CJ CheilJedang

Korea's leading food culture company is well connected in Foodvalley

Since the establishment of CJ CheilJedang in Wageningen in 2021, the innovative food producer has established connections with key partners in the ecosystem like agri-foodtech accelerator StartLife and Wageningen University & Research (WUR). CJ CheilJedang is also a member of the Foodvalley network which gives them access to strong international networks and helps to speed up innovation.  Wageningen - the food-tech hub - is commonly known as the Netherlands’ ‘Foodvalley’, which offers the ideal ecosystem for innovators. Heiko Oertling, R&D Manager at CJ CheilJedang: “All the food innovations are happening here! Wageningen is certainly an ideal location as we want to link with innovative start-ups, partners and corporates in order to develop new offerings that bring a benefit to consumers, as for example for well-being, convenience, or sustainability.”

New collaboration partners

At CJ Foods in Wageningen scouting for new collaboration partners within Europe is in the focus. Looking for new trends, novel technologies and groundbreaking approaches which enable the development of new flavorful and healthy food products.

Founded in 1953, CJ CheilJedang offers a broad range of foods, ingredients and beverages across various categories. The company already exports its products to more than 100 countries. It aims to expand the appeal of Korean food, which is well known for its outstanding heritage when it comes to cuisine, fermentation, and agriculture. CJ CheilJedang would like to contribute to the nation’s long-standing expertise in seaweed farming, for instance, or in delivering refined flavors and textures for more sustainable protein alternatives.

Wageningen University & Research and Oost NL were partners for us from the start – they enabled our soft-landing in the ecosystem!”

Heiko Oertling, R&D Manager at CJ CheilJedang      

Why is the Foodvalley ecosystem beneficial for CJ CheilJedang?

Heiko Oertling: “Having Wageningen University & Research, the # 1 food and agriculture university in the world within walking distance is very beneficial. The significant presence of additional corporate research centers on the campus like Upfield, FrieslandCampina and Unilever provides a noticeable appeal. CJ CheilJedang participates in Public-Private Partnerships research projects, which is an excellent way to connect with academia while engaging with international companies. Furthermore, it’s very convenient in the Netherlands to communicate and interact as the level of spoken English is commonly outstanding and the Dutch are pleasant partners and easy to get along. Additionally, in this vibrant ecosystem we can scout and find the right talent to grow.”   

What are CJ CheilJedang’s future plans?

“Working together in finding solutions for the food system transition is critical for us. We would like to grow further in being a valued partner in the ecosystem and a preferred company to innovate with. Within CJ CheilJedang we do have a wealth of experience available in food fermentation and for that reason, there are limitless opportunities to advance together in this field.”

What kind of role did Oost NL and Wageningen University & Research play in achieving your goals and how did you experience the support?

“Wageningen University & Research and Oost NL were partners for us from the beginning. They are proactively supporting and guiding us in connecting to the ecosystem. Both organizations helped in quickly finding the right answers to varied questions we initially had for example in the areas of recruitment, expatriation, housing, networking and potential collaboration projects. They enabled a remarkably soft-landing!”