At a Glance Programme

On the agenda this year are engaging sessions and discussions around insect protein, single cell technology, alternative proteins and many more. Take a look at the day-by-day agenda or discover more with the buttons below.

onsite Programme pdf Speakers Register now

Day 1 – Wednesday 7 March

16.00 – Registration

16.30 –Protein Challenge 2040 – Why is sustainable animal feed Protein important for the food industry?

How do we feed 9 billion people enough protein in a way that is healthy, affordable and good for the planet? It is a huge challenge but also a huge opportunity for far-sighted businesses. Along with changing consumer tastes and expectations, there is a growing recognition of the need to transform the way we consume and produce protein in the future.

An intrinsic part of the puzzle is what we feed our animal protein sources. Feed Compass is a new initiative by the Protein Challenge 2040 partnership to help the food industry navigate the complexities of animal feed: from its impacts such as deforestation and worker rights issues, to the circular economy and innovative solutions that pave the way for better sustainability.

What’s the leading thinking on addressing future protein needs and animal feed? What are the business opportunities for retail, food service and food manufacturers?

Day 2 Thursday 8 March

09.00 – Welcome from the Chair

09.10 – Desirable dairy – how innovation and agility drive sustainability at Arla
Harry Barraza, Arla Foods Amba

As one of the world’s leading dairy companies, Arla is committed to sustainability and innovation.  As a big player in the Danish Food Cluster, a partnership between Danish food companies, universities and government, Arla is spearheading the development of a circular economy that protects the environment while benefiting Arla, its customers and its milk producers.  Sven’s presentation will highlight progress so far, and investigate the links between sustainability and innovation being developed by Arla and other Danish food businesses.

09.40 – Traditional and emerging protein sources – working in synergy or fixed in competition?
Maeve Henchion, Teagasc Food Research Centre

A growing global population is placing increasing pressure on global protein sources and the proliferation of animal protein production is widely believed to pose a threat to the environment.  The search for alternative protein sources is firmly on.  However, is it right to assume that our consumption of animal proteins will fall – or that it should?  There is evidence that, though animal proteins may have environmental drawbacks, they also deliver positive social and economic impacts and have high consumer acceptance.  Newer proteins meanwhile, require the development of new value chains, and issues relating to production costs, safety and scalability are by no means resolved.  Maeve’s presentation calls for a balanced view of the future, in which old and new protein sources have equal value and exist in synergy rather than competition.

10.10 – Faster food and the time starved developer:  How AI and IoT are changing innovation and go-to-market strategies for plant based proteins
Mark Rainey, ADM

An accelerating pace of change is revolutionising the food industry, expanding the array of plant-based protein options.  The consumer’s appetite for exciting and varied products is growing equally fast, as is their demand for reliable, objective and timely information about their protein choices.  Meanwhile, the availability of consumer data has been growing exponentially and is becoming more complex as their demands become more segmented. The food developer has more information at their fingertips and all the motivation they need to innovate, but they’re struggling to keep up on both fronts.  Enter artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

11.10 – Plant Power! From traditional crops to ‘alt’ proteins
Professor Atze Jan van der Goot, Wageningen University & Research
Laurice Pouvreau, NIZO & HAS university of applied sciences
 Geoff Bryant, Technical & Engineering Director, Quorn  

As desire for protein peaks, many consumers are shifting their diets to incorporate more plant-based options. We drill down on new plant protein sources and innovation drivers to forecast future trends in the plant protein space.

12.15 – Speed networking

Grow your network with a series of four-minute meetings with your fellow attendees.

Introduce yourself to a new contact every time you hear the signal and find out if you’ve got mutual interests that would make a subsequent, more in-depth meeting worthwhile.

13.00 – Roundtable lunches – discuss the issues that matter most to you
Tables will be hosted by an expert from industry or academia who will lead an informal discussion on an industry hot topic. Join the table that suits you best, subject to availability.

14.30 – In-vitro meat – the challenges of commercial scale production and consumer acceptance
Peter Verstrate, Mosameat

In 2013 a hamburger made from tissue-engineered muscle was presented and eaten in London.  It appeared that the field of tissue-engineered ‘clean’ meat was about to accelerate.  However, it quickly became clear that the London hamburger was nothing more than an impressive proof of concept and that there was still a great deal of work to do before clean meat would be appearing regularly on supermarket shelves or restaurant menus.  This remains the case today, despite the fact that several companies are now working on the development of clean meat.

15.00 – Insects as food – developing products consumers will buy
Lars-Henrik Heckmann, Danish Technological Institute

Since 2014, where The Netherlands and Belgium opened up for marketing of insects as food, there has been an array of insect-based food products that have been place on the European market; albeit primarily in Northern and Northwestern EU member states. Globally, there has also been a lot of traction, particularly in Northern America. Currently, the global food market for insect-based products is growing >40% annually with an estimated value of more than 400 mill. EUR/year in 2023. In this presentation examples of insect-based food products ‘palatable’ to consumers will be discussed; highlighting some of the different features such as health, nutrition and sustainability that appeal to modern consumers. Examples from food innovation will likewise be presented with main input from the inVALUABLE project; one of the largest ongoing publicly-funded R&D projects on insects as food focusing on production and development of mealworm-based food products.

