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Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein

Dear carnivores, dear vegetarians, dear readers,

On December 2, 2020, a vaccine against the corona virus using a new method based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology was approved for public use for the first time in England.

In Singapore, on December 2, 2020, a meat product based on cell cultures in incubators was approved for public consumption for the first time.

What connects the two inventions? The knowledge of cells, molecules and biochemical processes has brought product solutions to serve mankind in "world record time", which have now found their way onto the open market. The products are in demand, everyone is waiting for them, and now they are here.
The entry of the U.S. start-up "Eat Just" into the market is a milestone in the world history of nutrition. Because with this type of meat production, an alternative to the farmed animals we have created over the course of 10,000 years of domestication is on the horizon. Discussions about stables, feed, medication in animals, about liquid manure, slaughter, breeding improvements and much more will lose their basis with this new poultry meat.

Of course, new issues will now arise that can and must be discussed ethically. A battle will begin over new rules for these products, health issues, packaging discussions, shelf life issues and so on. But it will be a product that can be made in any basement of a commercial yard. It will not be produced by small or large-scale farmers, but in facilities that are purposefully built in urban regions to provide a local or regional supply. Retailers may choose to build a chicken production facility next to their logistics centers. Production partners may include companies that have secured exclusive distribution rights for Germany, if not Europe, from some U.S. startups for chicken and other food innovations. "Just" is also expected to be offered as an egg substitute in Singapore soon.

Our world remains the same - the nature, the beauty - but so do the challenges of beating hunger and ensuring food in cities. A lot is changing in the answers to these challenges right now, and we should be actively shaping these solutions. We humans understand more and more precisely the molecular relationships, can produce or recover resources differently, and can thus shape tomorrow in a sustainable and progressive way.

On April 28 and 29, 2021, we will hold the next Global Food Summit in Munich at the old Congress Hall. We will try to get a taste of chicken meat and discuss the topic in detail with the Food Agency in Singapore.

I wish you a reflective and healthy pre-Christmas period, and let's work stoically towards an improvement of the pandemic situation.

Yours sincerely Unterschrift Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein



Dr. Edgar Remmele, TFZ Technology Promotion Center in the Competence Center for Renewable Resources, Straubing
Essens Icon Animal feed Mikroskop Icon Sustainability

In agriculture, fodder silos covered with foil, sandbags and tires can be seen in winter. The cover tarpaulins are huge. Dr. Remmele from the TFZ Technology Promotion Center in the Competence Center for Renewable Raw Materials in Straubing conducted research on a sprayable cover for silages until the end of January 2019. His product is 100 percent biodegradable and meets the requirements of the bio-economy.

Dr. Remmele, what is the current status?

The patented covering material consists of two liquid components A and B, which are carefully homogenized immediately before spraying. Component A consists of rape oil, the gelling agent sodium alginate, the gelling aid calcium sulphate and cellulose fibres as filler. Component B consists of the binder natural rubber, water as solvent, sodium benzoate as preservative, sorbitol as humectant and the plasticizer glycerine. All essential formulation components are "renewable raw materials". Mixed together and sprayed on, the material hardens on the silage surface and quickly ensures an airtight seal. The covering material is applied after the silage has been compacted with a special carrier vehicle or with an attachment on a stationary tractor. When using the silage as a substrate for biogas production, the covering material can be removed with the silage and placed in the fermenter where it is decomposed. The invention was awarded the Innovation Award in Gold by the German Agricultural Society. We are currently looking for industrial partners to put the process into practice.

Read the interview here.


Commentary: The acceptance of alternative proteins

Picture: Tönnies Holding ApS & Co. KG

We ask stakeholders from industry, associations and politics: "What do you think the corona pandemic has and has had on the development and customer acceptance of alternative proteins, and what is your position on this?

This time Dr. André Vielstädte, Head of Corporate Communications at Tönnies, comments on the current situation. He is taking up the cudgels for animal protein as a component of human nutrition. At the same time, Tönnies sees the trend towards alternative products and is positioning itself in this market with meat replacement products through its subsidiary "Zur Mühlen".

Read the commentary here.


Global Food Summit on the move


The virtuel innovate! Convention 


On October 29, 2020 the Convention innovate! took place virtually. For one day, the focus was on exciting projects and visionary start-ups in the fields of food, agriculture and digital. On the innovate! homepage you can see, among other things, the pitches of the winners of the Innovate! awards, which were awarded to start-ups in the categories Food, Agri and Digital Innovation.

