In October 2022, our korean Kbean team visited two organisations in the Netherlands. Here is a summary with our takeaways!
1. Green Food Lab
|Visit Date||October 18, 2022|
|Institution Overview||Green Food Lab is a Dutch food consulting and communication agency, aimed at spreading awareness and popularization of plant-based and eco-friendly foods.|
|Purpose of the visit||Green Food Lab is recognized for its European level of expertise in the field of plant-based food promotion, such as winning the ‘Institution of the Year’ award in the European Excellence Awards 2021 Digital Presentation Small and Medium Business category. Through a visit to the institution, we want to hear various know-how and experiences to increase the consumption of vegan products, such as natural plant foods, and seek a point where we can apply them to the situation in South Korea.|
- Website: GreenFoodLab and Dehippevegetarier
- Address: Entrepotdok 57A 1018AD Amsterdam
- Email address:
- Phone: +31 06 10 09 07 31
- Laura has been working in the Business Development Team for 1 year. She majored in Media Marketing. She wanted to work in the food-related industry, and She came across Green Food Lab while thinking about which company would produce value.
- Campaign Manager Laura (same name) is working in the Strategic Contents Team and is working on communication strategy and social media. She majored in food and animal welfare, and she is vegan. Previously, she worked for a company related to animal welfare, and she came across Green Food Lab because she wanted to convey the cruel reality related to animal welfare through the media.
|1. Background and Purpose of Establishment|
– Green Food Lab is a food consulting and communication agency in the Netherlands in progress.
– The three keywords ‘love for food’, ‘heart to care for the earth’, and ‘communication’ are keywords. Its mission is to inspire many people to deliver the message of “making plant-based products the new normal for a new era.”
– Green Food Lab started as a Dutch blog. It was a campaign called National week, and half of the people in the Netherlands participated in it, and it became known as a big topic, such as publishing a book. This led to the establishment of the company.
2. Institutional Characteristics and Operating System
– Because there is a preconceived notion that an environmental movement is conveyed in an extreme way, Green Food Lab is trying to deliver the spirit of reducing meat consumption in a positive way without feeling repulsive.
– With the client, It is mainly thinking about strategy, content development, and how to deliver messages. It is giving advice for the clients on how to develop stories related to the brand contents, how to use social media strategically, and create texts, videos, and photos on websites. When everything is developed, it also does PR projects to inform people and get them involved. It is working on hiring influencers, developing and sharing recipes, and so on.
– Basically, Green Food Lab is a B2B company marketing to restaurants. It is also developing recipes on how to develop vegan food menus. Since hamburgers using alternative meat are becoming popular in the United States, they brought them to the Netherlands and campaigned.
3. Main Business
▲Strategy preparation (consulting on product branding and proper promotion direction ▲content production ▲food development (recipe development, food styling and food video materials) ▲event ▲campaign under the vision of ‘Plant-based food as the new normal’. Well-known representative projects include the operation of the largest vegetarian food blog in the Netherlands called De Hippe Vegetariër (Hippie Vegetarian) and the ‘Meat and Dairy Free Week’ campaign.
|Q. What is the current state of the vegan market in the Netherlands? |
The Netherlands has the highest number of flexitarians in Europe. 5% are vegetarian and 2% are vegan. One-third of the Dutch population eats meat at least once a week and at least once a week has tried a plant-based diet. For individuals, animal welfare is also one of the biggest reasons to try plant-based foods. Interestingly, 20% of women said they would go vegetarian, while only 10% of men said so. But there is also good news. Meat consumption in the Netherlands is expected to peak in 2025 and decline thereafter. This is because alternative meat and milk are being developed in the Netherlands, and prices are expected to stabilize a lot later.Not all of our campaigns are vegan-targeted, but rather flexitarians. It is important to tell the story to people who really love meat. The strategy is to give inspiration.
Q. Please introduce the major projects Green Food Lab has contributed to in expanding the vegan market in the Netherlands. (In relation to winning the Institution of the Year Award at the European Excellence Awards 2021)
<Week without meat> Let me explain the National week without meat campaign.
