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Meet Cornel Krummenacher, Head of Global Food at Nestlé Professional

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Cornel’s agricultural background, paired with his international experience, has shaped his passion for sustainability and plant-based food.

 

Tackling sustainability from farm to fork

 

Cornel’s extended family leveraged different traditional agriculture systems, including grass-feeding, zero-chemicals, and land rotation.  Seeing the results of these practices shaped his understanding of agriculture and the critical role sustainability plays in the food system.

 

“Regenerative agriculture is critical for conserving and restoring farmland and its ecosystem. It delivers benefits to farmers, the environment and society,” says Cornel. “I believe we need to continue to leverage this as part of our sustainability agenda.”

 

While agricultural production represents 39% of GHG emissions generated by the food system,1 Cornel recognizes that it is only part of the sustainability challenge.  

 

“To really tackle sustainability, we need to consider the entire value chain – from farm to fork - including land use practices, the supply chain and post-retail. It’s a massive undertaking and we are actively working on it.”

 

Inclusiveness and diversity as a problem-solving tool

 

Inclusiveness and diversity are also important to Cornel. Cornel spent 9 years living in China and 4 years in Kenya, which exposed him to different ways of thinking and working.

 

“One of my most significant insights has been realizing that inclusiveness and diversity are critical to solve today’s problems. Inclusiveness goes beyond embracing different genders, ethnicities, belief systems and values. We should leverage different sectors – business, government, and civic institutions.  I really believe that if we work together and set our egos aside, we can solve some of the world’s biggest issues.”

 

Embracing the trends of the future

 

According to Cornel, three key trends have accelerated within the food service industry: the uptick in home delivery, increase in grab & go consumption and the growing demand of plant-based menu offerings.

 

“Technology and COVID-19 have changed how consumers discover and consume food. More people are ordering on-line, and a lot of our customers are moving into ‘dark kitchens’. We want to help our customers customize products and fine-tune the ingredients, so they are optimized for delivery or on the go because they need to stay fresh longer” explains Cornel.

 

He also talks about the booming growth of the plant-based sector, “We have to change the way we eat, and one way is eating more plant-based as a sustainability solution.  It’s not just a trend, it’s a real shift – and it’s here to stay.”

 

The plant-based sector is a priority for the business.  “Plant-based food is for everyone, not just for vegans and vegetarians.  We really want to be a leader in this sector out of home,” explains Cornel.

 

 

“We are developing products for our customers that are specifically designed for the commercial kitchen. Helping our customers understand the opportunity for plant-based food and co-developing menus that fit their consumer base is exciting.  We offer our business partners a wide variety, everything from burgers to tuna alternatives.”

 

Looking forward, Cornell is optimistic about the sustainability challenge. “I fundamentally believe that the problems of the future can be solved, we just need to work together.  Nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing.”

 

Cornel will be speaking at the Worldchefs Congress in Abu Dhabi on May 31 where he will be presenting "The shift from Animal to Plant-Based Products can reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions."

 

 

1 Source:  Crippa, M. et al (2021), Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions.