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Food Challenge

Business meeting

2 November 2023 - 3 November 2023

Producers of food ingredients are confronted with a new spectrum of challenges today. But how does this affect innovation in food ingredients? With the credo ‘Dare to Share’ IFFI will host a food challenge where more established as well as startup companies will present ways and exchange opportunities to develop and/or market new food ingredients.

During the second day, we will visit the IFFI member Bunge and be introduced within the intimacy of the IFFI network to their innovation strategy on plant based foods. 

Together with food manufacturers we explore opportunities for innovation using the premises of Kitchen Republic in Amsterdam. Food manufacturers will share their focal areas for future product innovation and facilitated by Kitchen Republic the IFFI membering companies will come up with ideas of new product concepts. ‘Dare to Share’, a true collective approach to innovation using the creativity of many.

This two-day workshop is designed for product developers and marketing professionals working in the innovation arena of established as well as start up companies in food ingredients. On the first day we visit the facilities of Kitchen Republic and on the second day we visit the Innovation Lab of Bunge.

Thursday, 2 November 2023

09.30 hours
Registration at Kitchen Republic, Amsterdam


10.00 hrs
Opening by Halbe Vogel, IFFI

10.15 hrs
Introduction by Bart-Jan Veldhuizen, Kitchen Republic
Kitchen Republic is a community of 200+ ambitious and mission-driven food entrepreneurs. Within this network, they are connected to each other and to the market. This group of young entrepreneurs determines future trends and developments and the direction in which the market will move. Today, we take a look behind the scenes and, together with a number of startups, engage in ideation to think about product development.

Bert-Jan Veldhuizen - Kitchen Republic
Bert-Jan Veldhuizen - Kitchen Republic

10.30 hrs
Food for Thought (theme 1) by Vinay Dharampal, Royal Smilde Foods

11.00 hrs
Food for Thought (theme 2) by Willem Cranenbroek and Thea Smit, Vion Food Group
Within the production of meat replacers there is still a big gap between vegetarian and vegan. More and more requests are about vegan, but the challenge is to find a binder with the same characteristics as a real egg. What binding agent has no off flavour, no off color and gives a stable binding/bite in warm as well as cold applications?

11.30 hrs
Food for Thought (theme 3) by René Kleinsmit, Pré Pain
How will the concept of bread change in the future and what will it look like? Will the approach become more holistic, like revaluing side-streams for bread application purposes or will new bread baking processes require future technologies? René will address these questions and invite the participants to share their answers to this question with him. 


12.00 hrs

13.00 hrs
Theme 1, Idea exploration by Madeleine Gielens, MaGie Creations

13.45 hrs

14.00 hrs
Theme 2, Idea exploration by Loek Voermans, Seaweed Solutions

14.45 hrs

15.00 hrs
Theme 3, Idea generation by Inez van Oord, Fiber Foods

15.45 hr

16.00 hr
Feedback and follow up by Kitchen Republic

16.30 hrs
Wrap up by Halbe Vogel, IFFI

16.45 hrs
Closing and drinks

18.00 hrs
Drinks and dinner at Brasserie Vessel, Amsterdam

21.00 hrs
Networking time

Vinay Dharampai - Royal Smilde
Vinay Dharampai - Royal Smilde
willem cranenbroek
Willem Cranenbroek - Vion Food Group
thea smit
Thea Smit - Vion Food Group

Friday, 3 November 2023

09.00 hrs
Registration at Bunge, Wormerveer



09.30 hrs
Opening by Halbe Vogel, IFFI

09.45 hrs
Introduction by Carina Ponne, Bunge

10.15 hrs
Food for Thought by Bunge

10.45 hrs
Tour through the Innovation Lab

11.30 hrs
Feed back and follow up by IFFI

12.00 hrs
Wrap up and closing by Halbe Vogel, IFFI

carina ponne
Carina Ponne - Bunge


12.15 hrs

13.00 hrs
End of program

Bart-Jan Veldhuizen – Kitchen Republic

Bart-Jan Veldhuizen is cofounder of Kitchen Republic (2014), a kitchen at the predisposition of startups and entrepreneurs in the food industry.
The Kitchen can be used by members of the Republic, which besides being a place of production also is a community. Kitchen Republic was born from the idea to encourage positive change in the food industry. Read more about Kitchen Republic here.

