ProVeg’s Julia Aumüller and Katleen Haefele are the key organizers of the New Food Conference. In the following interview, they give insights into the planning of the conference.
This is the first time that the New Food Conference will take place. Can you tell us about the decision to launch this event?
Julia Aumüller: There is as yet no large and internationally relevant conference on customer acceptance of cultured meat and plant-based protein alternatives in Europe. As such, the focus of our event will be consumer acceptance and the design of the European market. We also want to increase media attention and raise public awareness on this issue. Dr Mark Post, the ‘Father of Cultured Meat’, is co-organising the conference together with ProVeg and we look forward to lively networking and critical discussion.
Katleen Haefele: ProVeg has been working for many years with large companies in the food industry in the areas of consulting, training, and food labelling, as well as in the food retail and services sectors. With our new ProVeg Incubator project, we are also supporting the latest developments in the areas of plant-based and cultured meat. In addition, we are active at international trade fairs and events where, for example, we organise adventure worlds or provide on-site speakers. In doing so, we have repeatedly found that there is a great need for such a conference in Europe.
Who is the conference for?
Katleen Haefele: The New Food Conference addresses the entire industry along the full length of the value chain. We expect the participation of international stakeholders in the food industry, from manufacturers of semi-finished products through to producers and experts in the retail and catering sectors. As this conference focuses on future-oriented topics, another important target group is startups and investors. In addition, the event is also aimed at scientists, the media, and consumer organisations.
Can you tell us more about the content?
Julia Aumüller: The first day of the conference will explore plant-based proteins. Euromonitor and well-known nutritionist Hanni Rützler will provide a comprehensive overview of current trends and developments in the European market. Simply V will show how novel ‘cheese’ products can succeed in the market – not just for the vegan target group. We will also engage with a host of innovative startups and talk to experts about how to make plant-based products more attractive to the mainstream in 2019.
The day’s events will also cover food labelling, marketing, investment strategies, and European food retailing. The second day is dedicated to cultured animal products and will include world-class speakers Dr Mark Post of Mosa Meat, Michael Selden of Finless Foods, Hanna Tuomisto of the University of Helsinki, and Arianna Ferrari, who is currently researching for Adelphi Research. The speakers will not only provide insights into their exciting projects but will also explore environmental issues and the possibilities for sustainable food systems that do not involve the use of animals.
We are currently finalising the programme for the inaugural New Food Conference. It will soon be available on our website.