Economic Mission: Key theme 2: food innovations

The Economic Mission during the State Visit of Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima on March 10 -11 focuses on 8 important- and innovative sectors. Within these sectors we see opportunities to reinforce the French-Dutch collaboration. During our countdown to the Economic Mission, we will briefly discuss the 8 key sectors and the relevance of these sectors for both the Netherlands and France. This week we’ll take a closer look at Food Innovations.

Everybody is concerned with the question what we eat. There are plenty of opinions what is desirable and what is not. The efficiency of use of basic commodities to produce food and the long-term sustainability of these food products is an important theme of discussion. But also the effects on health and definitely not in the last place, the safety of our food, its taste and quality are very important aspects as well. The Dutch EU Presidency stirs up the debate this year among the Ministers of Agriculture with the theme ‘Food of the Future – the Future of Food’.

This topic is quite often a news-topic. Health aspects draw a lot of attention, like the challenge to add less salt to food products. But also the introduction of new techniques in the field of food safety raises considerable interest e.g. to address the potential presence of harmful bacteria on food products. Furthermore, the development of new food items in the search to find alternatives for existing protein rich food products. Both countries joined forces last year to explore and exploit together the almost untouched potential algae offer, to find and develop new beneficial food items.

In developing new food items and introducing them in the market, EU legislation and harmonization of national legislation is very important in order to speed up the introduction. This applies for instance to the directive for novel foods. But also national legislation in areas where no EU legislation is in place, is of considerable importance. In addition to the possibilities on how French and Dutch companies can work together in developing new food items, French and Dutch companies also explore the area of legislation. In particular when it comes to identifying hurdles and gaps in the current legislation, which could be a stand-in-the-way to introduce new processing techniques and new food products.

For more information on food innovations in The Netherlands: click here

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