Her Excellency Lisa Helfand, Ambassador of Canada to the Netherlands, and Frank Hart, Board Chair for Protein Industries Canada (PIC), opened the webinar by mentioning the great opportunities that lie ahead when the Netherlands and Canada, two of the largest agricultural exporters in the world, continue to work together to address food security and reduce the global footprint.
Henk Snoeken, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver, emphasized the innovative position of the Netherlands which, despite being a small country about the size of Vancouver Island, possesses more than 5000 agrifood companies. The Netherlands is innovative, ranks high in value-added products, has a strong supply chain, and also serves as an important European distribution hub.
Connecting Dutch and Canadian companies
Diederik Beutener, Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands, discussed how the Embassy can assist Canadian companies in doing business in the Netherlands, and vice versa. He placed special emphasis on the collaboration with the Holland International Distribution Council (HIDC), and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, which help companies streamline their logistical processes and solve any practical issues. He also highlighted four different cases that illustrate how Canadian companies have successfully entered the Dutch market and, subsequently, the European market.
Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada (PIC), discussed Canada’s vision to be a world leader in plant protein. With 28 million hectares of arable land, Canada is a plant protein powerhouse. It is the largest pulse exporter in the world, the largest producer and exporter of canola, and has world-leading plant science and agricultural capabilities. PIC is in the middle of an ambitious program to transform the industry. Together with industry partners, CAD $300 million will be invested in the next four years.
Jeroen Willemsen, Protein Shift Innovation Manager from The Protein Cluster (TPC) in the Netherlands shared the perspective from the industry. TPC helps companies with innovation in the plant protein sector through the provision of new technology, new ingredients, and new products. TPC contributes to a more sustainable protein production and consumption ecosystem in the Netherlands and abroad.
Partners in Protein Industry
This Protein Webinar underlined the need and opportunities for Dutch and Canadian parties to work together. The Netherlands can contribute to Canada’s industry with precision protein and product development, whereas Canada can contribute to the Dutch industry in terms of sourcing and delivering ingredients. Both countries can develop technological plant protein innovations together, and advance the protein sector as a whole.
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