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Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein

Dear friends of the Global Food Summit,

fuelled by the pandemic, innovative scenarios for a safe and healthy future for people are being intensively discussed, especially in the food sector.

In cities such as Beijing, a "lockdown" for the central food wholesale market is being issued. A catering company in Bavaria has 40 infected employees and has to interrupt its work. Industrial slaughterhouses in Germany, but also in the USA, close their doors. This means that consumers, schools, canteens are only supplied with limited supplies.

Unfortunately, however, harvest losses in 2020 will also make supplies even more difficult. In addition to the losses caused by a lack of foreign harvesters in early summer in Europe or the USA, there will also be losses in autumn. The World Food Programme (WFP) states that due to international lockdowns in some regions, access to seed in spring was limited in many countries. Without seeds, however, there is no harvest. The WFP therefore forecasts a famine that is greater than "usual". It fears that its resources will not be sufficient to alleviate this wave of hunger and is already calling on its members to consider measures to deal with it. The fact that plagues of locusts and climate-related crop failures will then also reduce the harvest yield is another factor.

So the question remains, what will we learn for the future? The Bavarian Nutrition Cluster has worked out scenarios for the future of nutrition after Corona. Regionalisation and technologisation, sustainability or logistics are evaluated. The summary is expected at the end of July. However, it can generally be stated that confidence in the quality of food, technological progress and the clear objectification of the dialogue on food play an important role in the scenarios.

The German Sustainability Award, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has also announced the topic of food in cities in the bio-economy year 2020 / 2021. In the discussions it becomes clear that metropolitan areas are a "sink" for regenerative raw materials such as food. Together with Forschungszentrum Jülich and the agency mfm - menschen für medien, the Global Food Summit has developed an idea concept for how existing grey, rain and yellow water treatment systems can be further developed for urban agriculture. Algae production can play a major role here as a "game changer".

My thanks also go to Mrs Oriana Romano and Jan Grossarth. Oriana Romano, Head of Unit, Water Governance and Circular Economy at the OECD, has given us an interview on the OECD's view of how we can proceed to give greater importance to the bio-economy.
Jan Grossarth, owner of the consulting firm Goldfeder and former editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung answered our question about the effects of the corona pandemic on the development and customer acceptance of alternative proteins in a small series.

Yours sincerely, Unterschrift Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein



Dr. Oriana Romano, Head of Unit Water Governance and Circular Economy Cities, Urban Policies, and Sustainable Development Division Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD
Essens Icon Circular Economy Mikroskop Icon Bioeconomy

With the "Programme on the Economics and Governance of Circular Economy in Cities and Regions", the OECD has launched a programme that helps cities to recognise and exploit the potential of a circular economy.
We spoke to Oriana Romano, Head of Unit, Water Governance and Circular Economy at the OECD, about the programme.

Mrs Romano, the OECD is committed to the implementation of a circular economy, also in the food sector. In your opinion, what are the most important factors for transitioning to the circular economy?

The OECD Programme on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions supports local and regional governments in identifying enabling conditions for realising the circular economy. Key factors to make this happen are included in the 3Ps framework: people, policies and places.

People: The circular economy is transformative and implies a behavioural and cultural shift towards different production and consumption pathways, new business and governance models.
Policies: The circular economy requires a holistic approach that cuts across sectorial polices. What is considered to be waste can be a resource for something else. As such, the circular economy allows for synergies across policies.
Places: Links across urban and rural areas (e.g. related to bio-economy, agriculture and forest) are key to promoting local production and recycling of organic material to be used in proximity of where they are produced, to avoid emissions due to long distance transport.

The food sector is taken into account in several circular economy strategies (e.g. Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, The Netherlands) and is a key sector for 52% of cities and regions that responded to the OECD Survey on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions. There are several examples of initiatives, which make the food sector more circular in urban and rural areas. These initiatives range from reducing food waste (Groningen, Umeå, Ljubiana, Porto), promoting urban agriculture (Paris, Brussels, Guelph), supporting local food production (Umeå), improving the co-ordination between urban and rural areas (Valladolid), incorporating restaurants and the hospitality activities to these efforts (Amsterdam, Valladolid, Umeå) or producing organic fertilisers (Porto, Portugal).

Circular food systems in cities and regions are based on strengthening synergies across the food value chain from production to distribution and waste handling.

