SmaakPark spreads its wings and seeks partners

Good addition to World Food Center

In addition to all the great developments at the World Food Center, another food initiative is also on the road elsewhere in the former barracks area. The Smaakpark is an idea of food designer Christian Weij and nutrition coach Petra Busser who, based on their passion for tasty, honest, sustainable and healthy food, have been thinking about serving and serving good food, organizing workshops and festivals, and developing recipes and food concepts. The last few years they have been doing this from a former defense sports hall next to the World Food Center. That now has some limitations, but if it is up to Christian and Petra that will soon change. They have started a large crowdfunding campaign to give the final push.

What is going to happen?
 "The bullet is through the church and the agreements with the municipality have been made: from August next year we hope to open the first parts of our new Taste Park here," says Christian Weij. "We intend to take over the old sports hall of the Maurits Noord barracks area from the municipality of Ede. We will then convert it into a multifunctional food hall with an associated company home. We lease the surrounding land and develop it into a picking garden, two earth dwellings that will be used as B & B's and into various underground greenhouses and towers where we will experiment with new forms of food production. ”

A real Taste Park, what will this look like?
 “A visit to it TastePark becomes a culinary journey of discovery along sustainable and healthy food. The rolling park full of vegetables, small livestock, fruit and food experiments continues into the food hall. In addition to our own cooking studio, demo kitchen and bar, there will also be room for other (small and / or starting) catering entrepreneurs to sell their products. This space will have the atmosphere of a food truck festival, with a varying occupation. ”

Crowdfunding started
Because the SmaakPark must become the sustainable food meeting place in the Netherlands, in line with the World Food Center, the initiators want to give everyone who finds the future of food important the opportunity to participate. That is why a large Crowdfunding campaign was launched this week, so that everyone can become a partner to help realize this unique food experience. The first two days, 20% already arrived! "

What does the SmaakPark need?
“To become the owner of the property and the land and to implement the plan, an amount of at least 1.4 million euros is needed. We want to collect 225,000 of these through CrowdFunding. With this amount we can furnish the building, convert the garden into an inspiring park and pay for part of the renovation. The rest of the financing has already been received, but we can only use it once the CrowdFunding has been completed. If we go over 225,000, we can also realize a few innovative projects, such as the greenhouses, the B & B houses and the aquaponics - where vegetables and fish live together. ”

How are you going to earn back the investment?
“The SmaakPark will have various sources of income: workshops in the cooking studio, rental of B&B rooms, sale of food and drinks, development of new products and rental of catering space in the food hall. But the different spaces in the park and the food hall can also be rented for parties, meetings, weddings and presentations. By making all spaces as multifunctional as possible, we will therefore be able to achieve a high occupancy rate. "

 How does this connect to the World Food Center?
Both the World Food Center and we believe it is very important that people become more aware of what they eat and what the consequences are. We think that if you eat healthily for yourself, this is also better for your environment. We can show and taste that on our scale. In the World Food Center Experience, the big picture is visible and tangible as an experience. In the SmaakPark we give an extra dimension to that. We think it is important that our food system changes and that as many people as possible should become aware of this. Together with the World Food Center, we at SmaakPark think we can also help make this world more sustainable and healthier.

How can you help now? (with a good return immediately!)
This week Smaakpark has launched a major CrowdFunding promotion. More information can be found at: There you can also immediately take steps to give the Smaakpark a financial boost. This is already possible from 500 euros, with a return of 4.5%.


The municipality of Ede tackles food waste

In Ede, four supermarkets donate their food surpluses to six social organizations. With these surpluses, they prepare 750 meals a month for lonely elderly people, people in poverty or with a drug history. The organizations, such as the Westhoffhuis and the Wekeromse Zand care farm, are happy with the food and can therefore keep the price of a meal low.

