AgroSustain: Using biological fungicides and coatings to reduce food waste and support organic food production

AgroSustain: Using biological fungicides and coatings to reduce food waste and support organic food production

orange fruit tree

AgroSustain is a one-stop-shop solution for biological plant protection. Based at the Agroscope Institute of Changins (State of Vaud), the company aims at reducing food waste while ensuring everyone has access to healthy foods.

As the world focuses even more on sustainable and organic food production, AgroSustain offers to extend the freshness of crops by more than 20 days. This results in a significant drop in food waste, the third-largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world. Its first product, AgroShelf+, prevents mould from attacking crops, post-harvest, without affecting the taste.

The idea first started with co-founder and CEO Olga Dubey when she first learned about anti-fungal compounds. She wanted to offer a natural product to the market that could potentially replace chemical solutions while ensuring the safety of humans and biodiversity.

Meanwhile, AgroSustain’s research team of highly qualified PhDs with expertise in chemistry, plant biochemistry, and molecular and evolutionary biology, are working closely with institutions like the University of Lausanne and Agroscope to develop products for pre-harvest crops.

Find out more:

AgroSustain
Agroscope, Batiment AO, Route de Duillier 50
Nyon, Vaud 1260, CH 

For inquiries, you can contact them here.

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Join the upcoming China AgriFood Tech Bootcamp 2021

Join the upcoming China AgriFood Tech Bootcamp 2021

Join the upcoming intense and tailored startup internationalization bootcamp organized by swissnex China and Innosuisse to take a deep dive into the China market, while leveraging the exciting opportunities within the world’s largest and most dynamic sustainable Agri-Food space.

The China Agri-Food-Tech Bootcamp 2021 offers Swiss startups a unique opportunity to take a deep dive into the fast-growing Agri-Food space in China, gain insight into the specific IP / legal frameworks while connecting with potential partners and customers.

Organized by swissnex China and Innosuisse, this program will provide tailored support to participating startups via virtual workshops, exclusive pitch sessions to investors, IP & regulation consulting, as well as market research reporting, connecting them with investors, industry experts and potential partners, while maximizing their exposure to a broad audience in China. This program is offered free of charge to the selected startup attendees.

The participating startups are encouraged to travel to China to further develop and implement
their local market entry as international business travel resumes.

  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2021
  • Virtual Bootcamp: March 22-31, 2021
  • Tailored Individual Support: Upon arrival in China, 2021-2022

General information
• Virtual Bootcamp duration: March 22- 31, 2021
• Detailed bootcamp agenda and logistics details will be announced in early March.
Important: Applying startups need to be in the Innosuisse coaching program.

Camp support
Swissnex China provides tailored, individual guidance to Campers by delivering virtual
workshops, exclusive pitch to investors, IP & regulation consulting, market research report
during the period while international travel is still restricted. When participating startups are able to
travel to China in person within the stipulated Innosuisse China Camp period, swissnex China
can facilitate 2-3 connections with relevant entities for further market validation or market entry.
Startups are expected to follow-up with the contacts and complete camp milestones. 

Travel stipend
All startups are encouraged to travel to China to further develop the market after the Virtual
Bootcamp. Innosuisse and swissnex China will offer travel stipends of CHF 3000 (Market
Validation Campers) or CHF 6000 (Market Entry Campers) to startups who will travel to China in
person during the camp year.

Eligibility
Participating startups are required to be currently active in an Innosuisse Coaching program, or
have recently obtained an Innosuisse Certificate / CTI-Label in the last 3 years.
If you’re not in the Innosuisse Coaching program, apply here. If the timeframe is tight, we advise
you to apply for coaching and camp in parallel. 

CONTACT
Reach out to our program manager to learn more:

Ms. Simin Yang
simin.yang@swissnexchina.org

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NutriMenu: The app that makes canteen lunch tray healthier

NutriMenu: The app that makes canteen lunch tray healthier

Launched in 2016, Swiss based company nutriMenu facilitates the creation of healthy, seasonal and regional menus in canteens.

