Erika Georget, Project Leader Biotechnology, Switzerland

Exploring business opportunities of “the future of food”

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Erika Georget, Project Leader Biotechnology, Switzerland

Exploring business opportunities of “the future of food”

“I love driving projects within the Future of Food team, it’s a very exciting role. We are exploring new trends in the food and feed value chains and how these relate to Bühler’s customers of today and tomorrow.”

Building on our core markets and process know-how, we can for example enable novel ingredient producers, such as companies producing ingredients through cellular agriculture, to bridge to the food and feed markets. We also focus on a pipeline of new solutions to empower a sustainable transition to new food and feed production schemes. I strongly believe we can support our customers on this transformational journey, and through this reach our sustainability goals."

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Making things happen together

“Sustainability is an underlying principle, guiding us in our priorities selection. From there, we derive which of our solutions can already enable the Future of Food today, for instance in the space of alternative proteins, and which developments will be needed for tomorrow. To understand these new trends, opportunities and upcoming disruptions, we are in constant exchange with the ecosystem: our customers, new players and start-ups but also academic partners.

Within our Future of Food program, I drive a range of activities, starting from the strategy development in relation to specific sectors and extending all the way to new applications and technology developments with our business teams and external partners. These activities are possible thanks to the work with many colleagues and collaborative innovation with our external partners. This leads me to interact with multiple internal and external stakeholders, which can be challenging at times, but is also a fantastic opportunity to benefit from diverse perspectives and experiences.

Working together with diverse partners and a “let’s do it” mindset is incredibly motivating and that is one of the things I love about my work.”

The power of cells

“Trend wise, one of the developments I am particularly interested in relates to the appearance of new ingredients and products on the market coming from the tank. Moving from well-known fermentation schemes (e.g. in beer brewing), cells are being rediscovered in the food and feed spaces as mini factories to efficiently produce valuable nutrients and functional ingredients.

Cells can produce out of the tank proteins, omega 3 rich oils, natural pigments or even go all the way to recreate animal products such as meat or fish. The options are numerous, and we see many opportunities in that space, leveraging microalgae, yeast or bacteria but also more complex cells such as plant or animal cells. This could be the beginning of a transition from growing entire organisms to provide certain nutrients, to growing only the relevant cells, thereby reducing our impact on land, biodiversity and greenhouse gases emissions.

Cellular agriculture could open new horizons for food and feed production, especially considering the environmental challenges we are faced with. Cells as a new source of protein could, for instance, be a part of the solution to reduce our dependence on fish meal, soy or corn for animal nutrition in the future. Also, this new type of agriculture no longer requires arable land which could help alleviating the pressure on our ecosystem. This could be very disruptive but it is also a great opportunity for us to enable the processing of tomorrow’s crops and fulfill our sustainability goals with our partners and customers.”

An exciting journey

“My career at Bühler has been a very enriching experience. I stepped into Bühler International Management Trainee Program after completing my PhD in the field of Food Science & Technology in 2015. In the 3 years of the program, I could explore different facets of the company through projects in R&D, product management and in our sales organization, across several Bühler locations. Building on my scientific background and the business experience within Bühler,

I joined the Future of Food program team within Corporate Technology. I feel privileged to work on these exciting challenges at the interface between business and technology development but also proud to work for a company that stands for innovation and sustainability. This has been an exciting journey this far and I look forward to the next steps.”

Within our Future of Food program, I drive a range of activities, starting from the strategy development in relation to specific sectors and extending all the way to new applications and technology developments with our business teams and external partners.

Erika Georget, Project Leader Biotechnology