CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together

Together with HAK, Schouten has taken the initiative to set up an experience centre in ‘their’ municipality of Altena (province of North Brabant). This centre can serve as a testing ground for the protein transition in the food chain. This initiative has been named ‘CHIEF’: Centre for Help at Innovation, Education, and Fascination for Plant-based Proteins. The Groenenberg brothers’ Kraaiveld estate (‘Landgoed Kraaiveld’), situated in Woudrichem, has been chosen as the location for CHIEF.

What is the aim of CHIEF?

The current protein consumption in the Netherlands consists of 61% animal and 39% plant-based proteins. CHIEF aims to bring the consumption within the municipality of Altena to a 50/50 ratio in five years’ time. This ambition is also supported by the government and the Green Protein Alliance.


CHIEF wants to increase the consumer’s awareness by means of:
– Innovation: promoting new product development and start-ups
– Education: offering educational packages for students and workshops for adults
– Fascination: offering experiences by experiencing, preparing, tasting, and participating.

Watch the video below, which VMT made during the kick-off of CHIEF on Thursday 31 January. Initiator Henk Schouten and Willem Groenenberg are interviewed in this video.

Sustainable animal and plant-based proteins

CHIEF wants to show how animal and plant-based proteins can be produced in a sustainable way. For example, by feeding chicken only with by-products from the food industry or by producing sustainable and animal-friendly beef with self-produced feed. Attention will also be paid to sustainable fish and plant-based replacements for dairy.

CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.

There will be room for innovation, participating businesses can exchange and combine knowledge. Facilities for start-ups will be set up. Experiments can be carried out with new high-protein crops, testing plots with e.g. soy beans, chickpeas, field beans, hemp, etc.

During a period of 5 years, all higher groups in primary education and all forms in secondary education will be taught about protein. Among other things, the following questions will be answered: What is the difference between animal and plant-based? How does it grow? How does it taste? Together we are going to make a hamburger and bake high-protein fries to go with it.

CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.
Plattegrond CHIEF

What else does CHIEF want to do to achieve this?

To taste is to believe. Restaurant.

The food and drinks are to a large extent composed from locally-grown plant-based proteins and are the results of new product developments and innovations.

CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.
CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.

To try is to learn. Cooking studio & Test kitchen.

In the cooking studio visitors learn new preparation techniques and prepare dishes of various levels, from a classic with a vegetable twist to new culinary delights.

To share knowledge is to multiply knowledge. Meetings – Tiny Houses.

CHIEF will provide the business market with venues for conferences, meetings and training sessions.

CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.
CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.

To know is to eat. Classrooms – Tiny Houses.

There is only limited knowledge about food, particularly about plant-based proteins. The increasing attention for food education thanks to programmes such as Learning to Eat at an Early Age (‘Jong Leren Eten’) and JOGG offers opportunities for linking up with and focusing on plant-based and proteins.

To taste is to buy. Shop.

Visitors of CHIEF can buy ingredients and composite products in the shop to prepare dishes with plant-based proteins at home. The product range is predominantly organic and local.

CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.
CHIEF- speeding up the protein transition together.

To see is to understand. Porefields/Food forest.

Understanding can only be gained when you can see something with your own eyes. Nature offers inspiration. Agriculture and nature are brought together in a food forest, in which many edible species are available.

CHIEF Kick-off – Thursday 31 January 2019

On Thursday 31 January, the plan for CHIEF was presented to the business community, government and the worlds of education and research in the new town hall of the municipality of Altena.

Representatives of local and national educational institutions, retail, businesses and organisations attended CHIEF’s first information session. An important starting point for and aim of the meeting was to further give shape, together with like-minded, to the ideas with regard to Innovation, Education, Fascination, and Health in relation to plant-based proteins in the Altena region. Various speakers took the floor and explained various aspects of CHIEF.

Creating support from the entire chain for this plan at an early stage contributes to a jointly shared concept.

At the end of the meeting, nearly all participants said that they had become a fan of CHIEF and that they wanted to contribute to realising this initiative. Further meetings with interested parties are scheduled for the time to come, to concretise what the parties concerned can mean for each other.

Based on the planning, a GO – NO-GO decision for further realisation will be reached before the summer. In the next few months, the plan will be elaborated and the financial feasibility will be investigated. To be continued…


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