 

Too fatty, too salty, too much meat or not enough vegetables? Canteens in Lausanne, Zürich and other cities across Switzerland are now equipped to analyze what they put on their menu. Thousands of people, especially children, have been tasting for more nutritious lunch thanks to nutriMenu, an application that measures the nutritional quality of meals.

Developed by the Swiss start-up Myravan Solutions in partnership with the City of Lausanne, the application is used in ten kitchens managed directly by the Cities as well as in private catering sector such as SV Group and university canteens such as EPFL. NutriMenu facilitates the creation of healthy, seasonal and regional menus through its web portal, helping chef balance their choice of ingredients.

Based on Swiss quality standards for collective catering that promote healthy eating (OSAV and SSN), nutriMenu uses a scientific and detailed approach to evaluate and monitor the nutritional quality of menus and allows for a clear communication to consumers through a visual scoring system. The software will also evaluates overall balance of meals throughout the week.

Launched by a team of qualified dieticians with expertise in public health:

At the origin of the project, clinical dietitian’s Maryam Yepes realized the importance of training cooks while teaching at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and through her Ph.D. research in public health at the University of Lausanne: “Canteens chefs’ impact on public health is enormous: they prepare millions of meals and if you can reduce salt or fat even just a little, you dramatically improve the nutritional quality of a dish.”.

In her experience as a trainer, consultant and independent dietician for catering professionals, Maryam is convinced that technology can help cooks. “There isn’t sufficient training when it comes to nutrition. Chefs do not necessarily have the tools or the time to properly apply the theory they have learned.” 

Today, Maryam’s mission is to improve public health through nutriMenu, a tool to facilitate the preparation of healthy, sustainable and deliciously balanced meals in the catering industry using a digital and innovative approach. 

 

In the case of cafeterias, where customers return several times a week, it is important that weekly menues are balanced and nutritious.

Maryam Yepes Ph.D.

NutriMenu CEO, Doctor in Nutrition

Find out more:

 

Maryam Yepes, Ph.D.
nutriMenu’s CEO

maryam@myravan.ch

www.nutrimenu.ch

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Firmenich: To stand for quality, you have to stand for responsibility.

To stand for quality, you have to stand for responsibility. You simply cannot have one without the other.

A conversation with Firmenich’s Dr Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat

Firmenich’s Dr Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat is a firm believer in the power of collaboration. Chief Sustainability Officer at taste and fragrance creator Firmenich is thoroughly convinced that business is capable of driving social change. And she believes that much more in this field can be achieved in partnership than in isolation.

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company. Founded in Geneva in 1895, the family business has developed some of the world’s most well-known tastes, ingredients and fragrances, with a portfolio that spans synthetic, natural and biotech molecules. Specialities include seafood, citrus, vanilla and mint.

Lauded for its creativity and innovation, the 125-year-old multinational is also renowned for its commitment to sustainability. Firmenich has been a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact since 2008, and a LEAD signatory since 2019, and joined the Swiss Triple Impact network this year. The company also reinvests 10% of its annual revenue into research and development to explore renewable resources and sustainable sourcing.

In an interview to honour Firmenich’s new membership with the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley, Magarinos-Ruchat shared her views on corporate responsibility, sustainability and nutrition.

Dr Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat has ample form when it comes to sustainability, having worked for many years at the UN and latterly as VP Sustainability Partnerships at Firmenich prior to her current role. In conversation, her enthusiasm and dedication to this mission, guided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is palpably obvious. These 17 goals unite many of Firmenich’s concerns, from wellbeing to public health, to nutrition and climate change.

Creating tastes and aromas capable of evoking great emotions, Firmenich’s tastes and fragrances are consumed by four billion people every day. The company is propelled by its desire to make a positive impact in every sense of the word, in every corner of the world: for their customers and consumers, for society and the planet. In an interview to honour Firmenich’s membership of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley (SFNV), Magarinos-Ruchat spoke of all this and much more.

