Assortment of fruits and vegetables

The Netherlands is reaping the benefits of its advanced agri-food and nutrition sector, winning the 9th European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) Congress this September.

Titled ‘Nutrition meets Innovation’, the event will see more than 3,000 healthcare professionals from 100 countries working in the field of nutrition and metabolism converge on the World Forum, The Hague, 9-12 September.

The win is testament to the Netherland’s leading role in nutrition research and development. It is the third time the Netherlands has hosted the event; it was previously held in the Netherlands in Amsterdam in 1997, and Maastricht in 1981.

The food industry is one of the top three contributors to Dutch GDP, with nearly one in six people holding a job in the food industry. As such, a major emphasis is placed on healthy food, food safety & quality, and sustainability & food security. The Netherlands’ agri-food knowledge infrastructure is supported by the country’s strengths in areas including medicine, chemistry, logistics, sustainable production and high tech systems.

A core of key public, private and academic institutions are leading the way in Dutch agri-food success, amongst them the universities of Wageningen, Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht.

Food Valley NL, centred around Wageningen University and Research Center, is recognised as a world-leading research centre in agrifood, life sciences, genomics, nutrition and health. The region is also home to The Restaurant of the Future, which takes a scientific approach to consumer choice.

Other key players in the Netherlands nutrition and food research knowledge hub include: NIZO food research, a leading global centre in proteins, bacteria, and processing, and home to the largest food testing pilot plant in Europe; the Top Institute Food & Nutrition (TIFN), which undertakes ground-breaking research in food and nutrition, from Sustainable Food Systems, to Microbes and Function, Nutrition and Health, and Sensory and Structure; and the public-private innovation program FND+ (Food & Nutrition Delta).

Deputy Mayor Karsten Klein, The Hague’s alderman for Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health, said: “We are very excited that The Hague was chosen to host the ESPEN Congress – we appreciate its focus on innovation, and the outstanding talent it will attract. We are convinced that the event will have a positive impact on our city.”

For the first time in its near four-decade history, the event will feature five parallel sessions organised along four main themes: acute, chronic, paediatrics and geriatrics.

Another highlight is the one-day ‘Healthy Food Congress’, which will be held shortly before the main programme of the 39th ESPEN Congress. Alongside the regular programme, organisers will work with the local food industry in order to provide a meaningful context for the participants.

(Via Meetpie, TiFN, Holland Trade&Invest)