Next Food Collective: Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Food in High Gear

Future Food Utrecht signed partnership agreement

During the official launch event of Next Food Collective on May 23, former Minister of Agriculture Gerda Verburg expressed the organization's mission, stating, :” Next Food Collective aims to demonstrate leadership in the transition towards regenerative agriculture in the Netherlands and beyond."

"The Netherlands is number one in knowledge creation in food and agriculture, and we must also become number one in creating change," asserted director Marian Geluk. The Next Food Collective revolutionizes the concept of public-private partnerships by aiming to expedite the journey towards a sustainable and nutritious food supply on our plate

Next Food Collective is reshaping the landscape of public-private partnerships with a singular objective: expediting the transition towards sustainable and healthy food systems that nourish our society.

The current pace of this transition is deemed insufficient, prompting an urgent call to action. By facilitating collaboration between companies of all sizes and knowledge institutions, Next Food Collective injects fresh momentum into the food transition process. Its primary goal is to swiftly shift towards a sustainable food chain and promote healthier dietary practices.

At the core of Next Food Collective's projects lies the dismantling of barriers that impede companies' progress towards a more sustainable and healthier food system. By integrating these obstacles with cutting-edge research findings, Next Food Collective accelerates the rate of innovation, yielding tangible and measurable outcomes.

More than twenty companies and knowledge institutions have already pledged their commitment by signing a partnership agreement with this pioneering organization. Among the esteemed partners is Utrecht University’s Future Food Utrecht, embodying the collective's drive for transformative change and sustainable food solutions.

Next Food Collective visits knowledge partner Future Food Utrecht/Utrecht University

On June 28th 2023, Gerda Verburg and Marian Geluk visited Future Food Utrecht/Utrecht University. This was the first partner visit of the Next Food Collective on tour to strengthen relationships, discuss the key transitions in the food systems that Next Food Collective aims to contribute to, ways of working and current topics.

Utrecht University is one of the valued knowledge partners and is currently involved in projects in the themes Sustainable AgricultureProtein Transition and Healthy Diets. Dr. Johan Garssen is a longtime friend for health related TiFN projects, Rene Kwant active in a.o. Sustainable Food Initiative and Jerry van Dijk member of the core team of Re-Ge-NL, a program of Next Food Collective and partners, working on the transition to regenerative agriculture.

Future Food Utrecht is one of four hubs under the Utrecht University strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability. It offers a platform for scientists and external stakeholders on which they contribute to the transition of the food chain for a sustainable world, by means of unique transdisciplinary research and education.

Guido van den Ackerveken and Hedwig Teunissen presented the CropXR programme, which will work on making crops more resilient, sustainable and climate adaptive. We look forward to explore synergies between CropXR and Re-Ge-NL.

With presentations, tour of NPEC and discussions on topics ranging from food allergy to circular agriculture and from climate-proof crops to the protein transition it was an extremely interesting visit. UU students of various master's courses shared their personal views and challenges in the transition towards a sustainable food system.

We were happy to find from the various conversations that the mission of Next Food Collective to work collectively to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food chain and a healthy diet resonates with all. Thank you Simone Pekelsma and all at Utrecht University for making us feel so welcome. We are looking forward to a continuing fruitful collaboration in the years to come.