Companies join forces to promote tempeh production in India


CFSS B.V. and Marel India Pvt. Ltd. have entered into a strategic partnership to boost tempeh production in India. Henk Schouten, CEO of Schouten Europe and the initiator of the Tempeh Today project, along with Jose Martin Javier, General Manager of Marel India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This signing took place in the presence of the outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Marel representative Harold Swinkels during a trade mission in India on September 11, 2023.

Henk Schouten, CEO of Schouten Europe and the initiator of the Tempeh Today project, along with Jose Martin Javier, General Manager of Marel India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Image: Henk Schouten, CEO of Schouten Europe and the initiator of the Tempeh Today project, along with Jose Martin Javier, General Manager of Marel India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Addressing Protein Deficiency

Henk Schouten, known for his Dutch family-owned business Schouten Europe, introduced an innovative approach to sustainable and healthy food production in Bangalore, India, in 2021: Tempeh Today. Locally, in high-tech Small Fermentation Units (SFU’s), protein-rich tempeh is produced. Tempeh is a fermented vegan product made from soybeans. CFSS B.V. is the company behind Tempeh Today.

Dutch Henk Schouten, with the first tempeh from a Small Fermentation Unit (test location)

Addressing Protein Deficiency

This Dutch invention contributes to addressing the protein deficiency among the Indian population and offers a sustainable solution for the future. Henk Schouten stated, “The collaboration with Marel is a crucial next step in rolling out the concept. I am thrilled that Marel is supporting this initiative, and I look forward to our future collaboration.”

Image: Henk Schouten in 2021 with the first Tempeh from a Small Fermentation Unit


The tempeh produced in the Indian SFUs is sourced directly from local farmers who are supported in improving both the quality and yield of soybeans through collaboration with local NGOs. The goal is to establish 20 production locations across India, each utilizing standardized production methods. These methods are monitored online from the Netherlands, ensuring consistent quality and enabling tempeh to be marketed locally and nationally.

Image: Small Fermentation Unit (SFU) in India


In addition to the Small Fermentation Unit (SFU) concept, CFSS has introduced the Micro Fermentation Unit (MFU) concept. Necessary equipment, including raw materials, is provided to vulnerable families around the SFU locations in India. With the help of the MFU, these families can produce tempeh themselves, which is then supplied as a raw material to CFSS. This empowers these families to generate income, but before participating in the MFU concept, family members must undergo training and pass an examination.

Image: Micro Fermentation Unit (MFU) in India

Een Micro Fermentation Unit (MFU) in India


Marel India Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marel, an international company specializing in providing high-quality equipment, solutions, services, and software for the food processing industry. With a global workforce of approximately 8,000 employees in over 30 countries, Marel focuses on supporting both animal and plant-based protein processing, with sustainability as a core element of its business strategy.

Henk Schouten (2e van links) en Harold Swinkels (midden) in een productieruimte in Bangalore, India

Image: Henk Schouten (2nd from left) and Harold Swinkels (center) in a production facility in Bangalore, India


Marel India Pvt. Ltd. commits to supporting CFSS B.V.’s activities in India by providing equipment, taking responsibility for the maintenance of relevant equipment, and supporting training programs for operators at SFU and MFU locations.

Marel aims to produce safe, affordable, and nutritious food while also prioritizing environmental protection and ethical food production. Harold Swinkels of Marel stated, “The Tempeh Today concept by CFSS B.V. aligns seamlessly with our vision. It’s a unique initiative that can make a significant contribution to public health in India, and we are pleased to lend our support.”

Food Security

The joint efforts of CFSS B.V. and Marel India Pvt. Ltd. promise to make a positive contribution to food security and sustainable agriculture in India. The signing of the MoU during the trade mission to India underscores the importance of international collaboration in addressing nutrition challenges and sustainability goals.

Schouten, a pioneer and innovator in plant-based

Henk Schouten was the first Dutchman to embark on the development and production of plant-based protein meat substitutes in 1990. Schouten Europe B.V., located in Giessen, North Brabant, has since become a key player in the plant-based protein product market. With Tempeh Today, Schouten reaffirms its role as a pioneer and innovator in the field of plant-based protein.

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