The Food Surplus Foundation has linked supermarkets and organizations, with support from the municipality of Ede. Part of the initiative is also that the chefs who work with the food receive a course to safely process the food into a dish. Alderman Hoefsloot issued the food safety (HACCP) certificate to the participants this morning at the end of the course. In addition, the supermarkets received door stickers and shelf cards from the alderman. This allows them to show customers that they want to prevent food waste. The Aldi in Lunteren, Plus in Bennekom, Coop in Wekerom and Jumbo Stadspoort in Ede are participating in this project. "I think it's great that we not only prevent food wastage in Ede, but at the same time ensure that civil society organizations can take better care of our vulnerable residents," said alderman Hoefsloot.

Cheap meals for more people

The Westhoffhuis in Lunteren has an open meal every other week where around 35 people from the neighborhood come to eat. Manager Ad Beckers of the Westhoffhuis: & #8220; With the donations we can keep the price of the meal low without compromising on quality and we reach more people ”. Eunice Heije from the Wekeromse Zand care farm is also pleased with the donations and the 'Food Safe Working' course. In the care farm, people who have been addicted are prepared for independent living and working. “Our residents help with the collection of food and the preparation of meals. As a result, they see why it is important to prevent food waste and how to handle food in the kitchen. " The four other social organizations that participate are Buurthuis de Meerpaal in Ede, social cultural center 't Laag in Bennekom, residents of Baronie in Bennekom and care farm Stichting Betach in Wekerom.

We are looking for more participants!

Councilor Hoefsloot is happy with the collaborations and hopes that more will follow. "If we see how much food is still wasted, this is just the beginning." Stichting Voedselsurplus is looking for more supermarkets and social organizations that want to participate in this project on behalf of the municipality of Ede. Interested parties can contact Stichting Voedselsurplus by sending an e-mail to 

Youth World Food Day 2019: the Aftermovie

While the food professionals were talking about circular food chains on World Food Day in the Mauritskazerne, over 200 young people were working on their own approach to food waste at the Smaakpark. This Youth World Food Day was therefore a worthy end to the Dutch Food Week.

The DIY festival started with a lunch prepared with vegetables that were nominated to be thrown away. The alderman of Ede, Leon Meijer had come along for the occasion and encouraged all those present to do the most. Do a lot and talk less.

There were conversations with live connections abroad and the young people could go through SharedStudios talk directly to young people in Nigeria and Gaza.

The Wageningen Youth Institute organized the 'Fruit for all' workshop that provides insight into the complex issues surrounding food security. Important questions that we must answer if we all want to have enough food in 2050. With a Kahoot Quiz everyone could test their knowledge.

During the festival, groups of young people presented their ideas to combat food waste.

First successes for Foodvalley Accelerator

It has been almost a year since Foodvalley NL announced a partnership with ScaleUp Accelerator program to start using the facilities of the World Food Center. The program of Foodvalley Accelerator focuses specifically on scale-ups in the agri-food sector. Dutch companies with a scalable product or service and a turnover of at least 100,000 euros.

The first participants started in April and the first results can now be shared. Marian Peters, CEO of New Generation Nutrition (NGN) followed the Foodvalley Accelerator program this year to steer the rapid growth of its company in the right direction. "Participation forces you to make clear choices."

Knowledge about insects

NGN, based in Den Bosch, develops new applications with insects and at the same time focuses on knowledge development. "We want to build an insect chain and accelerate developments in this sector," says Peters, who founded the company in 2012 together with her then business partner Marleen Vrij. & #8220; We have a coordinating role in the sector. "

Fast growth

In just seven years, NGN has grown from a two-person to a company with fourteen employees, various products and projects in Europe and Africa. In order to continue to steer this rapid growth in the right direction, Peters decided to participate in April this year Foodvalley Accelerator.

"This setup forces you to think about who you are and what you stand for," says the CEO, who is now halfway through the program. “You will be put into a thinking process for a longer period of time that you will never let go. That way you make well-considered, clear choices. "

Peters is also enthusiastic about the applicability of the tools she is offered during the program. “For example, we have adopted the one-to-one approach to daily team sessions. Our employees now know better what is expected of them and are encouraged to think along with each other ”, she illustrates. "I also learned how, together with our employees, we can examine our business processes."

read here the entire interview.

Foodvalley Accelerator

The Foodvalley Accelerator helps companies achieve growth. A new group of entrepreneurs will start in 2020. Are you interested in participating?

Here you will find more information