Bert-Jan Veldhuizen - Kitchen Republic

Vinay Dharampal – Royal Smilde

Vinay Dharampal is Innovation Manager for Royal Smilde Futura and Commercial Manager for the Tapas Factory. Both spin off companies of Royal Smilde. Vinay graduated Cum Laude from Wageningen University with an MBA in Food & Agriculture. He works closely within the area of innovation and business development in food and in particular at this moment on snacks. His credo is helping Royal Smilde to innovate by doing!

Vinay Dharampai - Royal Smilde

Willem Cranenbroek – Vion Food Group

Willem Cranenbroek is general manager at ME-AT. Before ME-AT, Willem worked at Vion Food Group for over a decade, taking on various management roles. He graduated in Food Quality Management at Wageningen University. Find an interview with Willem here.

willem cranenbroek

Thea Smit – Vion Food Group

Thea Smit is Director New Product Development overseeing the product innovation activities of the Vion Food Group. Thea joined Vion in 2019. Before that she was working for many years as Central Innovation Manager for Zwanenberg Food Group.

thea smit

Carina Ponne – Bunge

Carina Ponne joined Bunge in 2023 as their Director Innovation EMEA. Prior to working in the field of plantbased oils and fats Carina was working in the area of infant and specialised nutrition for FrieslandCampina overseeing the R&D activities.

carina ponne

René Kleinsmit – Pré Pain

René Kleinsmit is Innovation Manager at Pré Pain, a producer of bake-off bread products for the Dutch and international food-retail market and service markets. René has a broad experience in product development across all kind of food applications, ranging from dairy, salads, spices, fish, meat and now bake-off bread products. Innovation is at his core and from a technical-functional perspective, René is always investigating new ways of addressing the added value in food.


The IFFI business event ‘Dare to Share’ is for professionals working within innovation of the food ingredients industry. The event is for those who are employed at IFFI membering companies and their invitees (no costs involved). But also their business relations and startups are welcomed to participate in this in-industry event of food ingredients. We will be sharing insights and focal areas of food innovation and practices, now and in the future. With the credo ‘Dare to Share’ IFFI facilitates this food challenge with collaboration of Kitchen Republic, Royal Smilde, Vion Food Group and Bunge.


The IFFI business meeting includes dinner and drinks.
Hotel costs are excluded.

  • IFFI Members: participation is covered by the membership fee. *
  • Non-members: € 450,- (excl. VAT) – 2 November only

* IFFI members are employed by the IFFI member companies



Kitchen Republic
Locatie: Scale Up Keukens
Nieuwe Hemweg 14 A
1013 BG Amsterdam

Website: Kitchen Republic

Brasserie Vessel
Revaleiland 500
1014 ZG Amsterdam
Website: Brasserie Vessel


Hogeweg 1
1521 AZ Wormerveer

Attention: for parking, use Zaandijkerweg 5, Wormerveer

Website: Bunge


Brasserie Vessel
Revaleiland 500
1014 ZG Amsterdam

Hotel accommodation (optional)

Hotel costs are not included in the IFFI membership fee. Hotel bookings have to be arranged and paid by the participants themselves.

In Amsterdam (close to Kitchen Republic) and Wormerveer (close to Bunge), hotels in different price categories can be found. Check Expedia or Booking.com for availabilities.

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2 November 2023
3 November 2023
Event Category:


+31 (6) 254 333 96


Kitchen Republic
Nieuwe Hemweg 14 A
Amsterdam, 1013 BG Netherlands
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