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Unilever has opened a new Foods Innovation Centre in Netherlands at Wageningen University, the only university in the Netherlands which focuses specifically on the theme ‘healthy food and living environment’. For the new Foods Innovation Centre called ‘Hive,’ Unilever has invested around US$94 million. The Hive will help Unilever to lead food innovations for brands like Hellmann’s, Knorr, The Vegetarian Butcher, and Calv?. At Hive, innovation & researches include efficient crops, plant-based ingredients and meat alternatives, nutritious foods, and sustainable food packaging.

Netherlands Wageningen area is also known as “Food Valley” because of the breakthroughs in agrifood tech generated by science institutes, start-ups, NGOs, and companies present in the area.

Unilever’s investments and deals in food sector are mentions below:

  • In November 2019, Unilever signed the first big restaurant deal with Burger King to offer plant-based veggie ‘Rebel Whopper’. Meat-free Rebel Whopper is now available in more than 2,500 Burger King outlets in 25 countries of the world.
  • In February 2019, Unilever had acquired a healthy snacking brand of UK, graze. graze provides a broad range of healthy snacks like snacking seeds, nuts, trail mixes, and snack bars, with no artificial ingredients. graze products are available via retail stores, eCommerce, and direct to consumer platform.

Brief on Netherlands Food industry:

Due to the innovative agrifood technology, The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products. The country is one of the world’s leading producer of vegetables and fruit. The agricultural sector of the country is very diverse and covers a wide range of livestock and plant-cultivation sectors that includes arable and dairy farming, cultivation under glass, tree-growing, and pig farming.

The country’s main exported agricultural products were flowers, bulbs, plants and nursery products, dairy, meat and vegetables. The Netherland’s huge wealth of farm knowledge and fertile soil quality of produce, innovative agricultural technology, and intensive farming helps in global exports of agri-food products. More than half of the country’s land area is used for agriculture and related activity.

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