Rich Dillon, CEO Ivy Farm

Rich Dillon © Ivy Farm

Op Ed: Rich Dillon, CEO, Ivy Farm – What We Need From the New Labour Government

In the UK, a Labour government is now in power for the first time in 14 years. Change is on the horizon in terms of food policy and approvals in the country, which has just recorded its first decrease in meat production in over a decade, and where experts predict a radical dietary shift over the next 30 years. “From lab-grown meat to vertical farming, the future of food is set to revolutionise how we eat,” said Bob Doherty, Director of FixOurFood and Dean of the School for Business and Society at the University of York. UK-based Ivy Farm, positioning itself as “leading the UK’s cultivated meat revolution”, anticipates upcoming regulatory approval in the UK and expects its cultivated sausage meat to be available to …

more

Fatima Zoundri

Fatima Zoundri, image supplied

Op Ed: Fatima Zoundri of dsm-firmenich, Upcycled Ingredients Will Play a Crucial Role in Shaping a Sustainable Future

dsm-firmenich, created through a 2022 merger of DSM and Firmenich, offers nutrition, health, and beauty solutions. Director of Sustainability, Taste, Texture and Health, Fatima Zoundri, believes that the protein transition is a great thing for society, and says the challenge for manufacturers is to create products with the right sensory qualities and are produced as sustainably as possible. A key way to achieve this is via upcycled ingredients. “I received my very own ‘wake-up call’ several years ago having worked a decade in operations at dsm-firmenich. One morning I literally woke up and realized that as one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, we are in a unique position to turn this negative story into a positive – and change the way our society produces, …

more

Elin Roberts, cofounder of Better Nature

Elin Roberts © Better Nature Tempeh

Op Ed: Elin Roberts, CMO at Better Nature Tempeh: Stop Using Plant-Based as a Scapegoat

As co-founder and CMO of the UK’s fastest-growing wholefood protein brand, Better Nature Tempeh, Elin Roberts is on a mission to help people live healthier lives by making wholefood proteins the norm, not the alternative. As a business, Better Nature claims it is on track to achieve this, with its supercharged tempeh range now available in over 1,000 supermarkets across the UK. For the wider plant-based industry, it has been a more bumpy ride, with meat alternatives under fire amidst growing consumer concern about ultra-processed foods (UPFs). Here, Elin gives her reaction to a study that hit the headlines this month that highlighted the health risks of ultra-processed foods, creating a flurry of negative press for the plant-based sector in the process. Why scapegoating plant-based …

more

William Grand, CEO of NutriFusion

William Grand, CEO of NutriFusion

Op Ed: William Grand, CEO of NutriFusion – Addressing the Pet Food Safety Crisis with Plant-Based Solutions

William Grand, co-founder and CEO of NutriFusion, a company creating nutrient-rich powders from non-GMO fruits and vegetables, brings over 35 years of expertise in corporate management, sales, and marketing to the forefront of the critical issue of pet food safety. In his career, Grand has played pivotal roles in supporting international product launches and start-ups, overseeing logistics and fulfillment centers, and mentoring local managers, leaders, and distributors across Asia, Europe, and Canada. Grand’s previous leadership positions include CEO of Earth Eco Research LLC and President of Mackay Specialties, equipping him with a deep understanding of the complexities and potential pitfalls within the food industry. In this opinion piece, Grand addresses the recent surge in pet food recalls, spotlighting the dangers posed by contaminants in traditional …

more

Gary Smith, Evolutus PR

Gary Smith, image supplied

Op Ed: Gary Smith, Co-Founder, Evolotus PR – Here’s What You Need to Know About Bird Flu, Non-Vegans

Gary Smith has contributed essays and columns to Newsweek, Jewish Journal, Moment Magazine, Tricycle Magazine, Jewish Chronicle, Jewish Independent, Mother Nature Network, Elephant Journal, and several books. He lives in Los Angeles, California. Through his work at Evolotus, Gary represents clients in the industry including Voyage Foods, PoLoPo, Planetarians, WNWN Food Labs, and BioCraft Pet Food. Here Gary pens an open letter to non-vegans about the harsh reality of bird flu, explaining that “the federal government is encouraging poultry growers to continue the practices that create the risk of contagion, increasing the need for future culling and reimbursement”. An open letter to non-vegans about bird flu By Gary Smith The next pandemic, the H5N1 bird flu virus, has officially jumped to mammals, including humans—a Michigan …

more

Claire, NZ Vegan Society,

Claire, NZ Vegan Society, Image supplied

Op Ed: Claire Insley, Media Spokesperson, NZ Vegan Society – Do We Want Bacon Flavoured Soy Milk?

