plant-based protein innovations at the European Retail & Industry players?

As a Foodvalley | The Protein Cluster member the Free From Functional & Health Ingredients offers you a special package deal € 1.750,- VAT excl. This deal will ensure you of a spot in a collective stand with other Foodvalley | The Protein Cluster members. Want to know more or book your spot, please contact Chris Gottschalk, Sales & Marketing Director Free From Food Expo.

Plant Protein Zoom-in calls

During these Covid-19 times we stay connected and help our members in a digital way as much as possible. Therefore, we will host a series of Zoom calls on specific themes during the coming weeks. Appropriately, we have named them ‘Plant Protein Zoom-in calls’. We selected the topic of the first one (see below), but need your suggestions on other themes. Topics may relate sharing insights/developments on specific products, raw materials or technologies, to doing business outside the Netherlands, selecting the right investor or on the recently announced National Protein Strategy that is currently being formed by the Dutch Ministery of Agriculture. Mail your suggestions to

How to join?
The sessions will be recorded and shared afterwards. We will take invitations on a first come-first serve basis.

Past activities

Member Meeting NIZO – Targeted Protein Nutrition

Targeted Protein Nutrition

The demand for plant-based protein is growing; new products and concepts are launched, different plant-based protein sources and blends of protein sources are used and various (processing) technologies are applied. What knowledge from processing of animal protein can be used in plant-based protein and what effect do different plant-based proteins have on the gut health? It all came up during the online Foodvalley Member Meeting, organized in cooperation with NIZO food research.

Foodvalley Summits Circular Agrifood

The Foodvalley Summits Circular Agrifood was held on November 26th, 2020.

What is happening at the cutting edge of developments in agriculture, food, animal nutrition and technology? We got inspired by leading speakers from SOJAPROTEIN, Protix, Greencovery and In Ovo, the winner of the Foodvalley Champions Circular Agrifood Award. Together they have shown us how the food systems of the future will be shaped; sustainable and circular. New raw materials as replacement for the current less sustainable materials, new producing methods to avoid animal suffering, and new technologies which make side and waste streams become more valuable.

During the Table Talk ‘Smart agrifood chain of the future’, moderated by Summit Partner OnePlanet Research Center, FrieslandCampina, Wageningen Universtiy and Research, Lidl NL and Conecterra have shared their vision of the future of circular agrifood and the importance of smart technologies. 2Grow presented their self-managing greenhouse to share the impact of data on our sustainable productionsystem.

Foodvalley Summits 2020

We’re still enjoying the momentum and success of our first virtual event: the Foodvalley Summits ‘Shaping the future food systems together’, held 13 October 2020. Many thanks to all participants, speakers, partners and technicians for making this happen. Focused on the themes Protein Shift and Food & Health, the Summits offered high level plenary sessions, breakout sessions and many engagement and networking moments.

Some key insights from the Protein Shift Summit:
‘‘The actions and insights shared by all entrepreneurs and speakers from Asia, Europe, Oceania during our summit, revealed one thing: plant proteins have become serious business and will explode over the next decade. We need all hands on deck to avoid the ‘plant protein gap’; a lack of sustainable produced, nutritious plant protein ingredients meeting consumer and industry needs’’. – Jeroen Willemsen, Innovationmanager Protein Shift.

And of course, the Foodvalley Champions 2020 were announced: De Nieuwe Melkboer (The New Milkman), In Ovo and Grünten! All three winners have innovation in their genes, according to the jury.

Foodvalley Webinar: Protein Revolution – Opportunities in the Brazilian Protein Market

On June 18th, Foodvalley NL and Food Tech Hub Br co-hosted a webinar to provide food for thought on how the protein world is going to a new revolution. Brazil is one of the largest protein producers in the world, therefore a country full of opportunity for new products and technology in the protein sector. The webinar had a main objective to give Dutch companies, start-ups and SME’s an overview of a Brazilian food system in general and protein overview specifically. Speakers were, among others, Flavio Garofalo, Givaudan, Beatriz Benedetti from BRF, and the most disruptive start-ups like Novish and Solitti from Brazil.

Protein Industries Canada & OostNL

On June 17, there was a webinar on the latest developments in plant-based proteins with focus on connecting Canadian and Dutch organizations. This webinar was organized by different organizations, like Protein Industries Canada, the Canadian embassy in the Netherlands and OostNL. This webinar focussed on the latest developments in plant-based proteins – strategy, innovation, challenges and the opportunities these present for collaboration. An overview of efforts to build greater collaboration between the Netherlands and Canada, including upcoming summits and matchmaking to connect Canadian and Dutch organizations was given.

Themasessie Innovatieve Eiwitten

Op 11 juni organiseerde HAS Hogeschool en FoodDelta Zeeland in samenwerking met The Protein cluster een Online Themabijeenkomst: Eiwitten? Zeeland, en wat nu?