Dr Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat

Chief Sustainability Officer at Firmenich

Call me Berry“, she says – aptly, given her position in a company whose first taste was a raspberry substitute.

At Firmenich we are driven by our mission to create positive emotions through taste and aromas. The tastes and fragrances we produce aim to enhance wellbeing. We have designed some of the most popular tastes out there – four billion consumers every day experience a moment of delight thanks to a Firmenich taste or fragrance.

Firmenich is a company driven by science. Our founders actually started out developing chemicals. We are 125 years old, but it was only in 1938 that the first Firmenich taste – a raspberry substitute – was created. We even won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939! These scientific roots continue to inform the work we do today. We have just launched our first AI-created taste, a lightly grilled beef to use in plant-based meats.

We blend science with emotion. For more than 30 years, Firmenich has been working with world-leading experts and research institutions to enhance our understanding of the human senses of smell and taste, and the science that underpins the emotions that tastes and fragrances inspire in us. The work we do in this field allows us a deeper understanding of these emotions, so we can build pioneering tools and technologies for our customers.

We are 125 years old, but it was only in 1938 that the first Firmenich taste – a raspberry substitute – was created.

It is no coincidence that Switzerland is home to a wealth of science-driven businesses in our industry.

With its academic institutions, infrastructure and excellent research talent, the Swiss ecosystem is very conducive to these kinds of businesses emerging. We still lean on and draw from Switzerland’s favourable research environment today.

Our motto is ‘Doing good, naturally’. Nature is our inspiration and that is a distinctly Swiss notion that informs everything we do. Our Naturals range, which includes vanilla, cardamom and citrus, encompasses 170 different products sourced from over 40 countries. We cultivate strong supplier relationships and we are innovating at source by investing in technology that extracts the tastes more gently, and more efficiently. As a result, this actually means we can use fewer raw materials.

Source: Firmenich

The needs of our customers are rapidly evolving.

As COVID-19 has emerged, we have observed a change in food and beverage preferences. There has been a shift towards immunity-boosting benefits and natural tastes that enhance wellbeing, which we are responding to and providing for our customers.

We try to balance wellbeing and health with moments of pure enjoyment. We are constantly asking: how do we create foods that are better for the body but still taste fantastic? We are seeing a huge move towards that ethos, something that we have been championing for years. There is a push towards sugar and salt reduction, plant-based proteins and enhanced nutrition. We provide these benefits, while enveloping them in the overall taste experience through taste, texture and aromas. It is really about the whole experience.

One innovative area linked to our sustainability strategy is our work on green proteins. These have the potential to transform the global diet. We are particularly interested in making these plant-based meat alternatives taste delicious. If consumers fall in love with the product, changing to a more sustainable diet becomes much easier. When you explain the connection between what we eat and habitat loss, people are inspired to take action. Eating less meat is a fantastic way to do that. And we are more than happy to be part of that solution.

Nature is our inspiration and that is a distinctly Swiss notion that informs everything we do.

Source © CombyAVM, Unsplash, Firmenich

We are striving to strike a balance between healthy people and a healthy planet.

Obesity is the greatest burden on public health systems around the world. We are tackling this with new innovative tastes and ingredients that allow us to reduce sugar, but that still taste amazing. It is a breakthrough for nutrition, but also quite an achievement for sustainability. Using less sugar saves resources and water, as sugar cane is a very water-intensive crop.  We are striving to find solutions like this that have a double positive impact on people and the planet.

Your sustainable vision has to be built into your product from the beginning.

To stand for quality, you have to stand for responsibility. You simply cannot have one without the other. An unsustainable company will not thrive, whereas a resilient business can better weather a crisis. That has become more apparent than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. Companies that are socially engaged and climate resilient are faring much, much better during this pandemic.

