IMAGINE Leaders – Maartin Geraets
The Union, Outgoing MD Alternative Proteins
I am a third culture kid, a product of expat-parents, having grown-up in Thailand and Taiwan. Returned to my Dutch roots for University studies, to quickly venture overseas again. Married with a Dutch wife and two teenage girls, we continue our journey…
Corporate adventurer, having worked for Nestle for 20+ years across multiple markets in Oceania, Asia, Africa and Europe. Commercial by nature, worked
for the culinary category with consumer facing propositions, in various roles in marketing, sales, and general management. Also, the chance to run the Global Innovation Centre for Food, as such a solid dash of innovation and food experience.
In these years, truly loved the emerging consumer experience and the opportunity to improve their lives. Thru fortification of products (India, West Africa), improved nutrition (less salt, more vegetables), was keen to contribute thru healthier lives in the culinary world. Such coincidence, as a youth I wanted to be a chef!
Side-stepped in the ‘world of spectacle lenses’ in South Asia, but soon realized I am too much of a foodie, an innovator… and thus returned.
Recent experience is in ‘Alternative Proteins’, as an intrapreneur setting-out to challenge the traditional protein core of the company (Thai Union), realizing the world needs a major food transition. We build a team, created an initial portfolio (plant-based tuna, crab, and shrimp), and reached global markets and customers. Unfortunately, the category is slow, the company wants returns, and I seek to make further impact…. The stars are not aligned.
As such, I am about to move to a new adventure, leveraging my purpose (‘Together in Peace, we Built a Masterpiece’) and seeking to contribute and ignite the ‘future of food’. This can be thru Alternative Proteins, food solutions for the emerging consumer, small holder farmers,….
Love to lead and contribute to this ‘food system change’, as a leader, as a mentor, as an advisor, as a student. Seek to learn and be inspired from this cohort this week and define my next steps…