17 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020 | Belgium
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17 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020

Plenary session focused on the resilience of the agri-food system

Animated by Caroline Veyt.

Resilience of the agri-food system (FR/EN)

Elisabeth Laville

After graduating from HEC in 1988, Elisabeth spent a few years working in strategic planning for two advertising agencies before creating Utopies in 1993. She has since been recognized as one of Europe's experts in sustainable development, received the Veuve Clicquot Prize for Businesswoman of the Year in 2008 and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor that same year. She is the author of the best-seller "L'entreprise verte" and several other books. She sits on the Board of Directors of Nature & découvertes, Rabot Dutilleul and several NGOs and foundations (including Unis-Cités and the Tour du Valat Foundation).

Testimonial of the brasserie Leopold 7 co-founder

The Covid crisis is an unique opportunity to develop creativity and daring. This crisis is not a science, religion or an already lived experience. The world of the possible is therefore wide open. Companies with strong values, a well-established vision and clear missions have all the keys to stand out. The world is changing today and we have the opportunity to include our approach in what will be the future of the 21st century. Today is tomorrow!!!

Nicolas Declercq

Nicolas is a belgian Brewmaster Ing. and has been an entrepreneur for almost 10 years. After working for several internatianal companies in EU, Africa and Asia, Nicolas co-founded the Leopold 7 brewery, developed around the 4P values (People, Planet, Participation and Profit). Leopold 7 brewery mission is to be the leader craftbrewery in sustainibility and is always looking for international opportunities around their vision : « Belgian Born, Locally Brewed ». Leopold 7 has been one of the first craft brewery developping a premium can range and the brewery is also producing unther license their beer in South Africa and California.

Testimonial of Meurens Natural

Innovation and diversification have always been at the core of the company's values. This is why, in 1994, the company did not hesitate to make a 180° turn by developing a brand new activity. Finding new sources of growth and constantly reinventing itself is one of the keys to ensure its development. Today, the ability to be quickly and flexible in seizing opportunities is even more important than ever.

Bénédicte Meurens

Bénédicte Meurens, an HEC graduate, joined the family business in 2005 as sales and marketing manager. In 2011, she took over the helm of the family business with her brother. A pioneer in the organic sector in Europe for 30 years, Meurens Natural has developed a unique know-how, 100% in line with the organic philosophy. It has thus become the European specialist in cereal hydrolysis, thanks to the originality of its production process and the variety of raw materials processed. Completely natural, this production process processes the raw materials in a clean, simple and environmentally-friendly way. Meurens Natural offers a unique range of organic and natural ingredients that bring taste, colour, texture and sweetness to all sectors of the European food industry.

Testimonial from Pierre Tossut of Puratos

Pierre holds a Master in Bioengineering from the University of Liège (Gembloux Agro-Biotec) , and joined Puratos in 1994, after working as an Assistant Professor in Biotechnology at the Agriculture Faculty of Gembloux. He led the start of the Sourdough activity, the expansion of the group’s worldwide R&D footprint, and structured the Group’s Health & Well-Being approach. He managed various business units of the Group. He also completed the Advanced Management programs at INSEAD and Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he developed a great capacity to understand customer needs and an incredible sense for doing business. Since January 1st 2020 Pierre has taken up the role of Chief Commercial Officer.

TOPIC 1 . E-commerce

Emergency digitization - what feedback from COVID-19 for the food industry ? (EN)

The crisis we are going through is unique in many ways, but it has something in common with all the others : the different players, especially in the food industry, from startups to large groups, had to adapt urgently. The crisis has been a lesson in accelerated digitalization for many, in particular to move from a B2B model to B2C. What to learn from it and what to do from now on (in terms of tools to use and adaptation of the business model)?

Matthieu Vincent


Matthieu is a FoodTech expert and has been an entrepreneur for 10 years. After developing and reselling his first startup, Matthieu co-founded DigitalFoodLab with the objective of accelerating FoodTech in Europe. DigitalFoodLab works on consultancy missions with players in the food industry as well as with startups. Its objective is to help these actors to identify and act on FoodTech opportunities. 

