Unilever has invested €85 million ($94m) in a global innovation centre in the Netherlands, which will research nutrition, meat-free ingredients, efficient crops and sustainable food packaging..
Nicknamed Hive, on account of its location within the campus of Wageningen University, the centre will enable Unilever to lead its global Foods innovation programmes for brands like Knorr, Hellmann’s, The Vegetarian Butcher and Calvė.
“We need a fundamental transformation of the food system if we are to feed more than nine billion people sustainably and nutritiously,” said Alan Jope, Unilever’s chief executive. “Malnutrition, obesity, climate change and food waste are issues that can only be addressed if we work in partnership to accelerate technology and innovation. Having a global research and development centre in Wageningen will enable us to do exactly this.”
The Wageningen area in the Netherlands is often nicknamed “Food Valley” in recognition of the breakthroughs in agri-food technology being generated by start-ups, science institutes, NGOs and companies located in the area.