About Us

Bridge2Food is a leader in the event space for the plant-based foods and alternative proteins sector. We have been connecting key international industry professionals, researchers, and academics across three key global markets: Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific.

We take pride in doing work that makes a difference. We believe in people, collaboration, and sharing. Together, we can bring momentous change for future generations who deserve affordable and nutritious food, and a healthy and thriving planet.

Our driving force is to advance actions for a better food world and to help accelerate the protein transition.

Our Story

Since 2002, when founder Gerard Klein Essink exited the corporate world and embarked on an entrepreneurial venture, he never wavered from his vision of creating a better food world with a mission to “build bridges between food professionals.”

With thousands of followers on LinkedIn, Gerard has a true passion for making connections that matter and seeding new initiatives whenever and wherever possible.

When Bridge2Food started as a one-person operation based out of the Netherlands, it focused mainly on sports nutrition, healthy aging, and of course, proteins. Recognising early on the sustainability, economic, and food security benefits of plant-based proteins and some of the challenges around taste, texture, and availability, Gerard pivoted to focus the company’s activities on the industry long before it was a widespread global trend.

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General Manager

Describe yourself in 3 words: Tall, sporty, cerebral

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: I was born & raised in South Wales – and the only other place I went to school was Hawaii

What evoked your passion for the sector? Of all human activities, agriculture has the largest carbon footprint. I’d like to do something about keeping food great but making it more sustainable

Presentation Description

The Year of Accelerating Value Chain Connectivity

The focus of the plant-based foods & proteins ecosystems will be on the acceleration of connectivity between value chains. How to connect more consumers, retailers, food service operators, brands, ingredient & technology suppliers, research institutes, universities, growers, breeders, finance and venture capital providers, and other key stakeholders such as regional, national, and international (N)GO’s? All actors are ready to play a part in the protein transition. So, what is needed to accelerate? A joint mission, a shared vision, a working plan? The UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 are the end goals. The protein transition can have a major impact on the following goals:

-Zero Hunger: Great impact can be achieved globally, in the developed and lesser-developed world, when plant-based foods become more affordable.

- Good Health and Well-Being: A transition to a plant-based foods diet and nutrition will contribute to better health and well-being

- Responsible Consumption and Production: Sustainable plant-based food production systems and diets can contribute to a healthier planet

- Climate Action: Shifting animal-based consumption and production system to plant-based have a much higher impact on climate compared to the currently used tools to mitigate the temperature increase on our planet

- Life on Land: A higher consumption of plant-based foods can free up valuable land for nature

The 2023 Bridge2Food Summits Goals are to:

1. Provide key insights on how to accelerate connectivity in the plant-based foods & protein value chains

2. Define the Global Research Investment Agenda

3. Bring together the key value chain leaders to share visions and define a joint mission

4. Connect all stakeholders

5. Drive collaboration efforts

Each Summit will contribute to the SDG’s by focusing on the following themes:

- Affordability

- Healthy Diets & Nutrition 

- Delicious Foods

- Sustainability

These themes will be part of the focused Summit Tracks:

- Track I: Consumer & Industry Challenges

- Track II: Delicious Food Innovations

- Track III: Sustainable Process Innovations

Partnerships Lead - EU & APAC

Describe yourself in 3 words: A die hard (net)worker, perfectionist, positive

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: I’m an exhibitionist – I used to dream of being an actress, or a dancer on a live stage and I enjoy flamenco, Zumba immensely.

What evoked your passion for the sector? I was fortunate enough to work with a lady who introduced me to an array of truly inspiring plant-based food brands. I was absolutely taken aback about their vision & passion and from that moment onwards I knew I wanted to be a part of the “green revolution”!

Please contact for Summits & Courses

Partnerships - Americas

Describe yourself in 3 words: Positive, Mindful, Supportive

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: I am a Certified Personal Trainer and love lifting weights. It gives me a positive way to focus on bettering myself physically and mentally.

What evoked your passion for the sector? Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine. After working in the natural products industry for quite some time, I have gained a more educated appreciation for all aspects of what we eat.

Sales - EcoSystem

Describe yourself in 3 words: Inquisitive, Polite, Empathic (and a bit obstinate)

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: I am actually rather shy. I used to play the sax, and I’m aikido black belt.

What evoked your passion for the sector? Since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a chemist. Once I grew up and studied chemical engineering, my passion became all about food.

Please contact for ecosystem

Content Production & Ecosystem

Describe yourself in 3 words: Happy – Foodie - Peoples Person

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: I have six bicycles! Not a strange sight to see me dancing to afrobeat, afropop or reggaeton whilst cycling through the city of Utrecht

What evoked your passion for the sector? I have been vegetarian for 10 years now – and it all started with the passion for food – preparing vegetarian & vegan feasts together with and for my friends.


Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate, creative, determined

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: I’m an Australian who loves to travel, after growing up in Boston, USA, and now living in The Netherlands since 2019.

What evoked your passion for the sector? I was initially inspired by Dr. T. Colin Campbell with his work on whole food, plant-based diets on chronic disease prevention and reversal, and now with an MSc in Nutrition & Health I am passionate about promoting a plant-based lifestyle for human health and planetary sustainability.

EU Projects and Operations

Describe yourself in 3 words: Enthusiastic, committed and supportive

Tell us something about you nobody would know upon first meeting you: Plants are my favorite pets, and I have more than I can count. I have swum in the Amazon River and I practice Muay Thai, so watch out!

What evoked your passion for the sector? While studying Oenology, I discovered my curiosity for sustainable wine and the connection with where it comes from, which I broadened to food in general, and how important it is for our future