Getting off to a good start in food E-commerce (FR)

With the changes in consumer habits linked to the health crisis, e-commerce is at the tip of almost all the lips of entrepreneurs in the food industry: it allows direct sales from the manufacturer/wholesaler to the consumer, and facilitates the development of international activities.

However, such a commercial positioning cannot be improvised, not only strategically in relation to the current distribution chain and the competition, but also operationally (payment, logistics, etc.

This workshop will present the other side of the e-commerce scene, seen from the "seller's" side: What are the success factors? What are the challenges to be taken up and the pitfalls to be avoided, especially in the food industry? What are the key steps to consider when setting up and running a webshop in the short, medium and long term? How to go further? What are the public aids?

Damien Jacob

Active for more than 25 years in the field of the digital transformation of economic activities, Damien Jacob is an expert in e-commerce and e-marketing, certified "chèques entreprises". He manages the consulting firm RETIS (http://www.retis.be). The team of 4 specialists acts as a facilitator for the development of e-business projects for SMEs (both BtoC and BtoB), acting not as a web development agency, but as an "architect" of e-commerce projects, being neutral with respect to service providers.

TOPIC 2. Plant proteines

Panorama of alternative proteins and prospects for 2030 (FR)

It will focus on the market for plant substitutes, investments, the most promising start-ups,… It will also take stock of technologies such as cell farming and synthetic biology and their prospects taking into account the acceptability of consumers (all at a global level).

Céline Laisney

Céline Laisney created the firm AlimAvenir (monitoring and forecasting) in 2013, after 10 years spent at Futuribles (consulting firm in forecasting), and 5 years at the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food. AlimAvenir provides public and private actors with independent expertise on changes in eating habits, and continuously monitors emerging consumption trends, as well as new products and services, both at French and international level. She coordinates the annual Vigie Alimentation study and carries out studies on various subjects such as new diets (vegetarianism, veganism, flexitarianism), alternative proteins, and even sustainable consumption.. 

Emerging Plant Proteins: Functional Characteristics Compared to Conventional Proteins (EN)

By 2025, the global demand for protein ingredients is expected to reach 7 million tons and generate revenues of nearly $70 billion. Specifically, there is a growing interest in novel plant-based protein ingredients to partially replace a market sector that has been dominated by traditional protein ingredients such as milk and soy proteins. Reasons that have led to this interest include increasing cost of traditional protein ingredients, rising incidences of allergenicity, increasing number of vegan, flexitarians and health conscious consumers, and a growing interest in sustainable and environment friendly sources. Other drivers include seeking lower cost compared to traditional protein ingredients, valorizing by-products by utilizing current processing streams, finding a unique and a competitive place in the market, replacing unfamiliar ingredients with functional proteins (clean label), overcoming functionality limitations of specific proteins, and utilizing all possible resources to expand the overall ingredients supply.

Pam Ismail

Dr. Pam Ismail, is a Professor at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota. She is the founder and director of the Plant Protein Innovation Center. Dr. Ismail has over 20 years of experience in Food Chemistry research focused on analytical chemistry, protein chemistry, and chemistry and fate of bioactive food constituents. Her research focuses on chemical characterization and enhancement of functionality, safety, bioavailability, and bioactivity of food proteins, following novel processing and analytical approaches. She is the recipient of a “Distinguished Teaching Award” and an “Outstanding Professor Award".


Closed since 14 September 2020



Organised by


Participants 300
Meetings 222


Austria 1
Belgium 242
Benin 1
Brazil 2
Bulgaria 13
Canada 3
Chile 4
China 4
Croatia 1
Czech Republic 2
Denmark 7
France 11
Germany 5
Greece 2
Hungary 2
India 1
Ireland 3
Italy 11
Latvia 4
Lithuania 1
North Macedonia 1
Mexico 1
Morocco 1
Netherlands 1
Peru 1
Poland 13
Portugal 7
Romania 9
Senegal 1
Serbia 1
Slovenia 5
Spain 6
Sri Lanka 17
Tunisia 5
Turkey 7
Ukraine 69
United Kingdom 1
United States 2
Uruguay 2
Viet Nam 1
Total 471