Together with Niklas Hielscher from Forschungszentrum Jülich, we also hosted a round table at innovate! on the topic: "From scientific idea to product? Developing side streams from the agricultural and food industry as a circular business idea".

The Global Food Summit 2021 will take place at the end of April

We have a date: The Global Food Summit 2021 will take place on April 28 and 29, 2021 in Munich! We are now working on the concept and will decide in the coming weeks, among other things, in which form and with which formats the congress will take place. We are very much looking forward to it and will of course keep you up to date.

The Global Food Summit at the Berlin Science Week

On November 4, 2020, our first online event "Tomorrow is discussed Today - Bioeconomy in Food for an Urban Society" took place during this year's Berlin Science Week. Head & Founder Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein led through the program together with our managing director Isabella Pfaff. The meeting room in the offices of mfm - future at work was converted into a broadcast studio.

We are very pleased to have realized an interesting, three-hour online event with outstanding speakers from all over the world on the topic of bioeconomy, with interviews, lectures and a panel discussion. We recorded the event and made it available to all interested parties on the Global Food Summit's new media platform, "global.food.summit.media": media.globalfoodsummit.com.

Our special thanks go to the experts who made the event a success with their exciting presentations and interviews.

GFS has its own media platform

Highlights unser Sponsoren

The Global Food Summit now has its own media platform: "global.food.summit.media": At media.globalfoodsummit.com you will find films about food innovations in two categories. At Food NOW there are short films, prepared for use on social media, with subtitles in German and English. And in the media library there are longer films on topics related to novel food as well as video material about the Global Food Summit and its activities. This makes us the central contact for the industry as well as for start-ups and journalists. The films are available for free download.

Take a look. In the media library, you will find, among other things, the recording of the online event "Tomorrow is discussed Today - Bioeconomy in Food for an Urban Society", which took place during Science Week on November 4 and focused on the bioeconomy. Have fun exploring!


Nuro collects 500 million dollars for autonomous delivery vehicle

Picture: Nuro

Perfect timing: The company Nuro, based in Mountain View, California, manufactures pod-like, autonomously driving delivery vehicles for supermarkets and delivery services, for example, and was able to collect a further 500 million US dollars in investment at the beginning of November. The company has now acquired a total of 1.5 billion US dollars for its development.

This year's test runs in public, regular transport in the cities of Houston, Phoenix and Mountain View were a complete success and come at just the right time: thanks to the technology, consumers will soon be able to avoid the trip to the supermarket and thus come into contact with fewer people in times of the corona pandemic. The service also ensures food supplies for those who are in quarantine.

Nuro's R2 vehicle is about half the size of a normal car and drives autonomously at a speed of 25 miles per hour.
In addition to the technical side, however, official permits are a major challenge for the company. Autonomous vehicles are new, and levels of government are now addressing the issue of how to ensure safety on public roads.


FH Münster Steinfurt wins the Biogas Innovation Award 2020

In front from left: Dr. Elmar Brügging and Tobias Weide, Fachhochschule Münster-Steinfurt; in the background from left: Udo Hemmerling, DBV and Professor Michael Nelles, Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum DBFZ, Picture: Deutscher Bauernverband e.V.

On November 25, 2020, the Münster-Steinfurt University of Applied Sciences won the Biogas Innovation Prize of German Agriculture 2020. It receives the prize, which is endowed with 10,000 euros, for its series of experiments on the subject of "Biohydrogen production using dark fermentation and microorganism retention from residues and wastewater".

The award ceremony took place during this year's Biogas Innovation Congress, which virtually "opened its doors" for the first time on November 24 and 25, 2020. It is sponsored by the German Biogas Association, the German Farmers' Association, the German BioEnergy Association and the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, which also donates the prize money for the Innovation Prize.


EIT Food report reveals lasting impact of Covid 19 pandemic on food consumption in Europe

EIT Food released a new report in early December on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food consumption.

The survey of 5,000 respondents from ten European countries shows that the lockdown measures may have led to lasting changes in food consumption. These are characterized by significant changes in shopping patterns, meal preparation, and eating habits. Among other things, the report shows:
  • Nearly half of respondents (49%) said the pandemic has led them to place more emphasis on protecting their health.

  • Just over one-third of survey respondents (35%) are buying more regional products today, and 87% say they are very likely to do so in the future.

  • Twenty-seven percent of consumers said that having time to cook for themselves will be more important after the pandemic, and 30% want to add variety to their diets.

  • More than a third of consumers (34%) lost some or all of their income during the pandemic, so food affordability will be a high priority after the lockdown.
Read the report here.
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