Disclaimer, these are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the publication. Claire Insley has been the Media Spokesperson and board member of the Vegan Society Aotearoa since 2015. A passionate advocate for the environment, Claire has been involved in many groups over the decades, from Greenpeace to GE Free NZ, they have been involved in many non-violent direct actions in the past. Here, Claire describes their thoughts against the engineering of foods such as soybeans and puts forward that the soybean is fine as it is, thank you. Inserting animal genes in soy is unacceptable By Claire Insley As a long-term campaigner against Genetic Engineering (GE) in our foods, I was saddened to see the news that pig and …

more

Lobber Levin

Lobber Levin of EVERLAND

Op Ed: Lobber Levin, Senior Strategic Writer, Everland, on Shifting Positioning from “Alternatives” to Mainstream

Lobber Levin is a senior strategic writer at Everland, a Scandinavian-based consumer brand and design agency. They have worked with many clients with a presence in the plant-based industry, including Danone, La Vie, Tindle, OLALA!, Lantmännen, and more. In this piece, Levin explores why the perception of plant-based and alternative protein products as mere substitutes for traditional meat, fish, and poultry is hindering their mainstream acceptance. From a branding perspective, it’s necessary to appeal to the emotional and sensory experiences of consumers, particularly flexitarians, who constitute a significant portion of the market. Based on his work on brand strategies for vegan brands, he explains the importance of redefining and designing brand experiences that make these products desirable in their own right, rather than as compromises. …

more

Kayleigh Nicolaou of Kakadu Creative

Kayleigh Nicolaou of Kakadu Creative

Op Ed: Kayleigh Nicolaou, Co-Founder, Kakadu Creative – Does Working with Mission-Aligned Companies Even Matter?

Kayleigh Nicolaou is the co-founder of Kakadu Creative, a UK-based ethical design agency. Kayleigh and her business partner, Lee, both spent their early careers in the consumer media world working with local, national and international brands before launching Kakadu Creative in 2018. They are now dedicated to using their team’s skills and expertise to build a better, more ethical and sustainable future for people, the planet and animals. Additionally, Kayleigh co-founded The Green Hosting Company, a website hosting company dedicated to delivering professional-level website hosting that protects and restores the natural world. Why should I work with mission-aligned companies? Does it really matter? By Kayleigh Nicolaou We all know that being vegan is about more than what you eat, what you wear, or even what cosmetics …

more

Stephanie Downs UNCAGED Innovations

Stephanie Downs. Image supplied.

Op Ed: Stephanie Downs, CEO and Co-Founder of UNCAGED Innovations, Combatting the Argument that Leather is “Natural”

Stephanie Downs is the CEO and Co-Founder of UNCAGED Innovations, the “world’s first” biomaterial company to create sustainable leather from grains at scale. Combining its proprietary software platform, BioFuze, with biomaterial manufacturing, UNCAGED skips the cow to create an animal-free leather product that mimics the texture and performance of traditional leather. Stephanie herself is a serial entrepreneur, founding her first company –a digital marketing agency– in 1999, which she led to exit in 2014. In 2008, Downs held a pivotal role in PETA, where she consulted on corporate negotiations. It was during this time that her negotiations with Tesla led to Elon Musk’s blanket adoption of alternative animal-free leather in its interiors. After this, Stephanie co-founded Good Dot, India’s largest plant-based meat alternative company, and …

more

Kobi with Pleese logo

© Pleese Cheese

Kobi Regev, CEO of Pleese Foods, Shares Entrepreneurial Advice from a Star-Studded List of Industry Legends

Kobi Regev is the co-founder and CEO of Pleese Foods Inc, a New York City food company that created Pleese® Plant Based Cheese. Founded in 2017, Pleese’s meltable cheese designed for pizzas is crafted from a proprietary blend of bean and potato proteins and is free from allergens such as soy, seeds, wheat, and nuts, as well as being OU Kosher certified, and recently gained nationwide distribution through Performance Food Group. In this very special, and lengthy (well worth ten minutes of your time) contribution, Kobi speaks to a host of outstanding figures from the global vegan business scene, including Jennifer Stojkovic of VWS; Jason Rosenbaum, co-founder of Actual Veggies; Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, Just Ice Tea and PLNT Burger; Joe Hill, co-founder …

more

Polopo CEO Maya Sapir Mir

Polopo CEO Maya Sapir Mir

Op Ed: Maya Sapir-Mir, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of PoLoPo, on Growing Animal Proteins from Potatoes

