From dreaming to doing
It is 2011 when the first ideas for the World Food Center see the light. Therus Gieling, an agrifood entrepreneur from Ede, had been wondering for a while why there was not yet a place where knowledge institutions (such as Wageningen UR), government and industry could meet each other structurally and intensively and could cooperate in the field of agrifood.
This Food Experience Center, as he called it, also had to make clear to the general public what the state of affairs was with regard to knowledge about food and food production and how it could be applied to feed nine billion people worldwide by 2050.
It had to become a center where lectures, presentations, conferences, tastings and cooking workshops could take place.
The presentation of his ideas was enthusiastically responded and he decided to further develop his ideas. For this, he sought contact with Tijs Breukink, Member of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research and eventually set up the World Food Centers Foundation.
The WFC Foundation aims to improve the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world. And wants to achieve this by establishing a worldwide network of World Food Centers.
The first, provisional design for the Food Experience Center by architect Eline Fraters is striking. Fraters used a cell as a metaphore. With a core and plasma in it. The design thus shows a strong resemblance to an egg. But Gieling and Fraters are already thinking beyond just a building. They also see a virtual and digital meeting place.
In the current sketch designs, the 'egg' has been replaced by more modern and more functional designs.
The location is an important topic of conversation at that time. There are still 5 locations in the race as location: Ede, Rotterdam, Schiphol, Amsterdam and Venlo (Floriade area).
At the beginning of 2012, the municipality of Ede, together with the province of Gelderland, is taking stock of the possibilities for an arrival of the World Food Center, its various interpretations and all possible experiences relating to the Food theme.
After this research, Ede, together with the Foodvalley Region, the Province of Gelderland and Wageningen University & Research, decided to compete seriously with the possibility of bringing the World Food Center to Ede.
World Food Center is coming to Ede
After an extensive choice of location, the World Food Centers Foundation decided on 24 January 2013 to appoint the FoodValley / Ede Region as the location for the WFC. At that moment WFC development comes into the picture as a developing investor. WFC Development was specifically set up by the Zeeman / Green Real Estate group from Alphen aan den Rijn to get the WFC and the area development off the ground. In September 2015, the Van Wijnen Group became co-shareholder of WFC Development.
Companies put their shoulders under the World Food Center
After a period of research and obtaining support and funding, nine companies and knowledge institutes will start the development of the World Food Center in 2016. Experience. This leading group will continue to work on the concept.
BRC Imagination Arts
For the development of the WFC Experience, WFCD will be joining forces with the renowned American BRC Imagination Arts in early 2017. During 2017 and 2018, BRC will, in regular consultation with a growing group of stakeholders, develop a Master Plan for the Experience.
Development framework WFC: Mix of living and working
Parallel to the development of the pFor the Experience, WFCD and the municipality of Ede present the development framework WFC at the end of 2017. The WFC area will become a 'hybrid place' where learning, working, living, experiencing, relaxation and meetings are central.
At the end of October 2018, BRC Imagination Arts presented the master plan for the WFC Experience. The business plan provides for a sustainable and healthy operation with an average of 330,000 visitors per year. There is room to accommodate changes in visitor numbers and there is room for innovation, so that the Experience is permanently up to date and attractive. The feasibility of the number of visitors, the investments and the exploitation have been calculated and substantiated by the renowned, international and independent LDP agency.