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The nation has the Food Valley region, a neuralgic territory that brings together multinationals and thousands of professionals in the foodtech sector with the purpose of developing innovation in the industry

Dutch experts in new technologies, agritech and alternative proteins to discuss the future of food at the Food 4 Future World Summit


Madrid, 10 May 2022 – The Netherlands has become one of the world's major powers in the agri-food sector. This small country, with just 41,000 square kilometers of territory and 17 million inhabitants, has become the second largest exporter of food products in the world after the United States, according to government figures. Specifically, the territory exports some 80 billion euros a year in foodstuffs, as much as Spain, Italy and Portugal produce together.

But how has the Netherlands managed to become a global agri-food powerhouse? Thanks to years of research and a strong commitment to innovative talent, the orange region has managed to produce food sustainably using new Industry 4.0 technologies, phasing out the use of pesticides or mitigating antibiotics from the diet of some animals.

Thus, in recognition of the nation's leadership in food system transformation, Food 4 Future - Expo Foodtech, the benchmark forum on innovation for professionals from the entire value chain of the food sector, which will take place from May 17 to 19 in Bilbao (Spain), has chosen the Netherlands as the guest country for this edition.

Sergio Fabregat, director of Food 4 Future, explains that the Netherlands "is an example territory for Spanish companies in the foodtech sector, as they can be inspired in terms of their business model, internationalization, digitization and incorporation of the concepts of sustainability and circularity". In this sense, the director of the food industry of ICEX, María Naranjo, qualifies the union between the Netherlands and Spain as a "unique opportunity to attract the key innovative agri-food ecosystem in Europe to Bilbao with the aim of consolidating our country as a FoodTech Nation".

The Netherlands transformation, present at the Food 4 Future World Summit

Food 4 Future World Summit, the largest European congress on foodtech innovation, will be the scene where you can learn about all the trends and disruptions that are taking place in the Dutch market and, by extension, in Europe.

Among the experts who will come from the Netherlands to Food 4 Future to share their experience are Harrie Vollaard, a leading innovator who supports Fintech and AgriTech

entrepreneurs; Mathias Brink, an investor in startups that combine new technologies and agri-food; Graham Cross, founder of Innosapiens, a company dedicated to innovation management AgriTech; Mirjam Niessen, investment professional who supports companies and startups in the food and agriculture sector; Neville M. Mchina, Co-Founder and CEO of Invisible Foods, a company that combats food waste and promotes a circular food system, or Harini Venkataraman, analyst specializing in personalized nutrition, new ingredients and alternative proteins, among many others.

Enterprising ecosystems

With the presence of the Netherlands in Bilbao, the two territories are set to create synergies to strengthen relations and drive a real transformation in the food and beverage industry to make it more digital, sustainable and automated. And is that both the Dutch and Basque territories in recent years stand out for their entrepreneurial activity.

In the case of the Netherlands, this is in third position among the best startup ecosystems in Europe due to the financial support of different accelerators and incubators and the good location in logistical terms, among other reasons. An example of this is the success of the Food Valley region, where the Wageningen University and Research Center is located, a place that acts as an international hub for foodtech innovation and where multinationals and thousands of professionals related to the world of food and technological development meet to promote new concepts and techniques in the industry. 

According to the latest GEM Report (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor)-CAPV, the Basque Country has increased its Entrepreneurial Activity Rate from 4.7% to 5.25% between 2020 and 2021, placing the Basque Country at levels close to, and even higher than, states such as Germany. So, Food 4 Future will be the key location to bring together Dutch, Spanish and international talent from which to discover the latest trends and chart the future of foodtech.

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