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Netherlands calls on British companies to help food shortage

By Line Elise Svanevik , 13-Feb-2013

The Dutch government has called for British companies to help solve the potential food shortage crisis that is expected to arise by 2050.

Food worth £10bn is thrown away in the UK alone, and with the global food demand expected to rise 50% by 2050, the Netherlands claims to have found a solution.

The Dutch government proposes to use advanced technology by combining public and private partnerships in the agri-food sector, which will see the government investing heavily in R&D combined with using their wealth of expertise in sustainability and innovation.

“We have to make products accessible to people and make them cheaper and better,” said Maarten Schans, advisor, agri-food industry specialist, Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA).

Pulsed electric field technology will be used to deactivate microbes in produce, meaning the shelf-life will extend to 21 days, 250% in some cases.

Executive director of the NFIA Ties Elzinga commented: “Innovative steps are being taken and opportunities are there for British companies to utilise these results, and even be a part of their progression.”

As the third-largest food exporter and the second-largest exporter of agricultural goods, the Netherlands, with its expertise, is reaching out to British companies.

NFIA provides English companies with the latest insight and information by holding free seminars into the Dutch agri-food industry. The next seminar will be held on 21 February.

Ties explained: “The accessibility of the Netherlands for British companies makes it the perfect country to begin European operations. As well as the existing agri-food infrastructure, the port and proximity to other major European cities makes the Netherlands the perfect first step. Many have already found it makes a great place to gain a foothold before expanding operations into other geographies.

“The potential is vast and the productivity consistently emanating from the Netherlands will be a key driver in attracting an even bigger business presence here. In turn, we will produce the much-needed increase in food that the world requires as the global population escalates.”

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