Five European food clusters have united in the New Frontiers in Food Fast Forward (NF4) project to help small and medium sized companies enter other major global markets, and innovative sports nutrition firms could be particularly well-positioned to benefit. The NF4 project is a collaboration between the Food Valley NL food cluster in The Netherlands, Clusaga in Spain, the Valorial and Vitagora clusters in France, and Wagralim in Belgium. Together, they aim to share knowledge and link SMEs with networks of industry experts in China, Brazil, the United States and Canada. In each of these four countries, the project intends to organise an international mission, so European food businesses can connect with local organisations.
“The aim is to support the internationalisation of innovative small food companies,” said Food Valley project manager Tjerna Ellenbroek. “The companies that are interested can meet the food clusters and have interaction about what the different ideas are for entering those markets.”
The project centres on three value chains: processed foods, health and nutrition food products, and – in the United States – “connected food”, which covers the use of IT in the food industry. SMEs that want to become involved in the project would choose the area most relevant to their business, as well as the international market that most interests them.
For sports nutrition products, Ellenbroek suggests companies could benefit from any of the three chains, depending on the company’s focus.
“The difference is really what target group you have in mind, if it’s specialised or the general public,” she said.
The Chinese and Brazilian markets are more focused on processed foods, she added, while in the United States, the main focus for NF4 is on IT in the food sector. The project’s Canadian mission centres on health and nutritional food products, including the Bénéfiq conference on health ingredients in Quebec.
“China is the fastest growing Asian market in foods, but from a world perspective, Brazil is one of the fastest growing markets,” she said. “…There’s a lot of interest from European companies in those markets.”
After selecting a value chain and a target market, SMEs are then able to connect with a network of local experts who can shed light on how that market is organised. They can choose either to apply separately, or to use the project as a kind of matchmaking service to work together and jointly enter new markets.
Companies also can apply for different internationalisation vouchers to help cover travel and trade show registration costs, co-funded by the EU’s COSME project which aims to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized European firms.
Tech Road show – New Frontiers in Food
11 October 13.30h New Markets outside Europe 2018-2019
Interested in markets outside Europe? Meet international partners, companies, market experts & food cluster organizations of the EU-project New Frontiers in Food (NF4) at the accelerate session ‘New Markets outside Europe 2018-2019’! This project is an internationalization fast track accelerator for innovation-intensive food SMEs. Within this EU-project, Innovation Tours are organized to jointly explore new markets, such as USA and China.
During this session, Adrienne Gentil and Tjerna Ellenbroek will explain the NF4-project, Innovations Tours and application procedure. In addition, international-oriented companies will pitch about their experience in internationalization, the value chain of “functional food and health ingredients” and exploring new markets!
Participate in the Matchmaking by EEN (European Enterprise Network) or visit other sessions during the Food Valley Summit Sports & Nutrition the 11th of October 2018. Take a look at the complete program and register now!