Bühler set for opening key US food application centre

The CEO of Bühler, Stefan Scheiber, has said that resilience, collaboration and sustainability within businesses will be key to emerging through the coronavirus crisis, speaking at a press preview to launch its latest US food application centre in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As part of the unveiling of the new facility, the company is staging its GO!2020 virtual networking event between 15-19 June, with more than 500 leaders of food companies, academia, industry associations, government organisations, and start-ups engaging with key topics facing the sector, including confectionery and bakery markets. The new facility is expected to offer key testing facilities for north American markets for product areas such as snacks and high protein product ranges.

Culminating in the opening of the Food Application Centre in Minneapolis on 19 June, the event will focus on framing the global challenges, creating safe and transparent food chains, sustainable protein supplies for 10 billion people, workforce development, and leadership.

“This new Food Application Centre will be an important resource for the North American food industry as we focus on the future of food, reintroducing ancient grains, peas, and lentils into our diets, and innovating around plant-based proteins; all of this addressing the demands of consumers as diets are changing fast,” said Stefan Scheiber, CEO at Bühler Group.

“Many of the global challenges we faced before the coronavirus have only been intensified. Our collective situation has held a magnifying glass to these challenges. It has shown us where we can improve our food supply chain, and our ability to safely and sustainably nourish our population.” To rise to these challenges, Scheiber expects great solutions to be developed with Bühler’s customers, “as it is here that we can marry the highly entrepreneurial American spirit with the best of our Swiss heritage as a high quality solution provider for world-class products. This event allows us to stay in close contact and enables companies to learn best practice from one another.”

At the one-week-long Bühler GO!2020, nearly 50 speakers from the food-processing industries will give expert insights, best practices, and inspiration for its 500 attendees hailing from 17 countries. Not only does the virtual event eliminate travelling time, Bühler estimates that GO!2020 saves around 400 tons of greenhouse gas emissions compared to a physical event, equivalent to the compensation output of 16,000 trees.

Resilience and collaboration

“We want to show our customers that they can rely on us even in times of crisis, be it for new product developments, for servicing their solutions, or when digitalising their plants for the new normal we are now learning to live in,” says Scheiber. Bühler GO!2020 highlights the topics of resilience and collaborative innovation. The company has gone digital to support customers in their endeavors. With digital capabilities underpinning a service portfolio increasing yield and capacity, ensuring consistent product quality, providing remote support and reducing unplanned downtime, waste, and energy consumption, Bühler can support its customers efforts to deliver the strong demand they experience today while securing their operational results. In short, Bühler’s digital platforms, myBühler and Bühler Insights, will support business resilience by enabling physical assets to consistently deliver highest performance. “Our portfolio of digital services has increased our capability to support our customers through good and bad times and underpin industry resilience. Over this week, our partners will see that collaboration is a key topic. It is only through collaboration that we, as an industry, can create the needed solutions to mitigate the climate crisis,” says Ian Roberts, CTO at Bühler. Bühler aims to reduce waste, energy, and water consumption in its customers’ value chains by 50% by 2025.

The Food Application Center (FAC) will be the new Bühler stronghold in developing economically viable and sustainable food solutions in North America. The future solutions developed there will help feed a growing population of nearly 10 billion people in 2050. A unique installation, the FAC is a playground for the food industry.

“Innovation remains the lifeblood for sustainable market success, particularly in the food industry,” says Yannick Gaechter, Director of the new FAC. “New food opportunities are multifaceted and need to be addressed with partners across the whole food value chain. This is where the new FAC comes in,” Gaechter adds. “With the FAC, Bühler is helping to create an innovation ecosystem by providing predominantly North American food companies, start-ups, and academic partners with a platform and the capabilities for creating new products and processes that will help address – from farm to fork, and from bean to burger – not only the current consumer trends, but also our global nutrition challenges in a sustainable way.”

Drawing on 160 years of food processing expertise, the new FAC was created as a platform for developing new ways to transform peas, beans, corn, pulses, oats, ancient grains, and many other crops into new food solutions such as flours, snacks, pasta, cereals, and a myriad of extruded products, including plant-based meat analogues. Bühler will share more details on the Food Application Center’s capabilities at its opening at the end of next week.

Singapore initiative

In a separate development for the business this week, Bühler and Big Idea Ventures are joining forces to accelerate the success journey of promising start-ups creating great tasting alternatives to animal-derived protein products.

Big Idea Ventures, the global venture capital fund focused on solving the world’s greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs, recently launched the New Protein Fund. This will invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant-based and cell-based companies globally. Big Idea Ventures runs four accelerator programs annually in New York and Singapore.

“We are glad to have Bühler join Tyson Ventures, Temasek and our other strategic investors in the Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund. Together we can support the growth of the new generation of leading plant-based companies in North America, Asia and ultimately, the planet. Bühler and Big Idea Ventures will work together to build great companies responding to consumer demands for great tasting food that is good for them and good for the planet,” says Andrew D. Ive, Founder of Big Idea Ventures.


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