We started our journey towards B Corp certification a few months ago. This will allow us to take our globally recognised environmental and social performance to a new level. However, our commitment to sustainability is not new. Firmenich has embodied this spirit for many years; in fact, we were ahead of the curve. It is not a story to win over customers, it is who we really are.

The business started its modern-day journey towards sustainability in 1991. Frédéric Firmenich signed the first International Chamber of Commerce Declaration on Sustainable Development, just before the word ‘sustainability’ was invented in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. For him, sustainability meant: what kind of planet are we going to transfer to the next generation? He wanted to pass down a company to his children that was a gift, not a problem.

Source ©

In the 1990s, a lot of companies were engaged in pollution and exploitation. At the end of the day this turned out to do more harm than good.

It damaged their reputations and cost them money. Firmenich saw the bigger picture. In those early days when sustainability was not something that customers and consumers were necessarily looking for, our family ownership gave us the freedom to make long-term decisions to do better. A mindset that is now so on trend.

You can do a lot of work on corporate sustainability without actually being sustainable. Companies can do the reporting, sign the commitments, pay their employees fairly, but if the products they sell are not sustainable, what is the point? Your sustainable vision can be built into your product from the beginning. Firmenich models end-to-end sustainability, from ethically sourcing vanilla from farmers in Madagascar all the way to creating our products and serving our consumers.

Today we find ourselves in an urgent and unprecedented situation. We have a global coronavirus pandemic, but obesity is a global pandemic of its own. There is a climate emergency. We are tackling these issues, but we cannot do it alone. Everything we have achieved so far has been in collaboration – with clients, academics, the Swiss government. SDG 17 is all about partnerships and, for us, the SFNV is a chance to engage in strong collaborative action, working with other diverse stakeholders to multiply our impact.

Firmenich’s membership to the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is also an opportunity to leverage Switzerland as a hub for the future of food. It is an amazing chance to balance science and know-how, to pair startups with old companies. Firmenich as a company is 125 years old, right, and through the SFNV we will be engaging with startups, with young scientists, and I think some absolutely fascinating innovation is going to arise from these partnerships.

Its through partnership that we can ensure to work towards delivering a more sustainable and responsible food system. Now more than ever, food companies need to consider not only how to make food taste great but also better for our planet and people, at scale.

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ETH Zürich, the leading Swiss university in science, engineering and technology, joins the SFNV.
ETH Zürich, the leading Swiss university in science, engineering and technology, joins the SFNV.

Bühler, the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer based in Uzwil, has joined the SFNV. The organisation holds leading market positions worldwide in the fields of technology, advanced materials, as well as food processing. Every day two billion people enjoy foods produced using Bühler equipment. In light of this universal reach, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business.

Givaudan, the world’s largest company in the flavour and fragrance industries, joins the SFNV
Givaudan, the world’s largest company in the flavour and fragrance industries, joins the SFNV

Bühler, the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer based in Uzwil, has joined the SFNV. The organisation holds leading market positions worldwide in the fields of technology, advanced materials, as well as food processing. Every day two billion people enjoy foods produced using Bühler equipment. In light of this universal reach, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business.

Bühler, the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer based in Uzwil, joins the SFNV
Bühler, the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer based in Uzwil, joins the SFNV

Bühler, the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer based in Uzwil, has joined the SFNV. The organisation holds leading market positions worldwide in the fields of technology, advanced materials, as well as food processing. Every day two billion people enjoy foods produced using Bühler equipment. In light of this universal reach, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business.

Firmenich joins the SFNV to accelerate sustainable food innovation
Firmenich joins the SFNV to accelerate sustainable food innovation

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned fragrance and taste company, is proud to announce that it has joined the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley (SFNV), a global reference in sustainable food and nutrition innovation. Founded in 2020 by Nestlé, EPFL, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and the Swiss Canton of Vaud, SFNV provides a rich eco-system of expertise and cutting edge science to address the major global food and nutrition challenges of the future. Bérangère Magarinos Ruchat. Firmenich’s Chief Sustainability Officer has been appointed to the Executive Commitee of the new network.