Wat kunnen we in Nederland doen om meer zelfvoorzienend te worden in de behoefte aan meer en andere innovatieve eiwitten? Welke kansen zijn er dan in Zeeland? Op het land en in de zee? Hoe zorgen we voor toekomstbestendige verdienmodellen, voor teler, verwerkende industrie en retail? Wat doen we al wel, maar wat zouden we nog beter kunnen doen? Wat of wie heeft u daar voor nodig?

Doel van deze bijeenkomst was het samen brengen van een Zeeuws cluster van bedrijven en organisaties om zo een concreet onderzoek- en innovatieprogramma specifiek voor eiwitten op te zetten, in verbinding met andere regionale en nationale initiatieven.

Plant Protein Zoom-in calls

TPC has and will host a series of Zoom calls on specific themes during the coming weeks: the ‘Plant Protein Zoom-in calls’.

First Plant Protein Zoom-in Call: Dutch Plant Protein Retail Landscape
The first Zoom-in call from Friday May 15 focussed on the Dutch food retail landscape. How does (Dutch) food retail work, more specifically within the protein segments? How do you get the attention of relevant category managers and how does Covid-19 influence the retailers (and therefore suppliers). Floor Buitelaar, from Foodvalley The Protein Cluster, with prior experience working at Picnic and Plus Retail, shared her vision on this.

Second Plant Protein Zoom-in Call: Opportunities for Plant-Based Protein in India
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in India, the Good Food Institute India and The Protein Cluster hosted a webinar on Opportunities for Plant-Based Protein in India. The webinar adressed the Indian plant-based protein market, consumer sentiment, and potential for partnerships in supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as highlighting the challenges currently faced by international companies entering the market.

Third Plant Protein Zoom-in Call: Protein Transition in Germany
In collaboration with GO4EXPORT of Oost NL, we organized our third Plant Protein Zoom-in Call. This edition focussed on the protein transition in Germany and associated opportunities for Dutch companies. How does Germany support the transition towards more plant-based food? How does the German government support this transition? What opportunities are there for Dutch companies on the German market? The speakers were: Jochem Wolthuis (Go4Export), Peter Link (publisher Vegconomist), Albrecht Wolfmeyer (incubator project manager ProVeg Germany) and Jeroen Willemsen & Floor Buitelaar (The Protein Cluster/ Foodvalley NL).

Request a free copy
The presentation and recording of the protein zoom-in calls are available for TPC members upon request.

The Protein Directory & The Protein Cluster Webinar: The latest plant protein ingredients

On Wednesday April 22 The Protein Cluster & Protein Directory hosted a webinar about The latest plant protein ingredients. Now you can watch it online!

A combination of sharing insights and making new business connections on the topic “the latest plant protein ingredients”. In the plenary start and during various ingredient pitches you are updated on the latest protein ingredients. Pitches were given by Multiflour, MFH pulses, Spira, AnuLife, Phycom, Cosun, Mycorena, and GreenFood50.

Acceleration Sessions: Plant Protein Ingredients

The Protein Cluster has hosted three acceleration sessions together with OostNL, as part of the Food2020 program. These three sessions were all related to plant-based protein ingredients.

The first session has been hosted at OostNL at the 15th of November, where Bert Dijkink (Wageningen University & Research) and Paulus Kosters (Green Proteins) elaborated on ‘dry and wet plant-based protein enrichment’.

The second took place at the 17th of January, where we dived into the application of plant-based proteins at the pilot kitchen of Boon Bonen.

Lastly, the third session on marketing and positioning of these proteins has taken place on the 6th of March at Stegeman. Speakers were Stegeman (on private label products) and Innogusto (on brands).

Foodvalley and The Protein Cluster at Fi Europe 3-5 December Paris

Foodvalley and The Protein Cluster will be exhibiting with Dutch companies at Fi Europe, booth 7T 160. Live cooking. Innovative tastings with new impressive ingredients. Catch a glimpse of the cutting edge developments in The Netherlands during the excellent networking opportunities at our booth.

Foodvalley Summit: The Protein Plan(et) (2019)

During the third international edition of the Foodvalley Summit: The Protein Plan(et) 17 October 2019, food producers, growers, breeders, investors, research institutes and the government came together, in Wageningen, to share solutions, to strengthen the connections between meat, fish, dairy and vegetable and to find new business partners. This edition was an initiative of Foodvalley NL in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research, KeyGene and The Protein Cluster.

Innovation Performance Contract (IPC) ‘Transition to Plant Proteins’

The Protein Cluster clustered 13 Dutch SME’s with innovative plant protein ingredients, concepts and technologies. From 2017-2019, they will work on vegan ice-cream, spreads, sausages etc. based on seaweed, hemp, (Dutch grown) soy and other protein rich plant sources.

Rethink Protein Challenge for Tech Students

Rethink Protein Challenge

ReThink Protein is an international competition for individual students, student teams and student start-ups. 40 groups compete with their new business idea or prototype that is healthy, affordable and sustainable in the field of protein (transition): new ingredients or technologies applicable for business. TPC  has been the impact partner and jury of this TU challenge. More information can be found here.

NRC Live AgriFood
Protein Transition, with TPC member ‘The New Milkman’   presenting a new generation of Dutch Soymilk farms.

