“There are a lot of challenges today in the food system,” according to CEO of EIT Food, Dr Andy Zynga.
With growing levels of obesity and diabetes, Dr Zynga said EIT Food attributes at least some of this to how food is produced, and how it is consumed.
“We believe that innovations need to happen in the food system,” he told FoodNavigator at the INNOVEIT awards in Hungary, Budapest this week. Which is what EIT Food sets out to foster.
EIT Food is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) – an EU body set up in 2008. EIT works to nurture innovation in a wide variety of areas, including health, climate, energy, and food.
So where exactly is innovation needed? According to the EIT Food chief, primary production – which includes concepts such as ‘smart farming’ and ‘regenerative farming’ – is a sector ‘ripe for major innovation’. “If I were to look and see where there are a lot of low hanging fruits, I would say that’s the area. There are others, of course, but I think that’s one of the areas that really needs some help, quickly.”
Looking to the future, Dr Zynga said aside from an increased focus on primary production, he also envisages ‘much more coming’ in the alternative protein space. The CEO cited cellular meat and plant-based alternatives as potential novel foods heading towards commercialisation. “We believe there are enormous opportunities.”
Watch the video for an extended interview with EIT Food’s CEO.