VNF is the solution to the shrimp heads and shells the world throws away without care. Before VNF stepped in, shrimp byproducts were a burden to the environment, shrimp processors, restaurants – anyone who handled shrimp. But with innovative R&D, VNF developed a biotechnological zero-waste production process to extract nutrients from shrimp byproducts and create unique, natural shrimp food ingredients.
We caught up with Vietnam Food (VNF) to find out what winning has meant for them.
Could you tell us what winning this award has brought you?
"Winning the 2019 Fi Future of Nutrition: Innovation Awards on a global stage shows us that VNF’s innovative Food Ingredients products created from shrimp co-products is truly in line with the “Future of Nutrition”.
"As a shrimp co-products processor, our objective is to reduce the environmental burden caused by shrimp heads and shells discarded in landfills by extracting the nutrients and converting it into protein-rich nutritious food ingredients (amongst other products). As we stated in our submission, most of the world focuses on the shrimp meat, without ever really noticing that almost half of the shrimp’s weight is the overlooked co-products. With the world’s population rapidly growing coupled with a rising protein shortage, it is time the world shifts its attention to valorizing underutilized protein and nutrition sources."
"This goal to help the environment and sustain the people’s future is the driving force behind VNF’s entire 7-year history. We do not aim to take anything more away from the Earth, but rather to add value back to it for the nutrition and wellbeing of all living beings."
How has taking part in this challenge benefitted you in terms of exposure, advice from our jury members, as well as the networking, both on and after the judging day?
"Taking part and winning such a prestigious F&B award on the global stage has brought exposure to VNF, both on an industry and international level. Although VNF’s food products portfolio is very new and young compared to the other competitors, the jury members focused on recognizing VNF’s underlying ‘green’ message and story. Thus the challenge brought further exposure to the immense issue of overlooked nutrition from shrimp co-products and the urgent demand for a solution from VNF."
"In December 2019, VNF became the first Vietnamese and Asian company to win the Fi Future of Nutrition: Innovation awards. In such a competitive F&B industry dominated by large corporations, the recognition of the Fi Future of Nutrition: Innovation Awards brought immense national pride to the country of Vietnam. The award proved to businesses in Vietnam that no matter the size of the company or how established the international competitors are, the drive and determination of Vietnamese corporations with the right global message can be recognized on any and all landscapes. VNF’s win is a win for Vietnam as a nation!"
From your point of view, what does it take to win the awards?
"From VNF’s perspective, winning the award does not necessarily mean having the best product or largest company presence, but rather that the winning company has the right mindset and orientation driving its products and development. There will always be new groundbreaking food products that taste, smell, perform, or sell better.
But from VNF’s eyes, we believe participants in the Innovation awards should focus on truly examining and understanding how the Food Ingredients industry can impact and help sustain the world and the people. We chose to move away from only focusing the advantages of the products and how it could sell better in global markets, but rather how the benefits and driving force behind our Food Ingredients product portfolio could also help tackle environmental, nutrition, and malnourishment issues in our own home country of Vietnam."