About us

About usFlanders’ FOOD is a unique, strategy-driven platform for the facilitation of innovation, thereby contributing to a more competitive, innovative and sustainable agrifood industry. Flanders’ FOOD levers the innovation capacity of the agrifood companies by enhancing their scientific and technological knowledge by means of an integrated approach of knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and partner matching. This way Flanders’ FOOD also contributes to the economic and social development of the Flanders region.

The Food Pilot movie illustrates our efforts to stimulate innovation within the agrifood industry.

Flanders’ FOOD, as future spearhead cluster agrifood, will broaden the scope in which it has operated for the past 10 years. Collaboration will become more important than ever. The spearhead cluster agrifood will put effort into collaboration across the value chain, cross-border and cross-sectoral.

More information with respect to our organisation can be found in the Flanders' FOOD presentation.

Mission statement

We believe in the future of the Flemish agrifood industry and together with the companies we ensure that our next generations can enjoy tasty food for a healthy lifestyle

 

With passion, knowledge and expertise we convince companies to push their limits.

 

Vision

Flanders’ FOOD want to be the first address for supporting innovation along the whole agrifood chain and act as a lever for Flanders to become a European top region in agrifood.

This way Flanders’ FOOD wants to be the first-choice-partner to cooperate with to enhance the development of the Flemish agrifood chain as worldwide reference for supply, quality and sustainability of agrifood products.

Spearhead cluster strategy

Economic drivers

We have defined 3 high level economic drivers underlying our strategy:

  1. Increase local and international competitiveness
  2. Take up social end societal responsibilities
  3. Establish an interconnected and integrated agrifood system

strategic goals

To provide an answer to these three economic drivers, we defined four strategic objectives. Each strategic goal is set to respond to certain aspects of the economic drivers.

Lead in knowledge

Knowledge is the key driver for innovation. Extensive product, material and process knowhow allows the food industry to focus on products that have a high added value, either in being unique, have remarkable quality that can justify the price, have added benefits on a nutritional level or make use of more sustainable process and ingredients.

Exploring the unknown through long term strategic research will generate knowledge that can feed all other objectives, and hence be used to generate new products, concepts and business.

Within this segment we focus on 3 program lines:

  • Resilient & Sustainable Agrifood system
  • World Class Food Production
  • Personalised Food Products & Healthy Diets

Lead to knowledge

Innovation followers (among them many SMEs) and innovators have different visions and needs with respect to the exploration of ‘the unknown’, being inspired by new developments and research from (strategic) research, and the active participation in research.

These (different) demands imply undertaking mainly collective actions for companies who have rather limited or no R&D facilities of their own. This corresponds to many activities that Flanders’ FOOD has been focusing on for the past 10 years, such as trainings, seminars, collective research and demonstrations of new technologies. Flanders’ FOOD has built an extensive reputation as ‘bringer of knowledge’ throughout the years, especially among SME’s, and will therefore continue to exploit this strength.

The activities that will ensure this strategic goal to be realized include:

  • Initiation of collective translation- and implementation-oriented projects
  • Educating the target group: Trainings and seminars (real or online) on innovative subjects will ensure the information flow to the target group, as will industry-oriented publications (paperback or online) based on research results and academic literature and a newsletter
  • Creation of a (virtual) inspiration center: This encompasses the distribution of an inspirational newsletter and the organization of inspirational events, where companies can discover new technologies, concepts and opportunities
  • Distributing information beyond the target group via train-the-trainer
  • Etc.

Accelerate effective & efficient innovation

Available knowledge needs to be further translated into concrete products, processes, concepts and business. SME’s are often struggling with finding the right partners, such as technology providers or suppliers, or extrapolate the knowledge onto their own products and process. Therefore, this third strategic objective will aim to support existing businesses (especially SME’s) and nudge starters to connect with commercial actors in product development, consultants and trainers, advisors in workplace innovation, automatization, digitalization.

This objective will also focus on providing certain tools for innovation, such as the availability of pilot infrastructure and experimentation zones, or guidelines for co-creation and co-development.

create/cross value chains

The last strategic objective aims to explore new horizons on a cooperative level, and to find new business opportunities by connecting dots and filling in gaps between complementary sectors (cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaborations) and different links within the agrifood system (cross-chain collaborations). This requires on one hand the creation of a trust zone between primary producers, food industry and retail, and on the other hand bringing together different industries and stakeholders and allow them to mutually share information.

Some cross-chain and cross-sectoral collaborations that shall be focused on in first instance are:

  • Providing better nutrition and healthcare through collaboration of food suppliers and the health sector
  • Finding new and improved processing solutions by gathering knowhow from both technology and machinery providers and food industry, and combining it
  • Combining the knowledge from the packaging and materials sector and food industry
  • Aiming for a more resilient and sustainable agrifood system by partnering up different links in the agrifood chain with feed and non-food industry players

Core values

The core value of Flanders’ FOOD is to have a long-lasting cooperation with all parties involved, based on the following principles:

  • Reliable and upright partnership
  • Objectivity
  • Creativity and open mindedness

Founding members

Target group

Flanders’ FOOD stimulates innovation in Flemish food companies and their direct suppliers in the food chain (raw materials, ingredients, ancillary materials, technology providers, logistics, transport, distribution, etc.). This is the primary target group.

The secondary target group comprises:

  • Food companies in our neighbouring countries (Wallonia, NL, FR, UK, LUX and GER) and their direct suppliers (raw materials, ingredients, ancillary materials, technology providers, logistics/transport/distribution)
  • Producers and distributors of food supplements
  • Direct customers (B2B): retail
  • Producers of animal feed
  • Consumers