The head of a Dutch food innovation network says good research and development is key to help produce value-added food successfully.
Roger van Hoesel, chief executive of Food Valley Netherlands, is attending the Manawatu Agrifood Business Forum.
Food Valley was established 10 years ago and is a grouping of multi-nationals, small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Mr van Hoesel said the challenges facing food producers throughout the world are huge.
"If you look at all those billions of people that will need to be fed in the coming years, if you look at all the health related problems which are there - obesity for instance, sustainability issues - there's a lot going on in the coming years. For that you need very good research and development, that's for sure.
"On the other hand, if you talk about innovation - not only research - it's very important to make the translation from the needs of companies to the kind of research you do. So there has to be a kind of convergence of what the company needs and let's say what research can offer," he said.