By Sharon Janmaat > 12 Jan, 2018

On 4 en 5 October 2018 Rotterdam Food Cluster, Bakker Barendrecht, CoolFresh, 4Evergreen, Greenport West-Holland, GroentenFruit Huis, Hessing Supervers, Hillenraad Partners, Koppert Cress, Rabobank, RedStar, Rijk Zwaan, Provincie Zuid Holland en The Greenery, organised the Market Match, a two-day event in the Maassilo in Rotterdam. Around the 200 young people between the ages of 17 and 25 worked in multidisciplinary teams on existing matters in the fruit and vegetable sector.

Need for innovation

Market Match has been developed due to the continuous need for innovation from the worldwide fruit and vegetable sector. The new generation clearly consumes differently compared to the present generation By joining the forces of this new generation together with the present companies, it is possible to truly innovate.

The goal

200 young people taking MBO (senior secondary vocational education), HBO (higher professional education) and university courses were given the challenge of working with established businesses in the fruit and vegetable sector to transform the food sector. They tackled challenges both from and together with global actors in the regional food sector, looking at vegetarian food, food waste and how to recruit young talent. The ideas received a boost from the inspiring keynote speeches by Rob Baan (Koppert Cress), Cindy van Rijswick (Rabobank), the Fountainheads and Steven Timmers (RedStar). On Friday afternoon the 40 multidisciplinary teams presented their concept to members of the jury, with the innovators of the seven best concepts being invited to step onto the stage and present their idea to both the entire audience and the main jury, which consisted of Irenke Meekma (Bakker Barendrecht), Steven Martina (The Greenery), Johan in ’t Veld (Cool Fresh), André Dijk (Hessing Supervers) and Coen Struijs (Rabobank).


The overall Market Match winner and the idea that won a food trip to South Africa is Goed Brood (‘Good Bread’). More than 50% of this recipe is made up of vegetables, without that affecting the flavour of the loaf. The jury saw this as the most promising concept, as it capitalises on the social issue of people not eating enough vegetables. ‘I definitely see a market for this,’ confirms Coen Struijs from Rabobank. Ditte, Romy and Lisa, who came up with the winning idea, are looking forward to putting their concept into practice. They have already been approached by the Brood Innovatiecentrum (‘Bread Innovation Centre’) and would like to meet with Rabobank. Second prize, a food trip to Paris, goes to Happy Confetti: vegetable confetti for children that can be added to any meal. In third place, and walking away with a food trip to Brussels, was ‘Smartfood’: personalised nutrition advice based on the contents of your refrigerator. Finally, the fourth-place prize of tickets to the Fountainheads went to Binder, a Tinder-like app that matches young talent to businesses in the food sector.

Winnaars_Markt Match


The event was organised by Rotterdam Food Cluster, Bakker Barendrecht, Cool Fresh, GroentenFruit Huis, Hessing Supervers, Koppert Cress, Rijk Zwaan, The Greenery, RedStar en 4EvergreenRabobankHillenraad PartnersProvincie Zuid Holland and Greenport West-Holland.

If you would like to find out more about this event and/or the students’ innovative solutions, please contact Sharon Janmaat.

Take a look at the interview with Johan in ‘t Veld, CEO of Cool Fresh.