Interview Julia Streuli
Today at 15.15 – Kimberly Bakker
FUL Foods was founded two years ago by Sara Guaglio, Cristina Prat Taranilla and Julia Streuli. It has now launched several thirst quenchers, produced by the superalga ‘spirulina’. “Not only are we trying not to have a negative impact on the climate, we also really want to improve the climate. We do this, among other things, through the way we produce.” Julia (left in the picture) tells more about ambitions, opportunities and challenges in Food People.
Where did the idea for FUL Foods come from?
Sara, Cristina and I met during our MBA at INSEAD Business School in Singapore. At first we thought we had completely different backgrounds, with no similarities in food or consumer products. We shared a curiosity about innovative solutions that accelerate the transition to net zero- emissions It also showed that all three of us had a passion for sustainable and healthy food.That’s when we decided to go together and start researching the future of food.Focus was on companies that benefit human health and the climate. The more we learned, the more we became convinced that there are huge opportunities in sustainable ingredients and alternative proteins, especially around microalgae. “
“Following our research project, we developed a business plan to unleash the potential of Spirulina through our proprietary sustainable ingredients and consumer products. With this plan, we entered our school’s business competition and eventually won. We went straight to Holland (to Wageningen University) to recruit top talent. in food science to help us bring our idea to life. “
What drives you to work in the food industry?
“There is no shortage of challenges in the food industry. There is something to address in all facets of the supply chain. At the same time, there is no shortage of opportunities in the food sector to create solutions to these challenges that provide more sustainability, nutritious and tasty products. . I like that.”
Has the corona pandemic also given you opportunities beyond the many challenges?
“We officially launched FUL Foods in February 2020. So our journey started in a world shaped by the coronavirus pandemic. I am convinced that there are always opportunities if one is obliged to find them. For us, the coronavirus crisis did it. that we had instant time to focus – without distractions – on developing our core IPs and manufacturing our FUL ingredients and products, and the pandemic has changed consumer trends, including health, giving us the opportunity to position the FUL products as mainstream rather than niche. “
What do you notice about the current shortage of raw materials?
“This is an excellent opportunity to secure the future of the way we produce food worldwide. To do this, we need to invest in different things. Think about combating climate change. Climate change will only accelerate the extreme weather events that harm crop production. “It is crucial that the crops of the future – despite these escalating extremes – produce consistent yields and produce foods that use fewer (natural) resources.”
“Thirdly, we believe that from now on we should focus on decentralization. We are witnessing the catastrophic effects that result from a global system’s dependence on key raw materials, such as wheat and fertilizers. Many of these raw materials could be avoided if regions (and even countries)) can produce locally. “
And how are you affected by the high energy prices?
“This primarily affects ours supply chain. And especially on transportation costs. They have really gone up. “
What will you ultimately achieve with FUL?
“Our goal is to continue to develop future-proof foods made from microalgae. We strive to develop products that are attractive to the consumer (with a focus on tasty, convenient and affordable), are nutritious and do not adversely affect our climate. We focus not only on ‘not having a negative impact’, but we are also trying to improve the climate through the way our producers are made. In our case, that means recycling more CO2 than we emit. “
And last but not least. Besides your work, what else do you like to do?
“I love running and hiking in the mountains. At the moment I am even training for a race in June in Chamonix. Although I must say that it is difficult to train for such a ‘vertical’ race in Holland.”
Kimberly Bakker is content coordinator at Foodbusiness. Sport plays an important role in her daily life and nutrition is obviously of great importance for optimal performance. With analyzes in, for example, the commodity market, backgrounds for news and interviews with start-ups, she provides an insight into the entire ‘food industry’.
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