Our Food Innovation Global Mission (FIGM), sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, led our 16 researchers of the second edition of the FIP to the Netherlands, launching the first stage of research in the most important food hubs in the world.
Departing on May 12 from Bologna, our delegation landed in Amsterdam, a city recognized by the European Commission as an innovation capital and the first place for the development of a startup ecosystem according to the European Startup Monitor.
The delegation learned about sharing traditions where innovation is the key to understanding the ecosystem of food from Peter Klosse, creator of the theory on the classification of the flavors in wine and its pairings, author of the book “the Essence of Gastronomy: Understanding the Flavor of Foods and Beverages” with the Academy of Gastronomy and owner and general manager of the Hotel Gastronomique De Echoput as well as Coordinator for Future of Food Research Project on the topic FOOD CARE.
Next, the delegation met with the founders of Food Inspiration, Arjan de Boer and Hans Steenbergen, Future Food partners and supporters of the Food Innovation Global Mission since the dawn; food guru, trendwatchers and sources of great inspiration for the community of food innovation globally. They shared a memorable food experience, exploring the pyramid of “Food Love” demonstrating the relationship between commodity foods and high value-added foods, which have the power to connect man with nature. Food Inspiration’s new HQ is located in Ede, the National Park where the ambitious World Food Center is in progress: a theme park on food innovation in the heart of Holland, opening in 2021. It aims to be a meeting point between science, policy makers and agri-food industry to address together the great challenges of the future of health and sustainability.
More information on the official website: http://www.worldfoodcenters.com
The tour continued with a “Restaurant SAFARI” party in Amsterdam, the Avocado Show whose dishes are made of this famous ingredient and where the avocados come from sustainable farming and a controlled supply chain. The Vegetarian Butcher, dedicated entirely to alternative proteins, including hamburgers, ragú and cured meats such as bacon that are 100% vegetarian but similar to meat in texture and taste. The Food Festival in Amersfoort where there were endless queues for food like hamburgers prepared by Bugzz, a start-up that is dedicated completely based insect dishes and other source of fast-protein alternatives.
The delegation then explored innovative concepts in the field of Food Service. They met with Maison Van de Boer, which focuses on the recovery of waste food, and founded the project FoodforCare that transforms meals for hospital patients into gourmet dishes, resulting in better health of patients and also on economic and environmental sustainability at the institution.
“Food Waste is really a cutting-edge issue,” explains Sara Roversi, executive director of the Food Innovation Program. “ It is addressed in different ways: from new models for catering, university research here at Wageningen and Maastricht, to food production that greatly affects food waste.
This part of the expedition culminated with a meeting with Bart Roetert co-founder Instock, a restaurant that creates dishes using only ingredients derived from food waste. “Our mission,” he explained, “is to reduce food waste by 50 million pounds by 2030. We think it is never too small to generate a tangible impact and draw a path for others to follow. In 2050, continuing this line the waste stream will be changed and we can see ourselves eventually as part of the solution and not the problem.”
Bart Roetert of Instock is part of our delegated ‘food heroes’ of the food to find, people to interview and get to know during the Food Innovation Global Mission. This is just one of the tracks of research carried out by the students in the Master’s Program. Additionally, we interacted with Eco Fields, organic farming pioneers, who presented a new way of approaching  consumers, to taste and experience that which nature has to offer, and the Remeker De Groote Voort family business that for generations has produced Remeker of the most famous, high-end cheeses in the country. The secret of this century-old recipe is in the quality of the soil where the cows roam that since 2004 have been raised on a natural diet, completely free of antibiotics with care and passion.
After Amsterdam, the tour of the Dutch food innovation touched Maastricht, where the delegation met again with Professor Peter Klosse at the Chateau Bethlhem the Hotel Management School, one of the most prestigious academies of Hotel Management in the world. Here Prof. Klosse led the delegation to the kitchen to study the theories of taste within his published classification of the combination of flavorings of food and wine, now widely adopted throughout the world.
Also in Maastricht, the students met the author and creator of the first burger grown in vitro, Professor Mark Post, former professor at the Master’s in Reggio Emilia. Mindful of his lectures in Italy, the students were able to visit the laboratory where his project was born, now recognized internationally. “Meeting Professor Mark Post was an incredible source of inspiration, especially considering the positive impacts on the health of animals and the climate that the production of his burger in vitro could lead to large-scale,” explained the student Auriane Borremans.
Visiting prestigious universities around the world is one of the Food Innovation Global Mission priorities. In this regard we could not miss the University Wageningen where FIGM has engaged with Prof. Vincenzo Fogliano and Prof Maria Carmela longstanding. Here they presented to the delegation the latest scientific frontiers in the field of protein future, a topic of particular interest to the guests of the Global Mission present: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a partner of the Institute for Future Food with Bank Intesa Sanpaolo Startup Initiative Innovation Center; and UNIDO ITPO Italy, agency of the United Nations Industrial Development in developing the third edition of the identification of innovative ideas International Prize for agribusiness.
In this regard, Dr. Andrea Carapellese of UNIDO, and institutional relations director for the Future Food Institute, Dr. Claudia Laricchia, will return to Wageningen in the fall to consolidate the promotion of the award, whose final ceremony will take place in Bologna in 2019 as part of World Food Day as an important first follow-up meeting of the Global Mission.

Immediately follow The Netherlands, the delegation went to Brussels, to present their own agenda in the heart of the European Union. And to follow will be Berlin and Madrid, followed by Toronto, New York and the world’s heart of innovation, Silicon Valley, until the conclusion of the mission in Asia with a rich schedule of official meetings and workshops for the entire delegation.