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Firmenich: To stand for quality, you have to stand for responsibility.
Firmenich: To stand for quality, you have to stand for responsibility.

Creating tastes and aromas capable of evoking great emotions, Firmenich’s flavours and fragrances are consumed by four billion people every day. The company is propelled by its desire to make a positive impact in every sense of the word, in every corner of the world: for their customers and consumers, for society and the planet. In an interview to honour Firmenich’s membership of the SFNV, Magarinos-Ruchat spoke of all this and much more.

PepsiCo, the multinational snack and beverage corporation, joins the SFNV
PepsiCo, the multinational snack and beverage corporation, joins the SFNV

Bühler, the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer based in Uzwil, has joined the SFNV. The organisation holds leading market positions worldwide in the fields of technology, advanced materials, as well as food processing. Every day two billion people enjoy foods produced using Bühler equipment. In light of this universal reach, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business.

Nestlé to invest billions to reduce its carbon footprint
Nestlé to invest billions to reduce its carbon footprint

On Thursday, the Swiss multinational unveiled a program to reduce its carbon footprint, to which it intends to devote 3.2 billion francs over the next five years.

Its actions will focus on supporting farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture, planting hundreds of millions of trees within the next 10 years and completing the company’s transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025.

5 Strategic Axes to advance scientific innovation in food, agriculture, and nutrition
5 Strategic Axes to advance scientific innovation in food, agriculture, and nutrition

Following voting during its General Assembly, the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley association last week adopted five strategic axes designed to address major global food and nutrition challenges. These areas have been selected to align with Switzerland’s competitive capabilities, while also addressing the most vital complex challenges of the food systems beyond our borders.

Le Canton de Fribourg joins the SFNV.
Le Canton de Fribourg joins the SFNV.

The Canton of Fribourg has joined today the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley association, whose aim is to increase the international visibility and networking of the Swiss agri-food sector. Together with the canton of Fribourg, Agroscope and the Food & Nutrition Cluster have also joined the association. Thanks to its proven skills in this sector, the Canton of Fribourg can make a significant contribution to the development of this network and help shape its future development.

Nestlé to invest billions to reduce its carbon footprint

Nestlé to invest billions to reduce its carbon footprint

Focusing on regenerative agriculture and moving to renewable electricity, Nestlé redoubles efforts to combat climate change

Vevey, Switzerland

 

As a signatory of the UN ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ pledge, Nestlé is one of the first companies to share its detailed, time-bound plan (pdf, 10Mb) and to do so ahead of schedule. The company is taking measures to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 – even as the company grows.

Actions focus on supporting farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture, planting hundreds of millions of trees within the next 10 years and completing the company’s transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025. Additionally, Nestlé is continuously increasing the number of ‘carbon neutral’ brands.

Nestlé Chairman Paul Bulcke said, “The Board recognizes the strategic importance of taking decisive measures to address climate change. It supports accelerating and scaling up our work to ensure the long-term success of the company and to contribute to a sustainable future for generations to come.”

This roadmap is the result of a complete review of Nestlé’s businesses and operations to understand the depth of the challenge and determine the actions needed to address it. The company emitted 92 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, which will serve as the baseline for measuring progress. 

“Tackling climate change can’t wait and neither can we. It is imperative to the long-term success of our business,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO. “We have a unique opportunity to address climate change, as we operate in nearly every country in the world and have the size, scale and reach to make a difference. We will work together with farmers, industry partners, governments, non-governmental organizations and our consumers to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Nestlé’s work to get to net zero spans three main areas:

  • The company is already working with over 500 000 farmers and 150 000 suppliers to support them in implementing regenerative agriculture practices. Such practices improve soil health and maintain and restore diverse ecosystems. In return, Nestlé is offering to reward farmers by purchasing their goods at a premium, buying bigger quantities and co-investing in necessary capital expenditures. Nestlé expects to source over 14 million tons of its ingredients through regenerative agriculture by 2030, boosting demand for such goods.

