NOORDWIJK AAN ZEE, NETHERLANDS — In light of an expected 70% rise in protein demand by 2050, attendees at AgriVision 2023 homed in on the key question: How can we future-proof the protein value chain?

Over 300 feed-to-food professionals from far and wide came together at the event, held June 26 to 28 in Noordwijk aan Zee, to share ideas and inspire action around the topic. Attendees ranged from industry members to agri-tech players, R&D professionals, policy experts and consumer behavior specialists.

The event was hosted jointly by Nutreco, a global animal nutrition and aquafeed company, and Trouw Nutrition, a subsidiary of Nutreco focused on premixes, feed solutions and nutritional services for the animal food industry.

David Blakemore, chief executive officer of Trouw Nutrition, kicked off the event with a message about how innovation and collaboration across the value chain can benefit the entire industry.

“The good news is that the people in this room today have incredible capabilities and potential to make a difference,” he said. “As players in the feed-to-food value chain, today’s threats will drive us to be better and what we do over the coming years will have a significant impact on the future of the planet. AgriVision continues to be a platform to bring us together and drive transformation forward.”

Paul Polman, climate activist, author and contributor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and former CEO of Unilever, provided perspective in his keynote remarks and encouraged the ag experts to focus on science-based sustainability targets and band together to address the consequential challenges facing protein production today.

“We are literally playing with the future of humanity,” he said. “The world has been incredibly flexible and increased its capacity to absorb our CO2 emissions, but it’s run out and we are very close to a negative tipping point… The cost of not acting has become significantly higher than the cost of acting and being less bad isn’t good enough anymore.”

Later during the event, panelists tackled the concept of greenwashing on labels, as well as the influences and effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on the feed-to-food industry today and in the future.

AgriVision 2023 gathered more than 300 delegates from the protein value chainSource: Andrea Bartosova

Aside from these key presentations, more than 20 speakers highlighted key topics, trends and opportunities for future-proofing the protein value chain over the next 50 years. Presentations ranged from strategic policy approaches to social influences to technological advancements.

Imke van Gasselt, vice president of health and sustainable diets at Ahold Delhaize, offered a retailer’s perspective on supply chain transparency. Nutreco leaders shared R&D projects focused on novel protein sources with reduced environmental impact. Abhay Hanjura, co-founder of Licious, offered insights into on-demand meat delivery in India. Brett Stuart, president of Global AgriTrends, shared recent data implicating protein production, retail and consumption, and circularity trends for the future. Keith Sumption, Ph.D., chief veterinary officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, cautioned the audience about the impact of zoonotic diseases.

“As we host the 11th gathering of AgriVision, Nutreco and Trouw Nutrition are honored to organize and host a collaborative forum combining provocative ideas for tomorrow with practical ideas that can be deployed today,” said Fulco van Lede, chief executive officer of Nutreco. “As we look toward the mid-century milestone, this gathering provides a venue for collaborating with stakeholders to reflect, reset and take action toward our purpose of Feeding the Future, sustainably, safely and efficiently.”

Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry.