Tyson Foods and Micarna to present at plant-based conference

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The conference will include coverage of the latest foodservice and retail trends
The conference will include coverage of the latest foodservice and retail trends

Related tags Ingredients & nutrition vegan Npd Technology & Automation

Tyson Foods and Micarna will present at Food Manufacture's virtual Plant-based Protein Conference on 31 March, giving their perspectives on their plans and production challenges they face.

Tyson Foods recently announced its plans to expand into Europe with its Raised & Rooted plant-based brand and will offer the perspective of a major global meat processor developing plant-based capabilities.

Felipe Castillo, director of marketing and innovation at Tyson Foods Europe, will offer his perspectives on the company's plans and some of the lessons that can be transferred from meat to meat analogue production.

Castillo is responsible for driving growth by developing brands, services and product innovation for Tyson Foods Europe. He has 16 years of experience in the international meat industry and 11 years focused on Tyson's European Poultry Business. Before joining Tyson Foods, he worked in BRF for 15 years where he held various roles in the areas of marketing & innovation, planning & finance, business controlling and project management.


Ralph Langholz, head of alternative proteins at Swiss processor Micarna, will address plant-based production challenges, based on his experience in developing insect protein products and, now, launching into plant-based.

Micarna is the Swiss meat processor of Migros Group. Langholz has built and launched insect-based food products as a start-up (simplybugs.
com). Additionally, he is driving the plant-based products and cultured meat projects within Migros industry. Formerly he worked on novel foods and food certification globally. He has an MBA in Supply Chain Management and an MSc in International Agriculture Science.

Castillo and Langholz will then join a live panel debate with Tom Faulkner, head of plant-based, Winterbotham Darby and Jens Thoernich, product manager, plant-based proteins, Vemag to discuss processing issues further.

Conference details and tickets

The Future of Plant-Based Proteins: Roots of Further Growth​ virtual conference is pitched primarily at operations managers, technical managers and product developers and will be composed of five sessions. It will examine the full range of plant-based products, from meat analogues and beverages to dairy-free products.

The event, which will also include networking lobby sessions, runs from 9.30am to 3.15pm and the ticket price is £125 plus VAT. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.plantproteinconference.com​.

A morning panel featuring Zak Weston, foodservice and supply chain manager for the Good Food Institute, and Edward Bergen, global food & drink analyst for Mintel, will highlight emerging foodservice and retail trends. The panel will also discuss the potential for plant-based meat and offer essential insight for companies looking to carve out a niche in the face of intense competition.

James Fisher, product development lead for Marks and Spencer's vegan sub-brand Plant Kitchen, will cover what the retailer looks for from plant-based suppliers and common supplier issues​. He will give a 15-minute presentation on approaches to plant-based product development and innovation, giving an overview of consumer market trends from a retail perspective. This will include which food categories or occasions offer the most competition and the most opportunities. This will lead into a panel debate on how suppliers can work collaboratively with retail customers.

Nutritional issues

An afternoon session will drill down to nutritional issues surrounding plant-based products and include a presentation from Jo Baker Perrett, food scientist at Campden BRI, on its Developing Plant Proteins Project. This will be followed by a panel debate featuring Judy Buttriss, director-general of the British Nutrition Foundation, and Bronwyn Hawker, NPD manager for plant-based baby and children's food brand Mia & Ben.

Platinum sponsors for the virtual conference are Radicle and Roquette, the gold sponsor is Atlantic Natural Foods, and supporting the event are Cargill, Firmenich, Ingredion, Mane and Symrise.

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