New Food Conference 2020: “New Proteins are the Key to a More Sustainable Food System”

Katleen Haefele, International Head of Food Services und Events bei ProVeg (Foto: ProVeg)
Katleen Haefele, International Head of Food Services und Events bei ProVeg (Foto: ProVeg)

More and more companies are investing time and resources in developing strategies to satisfy the growing demand for meat, fish, and dairy without putting further strain on the planet’s limited resources. From young startups to major players, innovation and sustainability are crucial topics for everyone involved in the food sector.In addition to startups and established players, the full spectrum of food-industry stakeholders will once again come together at the New Food Conference in Berlin in 2020, from 23-24 April, to discuss the latest developments in alternative protein sources. The first edition of the event took place earlier this year, with the conference now being expanded due to the remarkable response from delegates. We spoke with Katleen Haefele, Head of Food Services and Events at ProVeg, who explained what people can expect at next year’s New Food Conference.

What makes the New Food Conference different?
The New Food Conference 2019 was the first event of its kind in Europe, serving as a platform to discuss the future of both cell- and plant-based proteins. The conference reaches out to stakeholders all along the food value chain and thus covers a broad range of topics. We’ve received especially great feedback for the depth of content and the relevance of the issues discussed. We also draw a very international crowd: in the first year, we welcomed delegates from 32 countries. The conference is attractive to a high-profile audience, and offers unique networking possibilities.

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The New Food Conference 2020 will take place in the Bolle Event Venue in Berlin. Why did you decide to move?
The first edition of the event was a great success, which is why we decided to expand the conference in its second year. The market is shifting and we have observed a crucial need for this kind of event. Numerous of plant-based innovations have already successfully entered the market, and many others are lining up. It’s essential to offer them a platform, to connect the multiple stakeholders in the food industry, and to continue to push pioneering food solutions such as these. Not only does the Bolle Event Venue offer room for more guests and exhibitors, but, as a former dairy plant, it is the perfect location to showcase the ongoing transformation of the food industry.

What new features can delegates look forward to?
We will be spicing up the New Food Conference 2020 with fresh presentation formats. In addition to classic stand-alone speaker slots and panel discussions, we will break down some of the latest advancements in short, captivating TED-style talks. Additionally, our keynote speakers have agreed to be interviewed in a couple of fireside chats, which means that there will be opportunities to bring up novel questions. In general, the whole event will be highly interactive: a customised event app will allow for better Q&A sessions and enable even better networking opportunities for delegates. We are also excited to tell you that we have just launched a fresh new ​website​.

Mark Post
Image: Mosa Meat/Mark Post

Who is the event targeted at?
The New Food Conference will address topics across the entire food value chain and will attract international stakeholders, ranging from ingredient suppliers and producers to retail and food service experts. New protein has the potential to open up vast new markets, which makes this event particularly important for startups and investors. Entrepreneurs account for the largest share of our audience, side by side with representatives from scientific fields, the media, and NGOs. We are in the midst of shaping a high-value programme for next year and can already confirm Caroline Zimmer (Simply V), Mark Post (Mosa Meat), and Will Schafer (Beyond Meat) as speakers – and will be adding additional high-profile representatives over the next few months.

Who are the partners of the New Food Conference 2020?
We are excited to announce that this year’s partners, Rügenwalder Mühle and Simply V, have once again confirmed their platinum-level support, along with Döhler, who were also involved in this year’s edition. Hydrosol, Avebe, and Good Seed Ventures, all previous supporters, have not only confirmed their continued sponsorships, but have upgraded their packages. This enthusiastic response speaks to the quality and professional implementation of the event, as well as to the strong relevance of the topics for leading businesses.

We are also thrilled to welcome Beyond Meat, Lidl, Vemag, and Handtmann as new partners, and we will continue to engage with additional potential partners and sponsors.

What are some ways to get involved with the New Food Conference?
We are still looking for innovative companies who would like to partner or contribute to the conference. I suggest that any company which targets leading food-industry stakeholders should take a look at our ​new website​. There are various ways to get involved, each suitable for different needs and budgets. Everyone else may want to check out the ​early bird tickets​ – discounted tickets will be on sale until 31 December. Both one- and two-day tickets are available, as well as discounted options for students, NGOs, and startups.