Read the interview here.


Commentary: "What do you think the Corona pandemic has and has had on the development and customer acceptance of alternative proteins and what is your attitude towards it?"

A mega boost for alternative proteins through Corona? No, because crises make people more conservative - and involuntarily meatless

"Whether experiences of crisis make people more courageous? That would be a bold thesis, and probably also an unhistorical one. You make conservative. You can see it in the approval rates for parties. People leave parties like the AfD on the side of the road and vote bourgeois."

With this introduction, in this issue of our newsletter, Jan Grossarth takes the floor on alternative prteine. He is a book author and management and communications consultant with his company Goldfeder.  During his time as editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he was already concerned with the topics of nutrition and food production. 

Read the commentary here.


Global Food Summit on the road

Virtual Agritech- und Foodtech-B2B


"On the road" has taken on a new connotation. "On the road at events" can also be on the screen. The Israeli-Bavarian food innovation meeting took place on 18 June 2020 as an online meeting. The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with the organization "Start-up Nation" in Israel presented the innovation leadership of food and Agtech start-ups in Israel. Driven by the climatic conditions, but also by the Mediterranean region, there are many opportunities to drive innovation in food production and manufacturing, especially with digital tools. An impressive number of international food and chemical companies maintain an office in Israel in order to be able to participate in the inventions. A close partnership with Europe already exists. It would be desirable if our "sleepy Europe" were to become a little more infected by the Israeli inventive spirit.


Upcoming Events


POLITICO’s Agriculture and Food Summit 2020


innovate!convention 2020


POLITICO's Agriculture and Food Summit 2020 will take place on 24 - 25 September 2020 in an interactive, virtual format. This is the fourth time the Summit takes place and asks the question: Green, innovative, competitive, can Europe's agri-food sector have it all?
Specifically, it will focus on the new concepts and strategies in the fields of agriculture and food of the European Commission, which are taking shape through the "Green Deal", the "Farm to Fork Strategy" and Co. Further information on the event can be found here.


Save the Date: The innovate!convention will take place virtually on 28 and 29 October 2020.
Information and registration for the event will follow here.


Bavarian Food Cluster presents first results of the Corona - Scenario Study: what does the food industry expect in 2022?

Highlights unser Sponsoren

The question of how the food industry will change in the short, medium and long term as a result of the Corona crisis is uncertain from today's perspective. The Bavarian Food Cluster has addressed this question and developed scenarios with experts from business, science and administration. The first results, seven short-term compact scenarios, were presented in an interactive online seminar. Around 35 representatives from the food industry took part in the online event and evaluated and discussed the scenarios. The scenarios were most likely to be rated by the team of experts and the participating persons, who assume a high level of health awareness among consumers* and many innovations and new players and business models in the food industry. In addition, it is evident that the topic of regionality could gain in importance. Regional value chains could thus become a clear winner of the Corona crisis.

Detailed results will soon be published on the Cluster Ernährung Homepage, as well as in the Cluster LinkedIn- Profil.

Commentary: The SAMs Report “Towards a Sustainable Food System” bites the hand that feeds us! 

Innovationen NewsPicture: Europäische Commission

One of the great challenges at the moment is the governance of our food systems. The European Commission launched the "Farm to Fork Strategy“ which is at the heart of the European Green Deal. The SAMs Report “Towards a Sustainable Food System” played an important role for that strategy.

Justus H.H. Wesseler,  Professor and Chair Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands and his colleague Professor Kai P. Purnhagen, Professor and Chair for Food Law, University of Bayreuth, and Co-Director of the Institute for Food law, wrote a critical comment on the SAMs Report “Towards a Sustainable Food System” in the European Law Blog.

They claim its proposed impact on the food system and its potential for implementation is running short and that the recommendations undermine the freedom of EU citizens, which includes the individual freedom to choose the food they like and the meaning they attach. With their propositions, the autors of the SAMs Report risk the imposition of a single food standard on EU citizens, while neutralising a major characteristic of Europe: its rich cultural diversity of food.

Read the commentary here.

KitchenTown - A new home for food innovation in Berlin

Innovationen NewsPicture: KitchenTown

KitchenTown is the new coworking space for food start-ups near Alexanderplatz in Berlin, including Maker Space, an area with fully equipped professional kitchens for product development.

Read the article here.
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