Maya Sapir-Mir is CEO and co-founder of PoLoPo, a molecular farming pioneer producing proteins directly in common crops, beginning with egg protein (ovalbumin) grown in potatoes. PoLoPo last year raised $2.3 million in pre-seed funding and recently unveiled its molecular farming platform, SuperAA, for producing key proteins ovalbumin and patatin. Maya has nearly ten years of experience in the biotech industry and agricultural R&D and holds a PhD in plant sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She performed post-doctoral work at the Volcani Institute, Israel’s leading agricultural R&D facility, in protein identification, extraction, and characterization in plants and microorganisms. Here, she explains the importance of this emerging biotechnology; “Instead of inefficiently growing plants to feed animals crowded in factory farms, molecular farming gives us …

more

Young man eating hamburger

© Ingredion

Op Ed: Declan Rooney, Plant-Based Protein Growth Platform Manager, Ingredion, on the Future & Evolution of Plant-Based Foods

In the past decade, Veganuary has been instrumental in transforming the food industry, encouraging millions to eat vegan foods throughout January and beyond. The movement has significantly influenced consumer habits and the food market, creating a surge in the availability and variety of plant-based foods. In this article, Declan Rooney, Plant-Based Protein Growth Platform Manager, Ingredion, explores the trends that will shape the next decade of the plant-based market, and explains why pulse proteins will be key to meeting evolving consumer demand. The ongoing success of Veganuary highlights the growing importance of plant-based products. The market is diverse: some consumers seek alternatives that mimic traditional meat and dairy, like plant-based burgers that replicate the experience of a traditional beef burger. Other consumers look for natural …

more

Thomas Cresswell

Thomas Cresswell. Image supplied.

Op Ed: Thomas Cresswell, CBO of Melt&Marble, on the Route to Market and Scalability for Fermentation-Enabled Ingredients

Thomas Cresswell has over a decade of diverse experience spanning investment banking, strategy consulting, and venture capital. He began his career in the M&A team at RBC Capital Markets in London, before transitioning to strategy consulting at Strategy& (formerly Booz&Co). Driven by a passion for food and sustainability, Thomas then embarked on a career shift, joining Cargill’s Corporate Strategy Team. Here, he spearheaded initiatives such as the global specialty fats strategy and played a pivotal role in establishing Cargill Ventures. He orchestrated over 15 investments in the agrifood sector, focusing on precision fermentation, cultivated meat, and alternative protein and fat solutions. Thomas is now the Chief Business Officer at Melt&Marble, continuing his mission to revolutionize the food system. In this piece, he discusses challenges relating …

more

Jenny Chapman

Image credit Marieke de Visscher

Op Ed: Churchill Fellow Jenny Chapman on Understanding Nuances Around the Ultra Processed Foods Debate in Plant-Based Meats

Jenny Chapman, Churchill Fellow and food systems researcher, recently published a report to support plant-based meat companies in navigating the “ultra-processed foods” debate. Jenny Chapman has a degree in Biology from the University of Oxford, a Masters in Taxonomy from Imperial College London, and a lifelong love of the natural world. Her desire to solve the world’s most pressing problems and passion for using science and evidence to improve the lives of humans and non-human animals led her to research safe, healthy, sustainable and ethical protein sources. Jenny was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2023 to investigate the adoption, acceptance and trust of plant-based meat. In this piece, Jenny describes why there is so much confusion surrounding the UPF term and what plant-based meat companies …

more

Biocyclic Vegan International

Axel Anders. Photo Credits: Biocyclic Vegan International

Op Ed: Axel Anders, Co-Founder, Biocyclic Vegan International, Says Vegan Products Are Not Equally Sustainable

Axel Anders is co-founder and member of the Board of Directors at Biocyclic Vegan International, which works to promote cycle-based organic farming without the use of commercial livestock, animal slaughter, fertilisers, or animal inputs. The association raises awareness of the advantages of organic vegan farming and helps farms to convert. It also aids research projects on the increase of soil fertility through the use of biocyclic vegan methods. Biocyclic vegan − an opportunity for the organic food sector By Axel Anders The market for vegan products is booming. Young people, in particular, are increasingly opting for a responsible, plant-based lifestyle for reasons of sustainability and animal ethics. An absolutely positive development! However, it is worth taking a closer look to realise that vegan products are …

more

Daphna Nissenbaum headshot

Daphna Nissenbaum © TIPA

Op Ed: Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO of TIPA, on Sustainable Packaging During Veganuary

