By: Amelia Oei 16 Apr, 2019

On 11 April 2019, frontrunners, innovators, the government, knowledge institutions and young talents came together to tackle global challenges in the Food & Flower industry. Over 300 visitors were inspired by an impressive programme during the HeroFestival in the Schiecentrale in Rotterdam. Together with their partners such as Rotterdam Food Cluster, HortiHeroes aims to make an impact on a global scale by attracting pioneers from inside and outside of the sector. The dream is to achieve: ‘Zero hunger in a liveable world!’ In addition to a line-up of top speakers, 2nd Food was declared the winner of the HortiHeroes Intrapreneurship Programme 2019.

Innovative food concepts by intrapreneurs

Five teams from the HortiHeroes Academy Class of 2019 presented their promising pitches at the end of the HeroFestival. The HortiHeroes Intrapreneurship Programme encourages talented individuals from the sector to change their business from the inside out. The clear winner this year is 2nd Food. This team wants to develop new products such as liqueurs, sauces, soups and spices using fruit and vegetables that have been rejected. The other concepts this year were:

  • Rising Farms, small greenhouses next to nursing homes in the Westland;
  • SEAD, the cooperation platform in the horticultural sector for co-creation and open innovation;
  • Fork2Farm, an app that gives you more pleasure in preparing fresh food and reduces food wastage among consumers;
  • Baby Fresh, packages delivered to the home especially for babies.

HeroFestival winnaars 2ndFood

HortiHeroes Intrapreneurship Programme 2020

Do you have a lot of potential and do you want to help your business come up with new ideas and solutions to prepare for the future? Join the HortiHeroes Intrapreneurship Programme 2020. Sign up for one of the information meetings here.

Sustainable agrifood business models

Both established businesses and start-ups presented sustainable business models for the agrifood sector:

  • PATS Indoor Drone Solutions develop small drones as big as the palm of your hand that fight harmful insects.
  • With De Verspillingsfabriek, Hutten’s ambition is to save vegetables while creating workplaces for people who are distanced from the labour market.
  • Land Life Company develops new technologies to restore nature worldwide.
  • Foamplant develops biodegradable foams as an alternative to traditional foams.
  • 30MHz, the data platform for the agricultural sector, provides real-time crop monitoring and measures variables such as temperature, CO2 level, airflow and brightness.
  • Tony’s Chocolonely makes a global impact with a recipe for slave-free chocolate. The ingredients are: traceable beans, liveable income for farmers, investment in farmer cooperatives, long-term collaboration and better quality and productivity without child labour.

HeroFestival food en flowers

Cross-border thinking

It wasn’t just the horticultural businesses that were represented. Other leading businesses such as Samsung and Microsoft also discussed trends that could play a role in solving global food issues. Inspiring talks were held on combatting food waste, blockchain, cannabis, the climate, nutrition and health, trends and new business models. In their energetic workshop on 21st century skills, the Fountainheads emphasised the point that you need to renew your existing business model before it becomes superfluous. Businesses in the sector have shown that cross-border thinking can lead to brand new revenue models. An example is VB Group, who for a number of years has not only been supplying climate systems for greenhouses, but also implements field heating for football stadiums.

HeroFestival food en flowers workshop Fountainheads

Entrepreneur in the food sector?

Rotterdam Food Cluster, partner of HortiHeroes, encourages and supports businesses in developing new future-oriented business models in the field of sustainability and circularity. Do you have an innovative idea? Would you like to share your vision on food? Or, are you looking for a party to collaborate with? We will gladly share your story on our platform and will help you on your way.

Contact us

The HeroFestival is made possible in part by HortiHeroes, VNO-NCW West and Rotterdam Food Cluster.