When Traveling, Plant Proteins & Entrepreneurship come together!

Temperature records are broken here in the Netherlands, yesterday 39.3° Celsius, today possibly over 40°C…it’s summer!

I recently found an inspiring quote passing by on Instagram, by @TonyRobbins:

It’s not about the goal. It is about growing to become the person that can accomplish that goal”.

Almost a year ago we returned from what proved to be our best choice ever made: to go traveling the world with the three of us, backpacking. Not a typical choice one makes when having the security of a fulltime International Sales Manager’s job. Looking back, we are reminded every day of the impressions and experiences we had on the different continents, we were fortunate to do so and feel blessed having been given the opportunity to our son to see so many cultures within an 8-month timeframe.

Upon return I quickly knew that I wanted to start up my own company. I was pleased to be discussing business opportunities with two future leads within two weeks upon return, both SMEs looking for assistance in certain areas of my expertise (which you can find on my profile).

During the first stages of my entrepreneurship I attended a lot of food (processing)-related networking venues throughout Europe, including SIAL in Paris, HiE in Frankfurt, Food Matters Live in London, HORECAVA in Amsterdam and the ISM in Cologne. One assignment has furthermore led to presence and engagement at the IMR Hydrocolloid Conference in Lisbon, where the international food industry gathered to discuss and engage with industry peers on commonly known ingredients such as thickeners, binders & gelling agents.

My latest interest, as you may have guessed by my latest posts and likes, in plant-based ingredients / foods has been propelled by the opportunity that we lively experienced during our travels through SE Asia & Canada. Plant-based foods in SE Asia are beyond novelty, it is far more mainstream than in the Western World. Most dishes in SE Asia are vegan/vegetarian, with an optional animal protein to be added to your dish on demand.

Besides, this time last year during our road trip across Canada, A&W had launched their plant-based burger from @BeyondMeat. Once at an A&W in Lillooet (BC, Canada) ourselves, the burger appeared to be sold out in just a few days (as was the case in all A&W stores across the nation). Since then the discussion and demand for plant-based foods & beverages have showed risen demand.

My attendance recently at the North-American Plant Protein Summits in Saskatoon & Calgary (Canada), in May & June, was a logic result of what happened in previous months. It is no secret that Canada is a global leader in the production of mainstream and specialty crops. Canada comprises 28 million hectares of arable land, producing 60 million metric tonnes of crops such as pulses, canola, wheat & barley, hemp, flax, oats a.o.

Just for the record, I’m not “vegan” myself nor would I consider myself “vegetarian”. I love my meats as well as my fresh fish dishes. I am a true so-called “flexitarian”, limiting myself to consuming meat or fish to only a number of days per week. Yet, I do opinion that we need to become aware of the fact that the world population is rapidly rising, from 7billion in 2019, approx. 8.6bn in 2030 to almost 10bn people by 2050. Protein demand will therefore drastically increase, certainly when you consider that more and more underdeveloped countries/continents (red. Africa & Asia) are gradually getting easier access to both animal & plant proteins. Figures have shown that global protein demand will grow at a quicker rate than population growth rates.

Shifting protein diets are necessary to sustainably feed the growing world population beyond 2030, of both animal & plant proteins for the generations to come. 

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