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Seminar: Green biorefinery – a Green Deal for agriculture – producing sustainable soy protein alternatives and biobased products

A seminar to be held at the European Parliament will describe the disruptive potentials of new local biorefineries to contribute to EU self-sufficiency with plant protein and new biobased products while supporting EU policies on environment and climate.

2020.07.10 | Claus Bo Andresen

Date Tue 17 Nov
Time 15:00 18:00
Location European Parliament, Spinelli 1E2, Brussels, Belgium

As part of the Green Deal for Europe, new, innovative solutions are called for to meet our great challenges. Our use of fossil fuels and fossil-based products, which pose a serious threat to the climate, is one challenge. The comprehensive European import of unsustainable soy protein with major environmental and climatic consequences on vulnerable areas of the world is another one.

The European agriculture sector is under a dual pressure for fulfilling environmental demands and maintaining an efficient production, which can meet future demands for genuinely sustainable food supply. On this backdrop, and in full alignment with the Green Deal, this seminar will point to win-win solutions within the bioeconomy for solving these grand challenges

Research in the production and quality assessment of protein extracted from grass and clover crops has shown a disruptive potential. These crops have very positive effects on the environment and climate and are at the same time highly productive. Further research and innovation will make it possible for Europe to produce its own sustainable protein and new biobased products.

Now, SME’s as well as cooperatives and larger companies are showing their interest and have initiated the first businesses. These new solutions and businesses are in accordance with the European Green Deal and the EU Protein Strategy. Furthermore, they are well placed to contribute to the EU framework including the Common Agricultural Policy and Horizon Europe Programme.


The seminar will describe the disruptive potentials of new local biorefineries to contribute to EU self-sufficiency with plant protein and new biobased products while supporting EU policies on environment and climate.


Moderator:  Niels Halberg, Director, Danish Center for Food and Agriculture, Aarhus University

15:00-15:10      Welcome by MEPs Asger Christensen and Pernille Weiss

15:10-15:25      Opening speech: Jorge Pinto Antunes, Member of Cabinet, Commissioner for Agriculture

15:25-15:40      Key-note: The science behind the potentials of green biorefinery by Uffe Jørgensen, Head of Centre for Circular Bioeconomy, Aarhus University

15:40-15:50      Interactive session

15:50-16:20      The European potential – 3 cases:

Turning underutilized grassland into valuable products by James Gaffey, Principal Investigator, Institute of Technology, Tralee, Ireland

Preserving erosion prone landscapes with perennial crops for biorefinery by Géza Gelencsér, Rural Development NGO, Vox Vallis, Hungary

Biorefining of grass will contribute to a sustainable rural development in Europe by Johan Sanders, Grassa, The Netherlands.

16:20-17:10      Panel reactions from industry with Vagn Hundebøll from DLG, Denmark; Paulus Kosters from Cosun Innovation Center, The Netherlands; and Jan Lund, Naturli’ Foods, Denmark  

17:10-17:20      Interactive session

17:20-17:50      Reflections from and questions to the Commission with Silke Boger from DG AGRI; Fabien Ramos from DG CLIMA; Tomasz Calikowski from DG RTD, Bernd Kuepker from DG ENER

17:50-18:00      Conclusions by MEPs Asger Christensen and Pernille Weiss

Download printable programme

Expected participants

Decisions makers and stakeholders from industry, research and the civil society communities – including the areas of environment, agriculture, climate and food

Registration for the Brussels seminar

For logistical reasons, we kindly ask you to register before 10 November if you plan to join the seminar. You register by email to lc@centraldenmark.eu  

Questions can also be addressed to this mail.

COVID and our event

Together with the European Parliament, we follow all necessary precautions in relation to COVID-19. This event is foreseen to take place in the European Parliament but should circumstances demand it, we will transfer the event to a virtual seminar.

The event will in either case be the first of a series of events. As a direct follow-up to this event, we plan to organise an online expert seminar on 26 November on the technical, agronomic and environmental aspects of green biorefinery. Please pre-register to receive more information.

Pre-registration for the on-line event on 26 November 2020:


Seminar, DCA, Agro, Anis, Food