15.30 – A brighter future ahead? The evolving regulatory framework for alternative protein sources
Katia Merten-Lentz, Keller and Heckman LLP

The search for novel protein sources is an industry imperative if we are to meet the food needs of a global population fast approaching nine million people.  However, in Europe at least, innovation has been hampered by a challenging regulatory environment that has fostered uncertainty.  From January 2018 all of that changes. The introduction of the European Commission’s new Novel Food Regulation will speed up the authorisation process new products and ingredients, and provide a consistent Europe-wide definition of what constitutes a novel food.  Katia is convinced that this marks a sea change in the Commission’s thinking and a genuine commitment to support innovation.  In her presentation she outlines the terms of the new regulation, discusses its likely impacts for the authorisation of new proteins and provides sound advice on how to achieve positive outcomes.

16.00 – Refreshments

16.30 – Meat and dairy exports to the Middle East – how to make your mark in a market on the move
Malachy Mitchell,  Farrelly & Mitchell Business Consultants Limited

The oil-rich countries of the Gulf represent some of the world’s wealthiest and fastest growing consumer markets, and today represent a greater opportunity than ever for exporters of meat and dairy-based proteins.  A growing, affluent and youthful demographic; coupled with political reforms aimed economic diversification mean these markets are hungry for protein and open for business like never before.  Sure, there are cultural challenges to overcome but, as Malachy’s presentation makes clear, the size of the prize makes the effort worthwhile.  He’ll explain how you can succeed in the Middle East whether you want to export products or build a business.

16.45 – China’s emergence as the world’s most health conscious market – and what it means for exporters
Antoaneta Becker, China-Britain Business Council

Having played catch up with the West’s meat and dairy rich diets over the last thirty years, China is now emerging as a world leader for healthy eating.  Consumers with increased disposable incomes and an ingrained belief in preventative health measures see health and wellness as the new symbols of luxury and are embracing food innovation, protein alternatives and ‘natural’ diets.  Consumer shift is being reinforced by a regulatory regime that aims to cut the country’s meat consumption in half by 2030.  Antoaneta evaluates the nature and pace of change in Chinese eating habits and what they mean for international companies seeking to grow exports to this market.

17.00 – PANEL SESSION: Which routes to market are proving successful for protein?

From e-commerce to emerging export markets and expanding category reach, we investigate the best routes to grow your business, whether it’s for animal or plant protein, novel or traditional.
Nick Kirby, Bridgethorne
Roseanna Evans, HRA Food & Drink
Friedrich Büse, Amidori

18.00 – Networking Reception

Day 3 – Friday 9 March

08.55 – Welcome back

09.00-Protein for life:  Towards a focused dietary framework for healthy ageing
Prof Emma Stevenson, Newcastle University

With the world’s population growing older ‘ageing well’ has been highlighted as a major public health priority by the World Health Organisation.  A fundamental problem is that large proportions of older people fail to achieve their recommended daily allowance for protein consumption, with severe health impacts.  Emma reveals findings from Protein for Life – a multi-disciplinary research project that’s focused on creating intelligence to support reformulation and new product development for ageing consumers.

09.30 – The role of protein in a company focused on organic food
Klaus Arntz, Wessanen

Protein has been a key trend in nutrition for many years, but how does consumers’ perception of its nutritional value match the reality, and what is the impact of organic?  Klaus takes a close look at protein’s evolving future across a broad range of food categories, and considers how the strict regulatory framework surrounding organic food will impact the development of protein related innovation.

10.00 –Power to the plants.  Designing the raw materials for future foods
Sigal Meirovitch, Equinom

Technology seed breeding company Equinom is using computational breeding technology to maximize the protein content of legumes.  Its aim is to provide the food industry with raw materials that is designed to the specifications for a new generation of high protein foods.  Since its foundation in 2012, the company has developed non-GMO peas and other legumes with 50% more protein. Equinom has also created a revolutionary sesame seed that can be harvested mechanically, making it viable as a global crop for the first time.  With the plant protein industry set to grow by 60% by 2025, Equinom is driving the cost of alternative plant protein down, making it more accessible to mass markets.  Sigal’s presentation describes a world in which breeding solves product development issues at the seed.

10.30 – Refreshments

11.00 – Dairy proteins:  The overlooked weapon in the fight against chronic diseases
Professor Ian Givens, University of Reading

It’s an old adage that milk is good for us, and that dairy protein provides positive dietary benefits.  However, new evidence is emerging that dairy proteins have a powerful role to play in combatting many of the chronic diseases that are proliferating in our modern society.  These include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and poor bone development – a growing threat for young women as well as the elderly.  Ian’s presentation makes it clear that, while there are growing pressures to reduce the consumption of animal derived foods for environmental reasons, abandoning dairy proteins altogether could mean throwing away enormous health benefits.  This is not a decision to be taken lightly.

11.30 – The matrix effect:  How the combination of individual constituents and overall structures impact the health benefits of dairy foods
Emma Feeney, University College Dublin

Nutrition research is moving from a ‘single nutrient’ approach towards a food-based one, stimulating considerable interest in the food ‘matrix’ effect.  This involves the interaction of an individual food’s constituents with its overall structure, and its impacts on digestion and  nutrient absorption.  This is of particular interest in dairy, where the nature and range of nutrients is complex and diverse.  Emma’s presentation reveals new matrix-based evidence of the health benefits – including metabolic health markers, maintenance of lean body mass, bone health and weight management – that can be achieved in dairy with different nutrient contents, protein and fat structures.

12.00 – PANEL SESSION: Protein performance – What does emerging science show for protein’s health benefits?
Professor Ian Givens, University of Reading
Dr. Emma Feeney, Food for Health Ireland (FHI)
Prof Emma Stevenson, Newcastle University
Catherine Lefranc-Millot, Roquette

12.45 – Closing remarks

13.00 – Networking lunch

14.00 – Departures