Daphna Nissenbaum is the CEO of global compostable packaging developer and manufacturer TIPA. She established TIPA in 2010 when she recognised that there was an urgent need to revolutionise packaging systems and reduce plastic pollution around the world. A proud female entrepreneur, Daphne’s leadership has resulted in the female-led business raising an impressive $70 million in its latest funding round. Many vegan brands frequently depend on plastic packaging to maintain the freshness of plant-based offerings. Nevertheless, Daphna emphasises the importance of embracing eco-friendly packaging solutions as a critical step in adopting a comprehensive approach to Veganuary. In this opinion piece, Daphne speaks to the need for consumers to demand that brands use environmentally friendly packaging to ensure veganism does not contribute to the plastic problem. …

more

Nigel Draper headshot

Nigel Draper, image supplied

Veganuary: Passing Fad or Pressing Sign That Hospitality Needs to Change?

Nigel Draper is the Founder and Managing Director of Sorsco, experts in logistics and procurement for the hospitality sector. Nigel Draper’s unique perspective as the Founder of Sorsco brings a pragmatic and strategic approach to the challenges and opportunities presented by Veganuary in the hospitality sector. “Is veganism just for the month after Christmas? Or should we be making permanent changes?” he asks. Veganuary: passing fad or pressing sign that hospitality needs to change? By Nigel Draper The first of January often means sacrifice, be it mince pies, fast food, or the joys of lounging guilt-free on the sofa. But for some, the lifestyle changes welcomed in by New Year’s are more significant, with 700,000[1] of us vowing to give up meat, cheese, and other …

more

Bernhard van Lengerich

© Seeding the Future

Op Ed: Bernhard van Lengerich, CEO of Seeding The Future Foundation, on Transforming Food Systems for the Climate Fight

Prof. Dr. Bernhard van Lengerich is the founder and CEO of Seeding The Future, a private foundation focusing on equitable and sustainable food systems enabling a safe and nutritious food supply within planetary boundaries, and the former Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Technology Strategy at General Mills Inc. He is the inventor or co-inventor of over 150 patents and patent applications and was an invited participant in discussions at the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy on global protein security under the Obama administration. In 2016 he joined Beyond Meat as acting CTO and Head of R&D where he led the development of the first Beyond Burger in 2016 and subsequently served on the Board of Beyond Meat until May 2021. …

more

Yves Potvin of Konscious Foods

Yves Potvin. © Konscious Foods.

Op Ed: Yves Potvin, Founder and President of Konscious Foods, on How the Industry Can Recover

Yves Potvin, the visionary behind Konscious Foods, has made a significant impact in the plant-based food industry. A classically trained French chef from Quebec, Potvin’s culinary journey unexpectedly led him to the world of plant-based foods. He is credited with creating the first fresh veggie hot dog and has established three successful plant-based food companies across three decades: Yves Veggie Cuisine, Gardein, and most recently, Konscious Foods, which continues to thrive in turbulent times. In this piece, Yves clearly identifies two key points on which plant-based brands must focus in order to succeed, and in doing so, he says, “I’m confident next year will put the meatless industry’s business back on track”. The Plant-Based Bubble Has Burst: What the Industry Needs to  Succeed the Next …

more

Miyoko Schinner portrait

Miyoko Schinner, Image credit Megan Thompson

Op Ed: Miyoko Schinner – What Can We Learn from the Mistakes of McDonald’s?

Miyoko Schinner is one of those figures so prominent that they need little introduction, especially in this forum. Making waves in veganism for decades, both inside and outside of Miyoko’s Creamery, Miyoko has been instrumental in revolutionizing the dairy alternatives sector, and has authored several cookbooks, notably “Artisan Vegan Cheese,” which played a crucial role in changing perceptions about plant-based cheese. After a difficult week at the end of a difficult year in the plant-based industry, during which we have witnessed yet another company enter administration, Miyoko says it’s time to ask some questions and learn some lessons. The Arch Deluxe, or what can we learn from the mistakes of McDonald’s? by Miyoko Schinner Back in the 1990s, McDonald’s tried to overhaul its image as …

more