The Netherlands is to form the centre for global food innovation with the Global Coordinating Secretariat (GCS) in Wageningen. This was announced by Dutch Prime Minister Rutte during a digital meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The GCS is part of the WEF’s food system initiative to drive innovations and new technologies in the food chain that contribute to global food security. From the Netherlands, the GCS will manage the further development of global regional food innovation hubs, including the European hub in Food Valley Wageningen.
Worldwide, almost 2 billion people have no access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food and 690 million people suffer from chronic hunger or lack of proper nutrition. The expected growth of the world population and the consequences of the climate crisis only increase the urgency of this food insecurity. So we need to produce more food and also smarter food than ever before.
Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands: “The Dutch agrifood, horticulture and plant breeding sectors are world players when it comes to knowledge and techniques for the sustainable production and processing of food. That knowledge and innovation already travels the world, think for example of Simon Groot’s company East-West Seed, which provides millions of small farmers with good seeds. With FoodValley as the European Food Hub in the WEF and the Global Coordinating Secretariat in the Netherlands, we can share that knowledge and expertise with the world even more.”
Minister Van ‘t Wout of Economic Affairs and Climate of The Netherlands: “The Dutch economy is one of the most innovative in the world. With the arrival of the Global Coordinating Secretariat, we can make even better use of our innovative power to contribute to global food security. With a strong combination of companies and knowledge institutions in agrifood, horticulture, breeding, high-tech and ICT, we have all the factors needed to play a leading role and to shape the necessary change in the food system.”
Food Innovation Hubs
Changing the way we produce and consume food requires globally scalable innovations that are appropriate to regional conditions. The regional Food Hubs play a crucial role in this process by bringing together farmers, businesses, scientists and other parties in the food chain to develop innovations and business and profit models that contribute to a sustainable and future-proof food system. Hubs have been set up in Asia, Africa and Central and South America. Since November, FoodValley has been appointed as the European Food Hub at the global tables.
Global Coordinating Secretariat
The Dutch government and development agency Oost NL (commissioned by the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel) support the GCS financially and by forming a small core team. The GCS will help the regional hubs to scale up, will encourage new regional hubs and will work on global partnerships for innovation. Together, they will ensure that knowledge and innovation for a healthy and sustainable food system are better distributed across the world.