The first session of the Brightlands Business Club in 2022 is behind us! And while we shrugged off the Corona restrictions we face another huge challenge with rocket fire on the periphery of Europe. 2022 will not be a calm and quiet year.
Against that background, we enjoyed an afternoon dedicated to Food. Quite fittingly, the venue was in Venlo.
First we got a story from Martijn Evers, VP Sales at MosaMeat. They are a high-profile scale-up in “cultured meat”, which is meat produced in a factory. Much lower carbon footprint, plus much more friendly to the animals. One grain of meat can generate 80,000 hamburgers. Exactly what you want in this day and age. With this proposition, MosaMeat has managed to attract a lot of investors (including Leonardo DiCaprio), but still, it requires a lot of capital to set up the infrastructure to culture meat. And to develop a suitable growth medium (right now they use a pharma-grade medium which needs to be changed to a food-grade medium). At this moment, already 120 people of 21 nationalities are working at MosaMeat. Another challenge is to get all the necessary approvals from the legislators. Just this day, the Dutch government approved food trials for cultured meat, which is a huge step in the right direction. And finally, consumers need to go along with the concept as well. Meat from a test tube, will the average hamburger-lover go along with that?
The MosaMeat technology allows for separate muscle and fat production, which they can combine or sell separately. The concept raised a lot of interest and questions from the audience. Especially about the competitive situation, as they are other players out there. In the USA, in Israel. Even Unilever is working on it.
Next up was Caroline Kortoom, director of Healthy Region. This is a local initiative of several entrepreneurs. The idea was spurred by the Floriade held in Venlo in 2012. There is an obvious link with the Brightlands Venlo Campus. “Health will be the theme of Northern Limburg”. They do a lot of different things, which all revolve around awareness and communication, and inspiration. The big chjallenge is: how do you measure “health”? We had a lively debate about that topic.
But not for long, as we had to do a tour of the museum Bommel van Dam. The exposition is still a work in progress, but the building is quite inspiring. And also a great place to eat, as became apparent during dinner. Ria Joosten Catering presented us with a 3-course dinner rich in (local) vegetables with many interesting choices. Apple and celeriac, sweet pepper, and vlaai, who would have thought such combinations could work?