Meet Leo Koning, our new Community Manager!

January 20, 2022

January 2022

My name is Leo Koning, and I will be joining Foodvalley NL as the new Community Manager for The Protein Cluster (TPC).

What Leo adds to the Foodvalley team

I am excited to contribute to the transition for more tasty, affordable, healthy, and sustainable food. To do this successfully, I will use my energetic & positive approach to create engagement with our stakeholders to participate actively in this journey. I believe that working together, sharing best practices, ideas, and focusing on common interest, is the way to make this happen. I have over 25 years of business experience of working in start-ups and in multinational companies in an international role. I am used dealing with complex and challenging situations: thinking outside the box and using creativity to find solutions is what I like the most. It’s my drive to create multiple moments where we can celebrate achieving our goals: accelerating the speed of the global Protein Shift and share the energy and satisfaction in doing that together. I am looking forward to work with you!

How Leo contributes to a sustainable food system at home

Frankly, my wife and daughter don’t really have such a disciplined system at home yet. We do however try to eat more and more healthy food with fresh ingredients and less prepared food. Sometimes we enjoy eating a simple snack meal, especially when nobody is in the mood for cooking. Already we shifted from eating unhealthy snacks to vegetable snacks during the day and evening. What we also do is buy less meat and started to experiment with new ingredients and recipes for tasty meals. Every time we eat a new meal, we analyze the taste, give it a score and decide if we will repeat this meal or not, with or without changes. Finally, we try to buy as much as possible biological and locally produced food, to contribute to a more sustainable food system.

What can you wake him up for in the middle of the night?

WOW, I can think of many things, because I am a huge fan of (live) music, I enjoy attending a concert or festival. My favorites are the North Sea Jazz Festival and DanceValley. Both have a similar vibe, where visitors share the passion for music and having a great time. A good alternative is to arrange a tennis court to play a match with Roger Federer, my favorite tennis player.


Angry Camel interview: “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it”

January 19, 2022

January 2022

Angry Camel consists of two enthusiastic entrepreneurs Kotaiba and Bakr, originally from the Middle East. Although they both came from the Middle East, Kotaiba lives in Sweden while Bakr lives in Germany. Both want to bring innovative oriental healthy snacks and superfoods to the market.

Challenge the existing snacking ecosystem

Kotaiba studied for a Ph.D. in service marketing and management with a focus on food ecosystem innovation and previously worked in logistics, sales and marketing. Bakr studied food technology and worked for a Swiss company as a packaging manager. Angry Camel aims to challenge the existing snacking ecosystem and create value for farmers, producers and increase the well-being and health of consumers.
Angry Camel is a nascent idea, ready to take a step into the market. The transition in the protein market to a more sustainable food value chain requires different approaches and many innovative minds. To bring their idea to market, that’s what they were looking for and that is exactly what Angry Camel found at Foodvalley NL; a global network of food companies, scientists and researchers.

Seeking expertise and knowledge

“We believe in building bridges and sharing knowledge and experiences, regardless of geographical location. Therefore, we seek expertise and knowledge on new methods for protein and superfood production. We came across Foodvalley and TPC when we searched on Google. Foodvalley’s profile was interesting in terms of the services they offer, particularly the shared facility and the potential for scalability. In addition, the Netherlands is known for their innovative food ecosystems and the advanced technology in producing and processing the food. We found this an interesting fact and a motivation for us to be part of The Protein Cluster”, tells Kotaiba and Bakr.

What Angry Camel brings to the community

Angry Camel brings to The Protein Cluster a unique take on oriental snacks and super foods. And hopes to overcome unsustainable food practices with their solution and provide the world’s growing population with delicious and healthy snacks.


Jack Link’s interview: Explore and connect within the field of plant proteins

January 18, 2022

January 2022

As a world leader in branded protein snacks, Jack Link´s has a long-term vision for sustaina-ble growth. They have a global presence and a strong position in Germany, the United King-dom, Belgium and the Netherlands, selling high-quality salami snacks and beef jerky pro-duced by their world-class production facilities.

Jack Link´s has a keen eye on sustainability. For example, they are committed to reducing their overall carbon footprint and give consumers a wide choice of plant-based meat alternatives in addition to meat.

First meat-analogue

Jack Link´s believes it is important to continue to explore and connect within the field of plant proteins. In 2021, Jack Link´s successfully launched its first meat-analogue “Vegerami Chickn´less bites” at Tesco in the UK. A great example of cooperation between ingredient suppliers, research institutes and their development team.
“Our EMEA headquarters is located in Amsterdam. Regionally, we are closely linked with research partners in Wageningen and also collaborate with several Foodvalley and TPC members in develop-ment projects. The unique concept of Foodvalley is to bring together companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, with experts in ingredients, production and also market insights. We be-lieve that with our knowledge we can drive the protein shift across the food industry”, said Jan-Pieter Schretlen, Managing Director and Felix Ostertag, Head of R&D”.

What Jack Link´s brings to the community

Jack Link´s brings with it a long history in protein snacking, particularly in the area of ready-to-eat snacks, including production and brand marketing capabilities. The route to market of their well-known brands may also be of interest should new technologies seek to make an immediate impact.


Ostara interview: Striving for sustainability with three main pillars

January 17, 2022

January 2022

Ostara Innovations B.V. focuses on innovating technologies in the field of agri-food and nutrition. They do this by identifying new and exciting research opportunities for the downstream Agri-Tech industry and use their ability to support renowned institutions working on sustainable solutions for the future.

Ideas, Research and Development

Ostara looks for the right idea that fits their values and has potential to become a fully developed product. Furthermore, they support research in downstream agricultural technology, giving the product a chance in modern marketplaces and with conscious consumers. They also support research and development of the ideas they fund and provide end-to-end support to build a prototype of the idea, which can then be scaled up with further collaboration.

“Ostara’s impact goals are focused on achieving efficiency and sustainability in three key pillars: the protein transition, circular agriculture and plant biotechnology applications. The current growth of the world’s population is putting enormous pressure on the food system and on our planet. With a world population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, we need a 56% increase in food production and 593 million hectares of land to grow the food (150x times the Netherlands)”, adds serial entrepreneur Tarun Reddy.

A natural step

Joining The Protein Cluster was a natural step for Ostara. “Our office is located on the Wageningen campus, so it was a natural next step to join Foodvalley NL and The Protein Cluster. With our expertise in innovative food, protein transition and nutrition and circular agriculture, we found clear synergies to join Foodvalley NL and further expand our network with startups, MNCs and universities that are in the ecosystem.”, explains Tarun Reddy.

What Ostara Innovations B.V. brings to the community

Although Ostara has only been in existence for three years, it has a wealth of knowledge to offer. For example, Ostara has executives with more than twenty years of experience in technology licensing. Mainly around sectors such as F&A, nutrition, sustainable proteins, agricultural sciences, feed additives and pharmaceuticals.