Louis Bolk Field workshop new crops in NL
Test results, interaction and visit to pilot fields with lupine, faba beans and grains. More info via this link.

PROTEIN2FOOD stakeholders workshop
PROTEIN2FOOD will create innovative, high quality, protein-rich food crops, to sustain human health, the environment, and biodiversity in the EU. This project develops high-quality food protein from multi-purpose seed crops and grain legumes, through optimised, sustainable production and processing methods. More info and program, see News

TPC – BOM plant based retail propositions

Acceleration session with companies with a link to retail-plant protein proposition. In collaboration with BOM and Schouten Europe.
Program can be found here

TPC meets the Green Investors

What do investors in area of protein transition seek (products, ingredients, applications). Investors from New Crop Capital.(USA), Plantbase and Startlife share their vision on the climate for investors in the plant based food industry. April 18th, Foodvalley office.

Plant protein missions Germany

March: Trend tour + Proveg New Food conference

Visits to ProVeg Head office, Veganz vegan retail chain in Berlin and the ProVeg New Food Conference on “Plant-based Proteins” and “Cell Based Proteins”.
This Trend Trip is organized from GO4EXPORT (Dutch)

Acceleration session: Fava beans

In December, TPC organized a business acceleration session together with the “Veldbonen keten praktijk innovatie project”. The central challenge was how to bring fava beans back on the market, both for food and feed applications, in the Netherlands. Various initiatives that already exist in this area can reinforce each other, and a collective overview of the different stakeholders in the entire fava bean supply chain was made by the stakeholders. 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).

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 and correct naming issues (fava boon, faba boon and/or veldboon are used). Besides, nutritional content and quality of fava beans are unknown by most consumers.

Jolijn Zwart van-Kessel from ZwartvanKessel Advies coordinates this project, 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 (TPC member) and bakery Fuite.

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!

The Protein Cluster Summit: Proteins of the Future (2018)

Foodvalley NL and The Protein Cluster organized The Proteins of the Future Summit on the 10th of October, the Dutch National Sustainability Day. The most important take-away from this event: a serious business has turned into serious business, this is the era of ‘plantification’. Restoring the protein balance has moved up a gear, a success which we have all contributed to. As an entrepreneur, NGO, policy maker, investor, student and of course, as a consumer. We hope the shared insights, new contacts, innovative products and concepts in Ede inspire you to keep on working on a future proof protein consumption and production.

A couple of days before the Summit Vivera introduced a vegan quarter pounder. Gert Jan Gombert, Chief Commercial Officer of Vivera and keynote speaker: “The new Veggie Quarter Pounder was launched last week in Sainsbury’s and the reactions were very good. It is the first raw burger on the market in retail in Europe and it looks exactly like an Aberdeen beef burger.”

After his presentation, Gombert offered the new Veggie Quarter Pounder to Isabel Boerdam, initiator of the Dutch Week Without Meat and to moderator Jeroen Willemsen, who were both positive about the new product. The participants of the Summit could also taste new innovative products.

Want to know more? Read the full article about the summit, including interviews with a few of the speakers, on

Business opportunities in Germany

There are great opportunities in Germany for innovative ingredients, semi-finished products and end-products based on green proteins. At the moment, the German market is often difficult to reach for Dutch entrepreneurs. TPC has connections with the German market and organizes business visits to e.g. Proveg, german retail and entrepreneurs to increase international business opportunities for TPC member companies.

Jochem Wolthuis, expert in the German market and business opportunities from Duitsland Desk, working for Oost NL’s project GO4EXPORT, can share his network and activities for food businesses with an interest in the German market.

Acceleration session: Rapeseed protein

On the 3th of July the TPC members were welcome to participate in the first acceleration session. The topic of this session was rapeseed protein and was hosted by Colzaco, a rapeseed association for East Holland.

The purpose of the Acceleration Session concept of The Protein Cluster is to accelerate introduction of new plant-protein ingredients and products. On the topic of rapeseed protein, this required the necessary creativity and practical thinking power.

Nowadays, rapeseed is primarily grown for the production of animal feed, edible vegetable oils, and biodiesel. The ‘presscake’ that remains after processing the seeds, can be used as a protein- and fiber-rich component in animal feeds, and can be further processed to produce even more oil, which can be used as bio fuel. The straw residues from cropping are a popular groundcover in stables.

The aim of this session about rapeseed protein was to discuss, with a select group of experts and entrepreneurs from various parts of the product chain, if and how it is possible to value the high-quality rapeseed protein from the presscake. An opportunity that has long been under the attention of science and companies.

The session was a great success and some interesting ideas about processing techniques and possible food ingredients and end-products based on the high-protein rapeseed presscake were discussed. The participating companies are now working together to further investigate the possible opportunities. More results will follow!

Funded Cluster Projects

The Protein Cluster initiates and coordinates national and international co-funded projects on sustainable protein.


  • IPC Transition to Plant Proteins

  • National Chain project on Faba Beans. Example Faba Beans.

  • EU Interreg Projects (in submission)