The interview is available in Polish - click here

 

Hi, tell us about yourself!Piotr portret

My name is Piotrek Wieczorek and for over 9 years I have been trading with durability as a commodity. I have been working at Foodcom S.A. for 7 years. My specialty was dairy products, mainly cheese. I have personally worked with many producers from Poland and around the world. Two years ago, I was invited to co-create a new project, i.e. a department of the company dealing with trade in plant products.

 

What do you specialize in?

It mainly specializes in searching around the world and then importing new plant products for our regular customers, which are the largest food producers, but also promising startups. The flagship products are pea and rice protein. In addition, for several months we have been carrying out more and more transactions with the participation of hemp protein.

In practice, I operate mainly on the Dutch, Belgian and Polish markets, and the remaining regions are handled by Jonathan and the rest of the team. Our main goal is to build long-term and stable sales channels and to support know-how for the use of plant alternatives. We also support Polish producers in export.

 

 

Why did plant-based attract you so much?

This trend is visible on every corner. The shelves of vege products are expanding in every store, even fast food such as Burger King are starting to offer plant-based substitutes.

But it's much more than fashion. Simply put: in a time of growing climate crisis, this seems to be our future. It is a rescue to feed the world! A healthy rescue!

 

Tell us a bit more about the plant-based protein market.

It is divided into three groups - Food, Pet food and Feed. iStock 1222803292 copy

 

Food is the fastest growing branch related to plant proteins. People are becoming more and more aware of what they eat, and they are looking for new, healthier and more ecological, planet-good alternatives. Producers create and market more and more interesting substitutes for animal proteins.

 

The Pet Food and Feed industries are increasingly turning to organic quality products to make their offer more attractive. In addition, the awareness of pet food and feed producers is increasing, which results in the creation of new production lines using Bio-Organic products.

 

 

What about the meat industry?

We also cooperate with it! Firstly, by providing vegetable components for meat products, including potato starch, protein isolates or sugars (dextrose). Second: we support the development of alternative production for meat producers. For example, apart from pork chops, they can also offer seitan chops.

 

What is the most important for you in creating this department?

We want to share our knowledge with our clients according to the motto. "Grow with us and let us grow with you", which is why we have an experienced trader Jon on board our plant ship, who has been trading on the Chicago Stock Exchange for 20 years. We also have a vet who analyzes recipes and advises on the best solutions. We also work with an experienced dietitian who advises food producers. We are for people who see the future in vegan products, but also for those who want to diversify their recipes.

 

We have one more important thing - certificates such as GMP +, BRC Agents & Brokers or BIO. This allows us to actively participate in the supply chains of top-class products by meeting all criteria and requirements set by manufacturers.

 

Why have you decided to publish prices on the website? 

pexels tom fisk 2226458Transparency helps to gain trust and makes it difficult to speculate on commodity prices.

In addition, thanks to the constant updating of prices on the website, we are increasingly able to conclude B2B contracts via the website mainly with Asian markets. The customer chooses the product and the quantity that interests him and places an order online, and we prepare the goods and carry out the further process. On the other hand, the producers cooperating with us have an additional sales field and security regarding the credibility of the final recipient because each of our clients must undergo thorough verification before starting the transaction. Something like Amazon but Business to Business.

 

What are the challenges facing you?

The question of taste is the most important as always. We often have to maneuver between producers of a given raw material so that the end recipient obtains the expected taste and consistency while maintaining an acceptable price level.

 

So it must be a long process?

True, the process is time consuming and takes a long time. Especially in the food industry, introducing products with plant-based alternatives requires a lot of research, analysis, and trials before the final product sees the light of day.

 

What else are you up to?

Purchasing in distant markets such as South America is also a challenge. And Asia - in times of crises and draconian container prices. The pandemic is not helping. But we are also not letting go of these parts of the world and we are increasingly importing plant materials from these seemingly distant regions of the globe.

 

 

Any interesting novelties?pexels aphiwat chuangchoem 2178565

We place very high hopes on hemp products. In our case, we are talking more about hemp protein, i.e. a product containing about 50% protein in dry matter. The results of the research show that, in addition to a fairly high protein content, the product in question meets the vegan criteria and is digestible, and is much less allergenic than the available conventional proteins. Currently, we mainly promote hemp protein in the food sector, but we do not delete the feed recipients.

 

 

What are your predictions for the future of this market?

It is true that now each month we see a decrease in availability and delays in deliveries. But the pandemic will eventually end. And the openness of our partners to the constant search and introduction of plant alternatives will not only not end, but will also grow. Because this is the future.

 

Let's end Today's interview with a surprise that you have prepared for your Business Partners!

We have added more products to our website - rice protein, sunflower protein concentrate and corn gluten meal. We plan to add a brand new product category next week. Also stay tuned!