The slogan of this campaign, which is the largest project and the 6th running at Green Food Lab, is “The world becomes better depends on you at the end of the fork”. The purpose of this campaign is to inspire people how easy it is to eat less meat. Since last year, we have carried out a campaign to live without a week by adding eating no dairy products. A lot of impact is made when everyone goes a week without meat. Water conservation, carbon dioxide, and animal welfare are also improved. 101 liters of water saved per person per week of diet, 79 kg of car driving reduced, and 770 grams of meat saved. The campaign is supported by equal donations from various corporate partners. The most important thing is to involve as many people as possible in your campaign. To do so, we do street ads, TV ads, radio ads, in-app ads called AnyU, and sell their own magazine (Meat Free Week) to promote it.The number of people who participated in the campaign was 150,000 people in 2018-2021, and 5% of 300,000 people out of 17 million in the Netherlands participated, creating great results such as 600 million views. Another project, a campaign called National Week, collaborated with KFC, and the campaign was conducted with the concept of a chicken burger without chicken. The KFC design color, which was originally red, was changed to green. Although we are collaborating with many companies, we are developing not only vegan food and plant-based food, but also companies that have plant-based food as an option, even if there is no related food. Sometimes Green food lab get criticized when we work with companies with plant-based food options, but working with big companies is essential if we want to spread the word to the entire Dutch population. It is recommended to collaborate with a large company because it can convey a story to people who eat meat and have an impact.
Q. What are the distinctive characteristics of Green Food Lab in the field of plant-based food promotion, such as communication, networking, and partnership? (Distinctive operating method or strategy)
Green Food Lab has a step-by-step method of communicating with clients. The first is the drumbeat, which conveys a message through social media and websites so that it can be seen anywhere. PR is not simply delivering a message, but a relationship with consumers and allowing them to participate independently. The timing of the campaign is well considered, and it is carried out according to the seasons of good meat consumption. Coincidentally, tomorrow is the International Nacho Day, so we collaborated with the Santa Maria company. 1200 consumers shared their homemade nacho recipes on social media. The main reason for the success of this campaign is that the Green Food Lab did PR, and the company spread it through information and influencers. The company finds the story it wants to tell and the day that suits it, and creates that campaign. For example, on National Animal Day, we campaign to stop eating animals today. November 1st is World Vegan Day, and we plan to do a campaign related to that time.
Q. If there is a campaign method that can give advice to Kbean or an effective delivery method that spreads consumption, what would it be?
Green Food Lab often conducts campaigns by designating Green Protein Day and National Vegetable and Fruit Day. Also, among the promotional methods carried out on its own online social media, there was a time when we wanted to publicize the fact that protein supplementation is possible with vegetable protein instead of meat, but men are especially sensitive to protein. We got an effective response by emphasizing that you get the same protein, but you can also contribute to the environment.
Q. If there is a know-how unique to the Green Food Lab that coordinates the requirements of the client company that runs the campaign together, what other know-how can lead to effective results during collaboration?
There is not much conflict in values, but there are cases where companies want to emphasize their products in the way they promote their campaigns. They may think that their products are the most special, but in fact, there are many cases where they do not think that their products have a big impact because they are not special. So, there are cases where promoting by involving influencers has more impact than emphasizing products, and they are persuaded in that way.
There was a case of Domino’s Pizza. We ran a short-term promotion selling vegetable substitutes, but we wanted to keep this menu fixed even after the campaign. It was suggested to do it for a week (which is more effective), but there were also cases where it was rejected. We think it’s good to collaborate with producers when marketing. This is because the size of the entire campaign can increase if (each stakeholder) pays little by little and proceeds with the campaign together.
Q. It is impressive that the company is only made up of female members. Is there a special reason?
Looking at the situation in the Netherlands, there are many places where men directly develop or produce food products, but female entrepreneurs tend to lead more communication tasks. 90% of the participants in Live Without Meat Week were all women. It can be said that the gender imbalance is severe.. This year, we aim to encourage more male participants. Men often consume meat for fear of not getting enough protein when exercising.
|Implications of visiting the institution|
|1. Effective corporate partnership: Green Food Lab has an excellent ability to persuade and lead companies to want to participate in the campaign, and it was very impressive that the campaign was expanded more broadly and powerfully by generating profits through partnerships with corporate partners. Well. This method did not undermine the non-profit value, but rather looked professional, and as a result, it was confirmed that it was an effective method of increasing the impact scale of the campaign.|
2. Inclusive and positive campaign message: It was impressive that the campaign was planned in a way that positively inspires people to change their lifestyle, rather than unconditionally forcing them to reduce meat consumption. It was special that their main target was not vegan, but set as flexitarian (those who consume less meat, vegan oriented).
