PRESS RELEASE, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 23 November 2020
Transforming food systems requires a fundamental change in the way our food is produced and the way food is consumed. Technology innovations present a significant opportunity to enable and accelerate this transformation agenda so we can meet the aspirational goals for food systems to be sustainable, inclusive, efficient, nutritious and healthy. Connecting multiple various ecosystem players – business, government and NGOs – will be essential to scale innovation programs across the value chain on an international level.
This is the shared vision behind a multi-year partnership between Foodvalley NL and the Food Innovation Hubs: a multi-stakeholder partnership platform catalyzed and supported by the World Economic Forum and several global and regional partners. Foodvalley NL will be the leading European Hub in a new, worldwide network of Food Innovation Hubs that are being catalyzed and supported in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The collaboration will be officially announced on Monday November 23, in a pre-event in support of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
One of the most powerful contributions of the Food Innovation Hubs initiative, catalyzed by WEF and partners, will be to link those who need technology and innovations, those who are developing it, and those who might finance and scale it, across traditional boundaries. The goal is to bring solutions that can address systemic challenges. This would be achieved through:
- Connecting innovators across geographies;
- Forging partnership between local innovators and food system practitioners;
- Attracting investments for local innovation;
- Supporting policy making to enable impact-oriented innovation;
- Opening trust-based dialogue around responsible technology;
- Providing an ecosystem for continued innovation for transformation at scale.
Sean de Cleene: accelerating innovation
Sean de Cleene, Member of the Executive Committee at the WEF: “A worldwide network of food innovation hubs is key to accelerating the innovation needed for the transition towards efficient, inclusive, sustainable, nutritious and healthy food systems. We believe that Foodvalley NL is exactly the right partner to establish such a leading Hub in Europe. They have developed a strong ecosystem of business, knowledge institutes, governments and NGOs, with the specific goal of scaling innovations together with other innovation clusters in and beyond Europe.”
Edith Schippers: generating more impact
Edith Schippers, Chairman of the Board at Foodvalley NL: “We see a perfect match between the ambition of Food Innovation Hubs and our own commitment to the development of sustainable food systems through commercialization of innovations, and to providing solutions to current and future systemic challenges. Establishing a leading European innovation hub is wonderful recognition of the work we have done in the past fifteen years and enables us to accelerate and to enlarge our impact.”
Carola Schouten: engaging in dialogue
Carola Schouten, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the Netherlands: “The Netherlands has always been a frontrunner in food and nutrition. We are ranked second in the global export of agrifood products, our academia and research institutes are world leading, and several food multinationals have located their headquarters and R&D centers here. We want to share our knowledge and expertise and learn from others in solving today’s global issues, engage in dialogue with stakeholders from all over the world and discover new opportunities for co-creation.”
Attending the pre-event
The strategic partnership will be officially announced at Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good: a pre-event in support of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. The pre-event will take place at Monday November 23, 2020, 1915-2045pm CET. The event is organized by 13 international organizations, including the World Economic Forum; Unilever; Wageningen University & Research; Rabobank; Royal DSM; the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. https://www.weforum.org/events/bold-actions-for-food-as-a-force-for-good-2020
Organizations supporting the strategic partnership
This strategic partnership has been established in close collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy; the Dutch Province of Gelderland; Oost NL - East Netherlands Development Agency; Unilever, Royal DSM; Rabobank; Topsector Agri & Food; and Wageningen University & Research. Actors such as research institutes, companies – from startup to multinational –and supporting agencies that are committed to creating a sustainable food system are welcome to join the initiative.
Shaping the future of food together. Since 2004, Foodvalley NL has been building and strengthening the Foodvalley ecosystem, an international network of organizations that have together initiated the transition to a sustainable food system. Foodvalley NL, based in the Netherlands, is the independent organization that guides stakeholders through the transition, establishing direction, process, content and speed. It works closely with governments – international, national and regional – and renowned educational and research institutions. www.foodvalley.nl
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. www.weforum.org