    Nestlé is also scaling up its reforestation program to plant 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years in the areas where it sources ingredients. More trees mean more shade for crops, more carbon removed from the atmosphere, higher yields and improved biodiversity and soil health. The company’s primary supply chains of key commodities, like palm oil and soy, will be deforestation-free by 2022. Through efforts like these, Nestlé is building longer term partnerships and providing farming communities with greater certainty and higher incomes. 

  • In its operations, Nestlé expects to complete the transition of its 800 sites in the 187 countries where it operates to 100% renewable electricity within the next five years. The company is switching its global fleet of vehicles to lower emission options and will reduce and offset business travel by 2022. It is also implementing water protection and regeneration measures and tackling food waste in its operations.
  • Within its product portfolio, Nestlé is continuously expanding its offering of plant-based food and beverages and is reformulating products to make them more environmentally friendly. It is increasing the number of ‘carbon neutral’ brands it offers to give consumers the opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change. Garden Gourmet plant-based food as well as Garden of Life supplements will achieve carbon neutrality by 2022; Sweet Earth plant-based food, among other brands, will do the same by 2025. These come on top of Nespresso, S.Pellegrino, Perrier and Acqua Panna‘s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2022, with the rest of the Nestlé Waters category achieving the same by 2025.

Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President and Head of Operations, said, “With nearly two-thirds of our emissions coming from agriculture, it is clear that regenerative agriculture and reforestation are the focal points of our path to net zero. These efforts will reduce emissions and improve biodiversity at scale. We will also continue to eliminate emissions from our operations and make improvements in our product portfolio. We have our work cut out for us and we are committed to delivering.”

The company expects to invest a total of CHF 3.2 billion over the next five years to accelerate our work, including CHF 1.2 billion to spark regenerative agriculture across the company’s supply chain. These investments will be financed primarily through operational and structural efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral.

Nestlé has had its emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. SBTi is a collaboration of non-profit organizations that is considered the international gold standard on assessing net zero commitments. Nestlé will provide annual updates to provide transparency on its progress.

Contacts:

Media:
Christoph Meier Tel.: +41 21 924 2200
mediarelations@nestle.com

Investors:
Luca Borlini Tel.: +41 21 924 3509
ir@nestle.com

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Webinar: Latest news on the FoodTech Ecosystem | 23.11.2020 at 9am

Webinar: Latest news on the FoodTech Ecosystem | 23.11.2020 at 9am

Innovaud, the EHL Innovation Village and the Agropole are pleased to invite you to a webinar on Monday 23rd of November 2020, 9am – 10.15am.

This is an opportunity to get together the FoodTech community and keep you updated about the latest news and some key players in the food and nutrition sector.

PROGRAM

  • Introduction and moderation by Innovaud – Pierre-Jean Wipff, Innovation advisor

  • Update on the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley by Fathi Derder – Presentation of an initiative gathering and promoting the foodtech ecosystem to achieve tomorrow’s food and nutrition challenges.

  • Agropôle of Molondin by Julie Schüpbach – Fields for trials, industrial infrastructures, service providers and commercial network; Agropôle is a unique site to accelerate the implementation of tomorrow’s sustainable solutions.

  • News of the EHL Innovation Village by Winaretta Zina Singer – Resilience on the food and hospitality innovation scene.

  • Vivent by Carrol Plummer – Harnessing biosignals for the future with plant monitoring.

  • Aquantis by Marc Van Rompaey – Innovative sensors for in-line moisture, particle size and freezing monitoring.

  • Firmenich D-lab by Eric Saracchi – Tackling Artificial Intelligence to augment innovation across fragrance and taste creation.

Please register with this link
Once registered, you will receive a zoom link the day before the event.

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Send a Press Release

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Join the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley ecosystem and be partof the journey!

Join the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley ecosystem and be partof the journey!