3. Organization’s clear vision setting and expertise: We, Kbean felt the power of the part that clearly stated that the direction the organization should go in the future is to make the vegan orientation and mind for the earth a ‘new normal’. If you have the same expertise and campaign planning skills, you will be able to deliver much more effectively.
4. Excellent communication strategy: As a consulting company, Green Food Lab considers communication very important, and it was worth learning that the communication strategy was clearly set accordingly. It seemed excellent that it did not simply aim to improve the public’s perception, but set how to change the perception step by step, and the point of showing the performance well with data and designed visualization also seemed professional.
Institution visit photos
2. Ekoboerderij de Lingehof / Bean Deal
|Date of visit||19 October 2022|
|Institution Overview||Beandeal is a solidarity organization established in July 2022 by 43 institutions nationwide to promote the production, processing and consumption of Dutch beans. Through the activities, they want to increase farm household income, increase domestic protein self-sufficiency rate, and increase the sustainability of agriculture.|
|Purpose of the visit||Consumption and production are linked. Confirm the background of the establishment of a national solidarity organization and major business activities that cover both consumption and production of soybeans, and what kind of goal setting and cooperative operation in the network of various organizations can create a comprehensive impact that encompasses both consumption and production of soybeans. It is expected that insight from the movement point of view can be obtained along with the approach.|
1. Check the efforts and current status of the Netherlands related to domestic legume production, such as legume seed development research, and check domestic implications and applicable points2. Identify the cooperative structure and relationship between organizations belonging to Beandeal, and understand various fields related to beans. Domestic implications and applicable points were identified by confirming what kind of synergy occurs when related parties and institutions work together.Contents and effectiveness of consumer awareness campaigns operated by various units at the national level
- Website: Homepage
- Address: Hemmensestraat 17 6668 LB Randwijk, The Netherlands
- Email address:
- Phone: +31-06-51634465
André: The farm produces more than 10 crops and is working in collaboration with the University of Wageningen, cultivating 150 hectares of land. Also, new crops such as quinoa and lupine through innovative crop diversification
Linda: She has been working on this farm since this year, majoring in organic farming at the University of Wageningen, working as an agricultural consultant for three years in African countries, and working with Andre to experience agriculture in person.
|Founded in July 2022, Beandeal is a coalition of 43 institutions across the country to promote the production, processing and consumption of Dutch beans. Through the activities, they want to increase farm household income, increase domestic protein self-sufficiency rate, and increase the sustainability of agriculture.Ekoboerderij de Lingehof Farm, one of the producers affiliated with the Beandeal Network, is cultivating plant-based protein food in a biodynamic way. Hydrated crops are also transported to neighboring areas through bundled products, and precision farming techniques are used to manage soil fertility. Among the crops that are mainly cultivated, especially lupine beans are known to be easier to grow than general beans as an alternative to the climate crisis. It is located in Randwijk, in the region called De Betuwe, located in the central Netherlands, and is a farmland certified for biodynamic farming and organic farming. They mainly grow about 10 crops (onions, potatoes, red beets, several grains, lupins, quinoa, peas, red cabbage, and squash) and conduct various small-scale experiments. Developed by representative farmer André Jurrius from 2005 to the present situation. It has been converted to organic farmland from the beginning and has received Demeter certification (biodynamic agriculture) since 2018.The Ekoboerderij de Lingehof farm organizes a production community called “Lekker Lupine” to promote the production and consumption of organic lupine beans in the Netherlands.|
|What is the National Protein Strategy?|
Currently, through Beandeal, the government is preparing a statement to demand more active support. Producers are already in solidarity and ready, so they want to ask the government for active measures to connect with consumers and secure distribution channels. Currently, cabbage, pumpkin, potato, onion, corn, pea, quinoa, etc. We are producing about 10 crops, especially sharing the income from lupine production with local farmers. Lupine is the most important, so today I want to explain lupin beans. (Lupin is a soybean native to southern Europe)Farming has been done since 2008 and soybeans were grown then, but lupines are from 2019 and the National Protein Strategy started from 2020. The National Protein Strategy includes insects, of course, but the timing is in sync with vegetable-based cultivation. Food Valley is playing an important role in the promotion of the National Protein Strategy in 2020, and it is plant -based crops by coining the term ‘Dutch protein farm’. Food Valley is responsible for getting the money right in the market, and 56 companies, including organic retailers (although large retailers are not included), have pledged to pay the right amount to purchase products. Since producing local beans is expensive, consumers will not, of course, try to purchase them at a higher price than imported beans. I think the government needs support so that Dutch farmers can continuously produce local beans, and the government also has an obligation to actively spread the message about the importance of beans.
Q. I thought producers and processors would be separated, but they are connected structure is peculiar. Why was it configured with such a system, and if it is actually operated like that, does the profit of the producer farm go up?
I thought a lot about this and am still thinking about it. It is difficult to combine production and processing. It is important to create a basic general corporation, but it is very difficult. So, when making a contract, the producer also buys all the lupine beans and makes processed products, and the producer takes half of the profits and pays the basic cost, taking into account the production cost. Start by writing everything down in the contract.
The market price is too low to preserve the production cost, even if you sell it, you may not be able to share it when there is a profit. So, write the contract so that the cost is not set too low.Although there is no exact data, it is expected that farm income will increase by 25%. The most important point is that all the companies are connected, so it is the most important point to let people know about it, not just purchase.
Q. What kind of relationship do the organizations belonging to Beandeal form and operate with each other?
When trying to create added value with processed food, companies in the beandeal are giving each other help. I met my partner in 2019 and started farming lupine in earnest three years ago. Lupine has an excellent nitrogen fixing ability and has a higher protein content than other legumes. It is easier to grow this bean in the European climatic conditions, so as a farmer, I am farming with the hope that lupine will be on everyone’s table. Although it is an advantage that Lupine is not well known right now, we are constantly thinking about consumer promotion and market development to open up new markets.
The challenge facing the next step is to have a system in which production and consumption are connected holistically. (To give an additional explanation about the holistic system) Due to trade barriers, beans were cultivated directly before, but now they have been changed to import them. Bean knowledge and base have been lost. In constructing the value chain related to beans, producers’ knowledge about beans, which had disappeared, wants to be revived. (On the Food Valley website, producers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and even chefs are all listed as cooperation and partners, but large retailers such as ‘Albert Hein’ are not included yet.)
The first is about production, and the second is about processing. It should be able to produce greater added value. For example, making lupine in a soaked state is the most basic process, so the second pillar is to make processed foods such as burgers and spreads so that consumers can easily accept the product.The third is community organization. That’s why I agree a lot about the purpose and direction Kbean is pursuing. When you connect with consumers who understand the realities of farming, it makes sense when setting prices and can lobby governments. However, the most important thing is to create various channels through which producers and consumers can understand and approach each other, and we hope that understanding and culture of local food culture will be created through the stories of each farmhouse.
Q. Then, what kind of government support is there for Beandeal?
There are various deal policies under the Green Deal policy, and one of them is Beandeal. There are producers and researchers for this purpose, and it is the role of the government to gather together, set a goal, set a timeline by when to achieve it, and check whether it is actually being implemented.There are various deal policies under the Green Deal, which stimulate each It is an advantage that stakeholders who did not know each other are tied up under the leadership of the government, but it is very disappointing that the government reveals this as a result of what they have accomplished.
The problem we are facing is to drive and demand the government to support and intervene more. Policies such as Beandeal are important, but organizing the community to move the government is a more important point. Since we are still in the early stages, it seems important to create a network that allows consumers to know the producers’ situation. Dutch people only believe in three things: family and friends and NGOs. It would be good to deliver the message that it is necessary to consume beans through collaboration with socially trusted NGOs.
|Implications of visiting the institution|
We Kbean, felt the importance of the power of solidarity again and were able to have more confidence in the direction of the Kbean Project, which seeks to solidify all producers, sellers, and consumers as ‘co-producers’. In addition, it seems that it will be possible to solve and sustain tasks that can create greater added value beyond primary processing through connection with specialized fields. We need to think about a plan that can empower the organizations that are already in solidarity.
Kbean also needs to think more about the role of driving the already configured infrastructure to move voluntarily and the role of an intermediary.It is also a big implication that the producers are maintaining and protecting the price and market leadership through the solidarity of Manhamso that the production of domestic beans can be continued through a plan that can be linked to profits (ex. Korean Shine Musket). It would be good to actually apply the part that lowers accessibility so that consumers can easily access it by soaking and selling lupine beans.
There is a need to additionally think about processing, culture, and messages to lower (cooking) accessibility to Korean food. Like the Green Food Lab, there were many things to learn about various ways to instill positive messages and values, rather than direct messages and awareness improvement that need measures to present values that meet their needs from the perspective of various stakeholders