Elies Lemkes-Straver is the new Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Production

News 18 December 2017
Elies Lemkes - HAS University

"I’m enthusiastic and very motivated to start as Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Production. The societal relevance is greater than ever before: working to create a sustainable environment for people, nature and animals."

As of 1 February 2018, Elies Lemkes-Straver will be appointed as Senior Lecturer in the research chair in Sustainable Production in the agrifood sector. The chair primarily focuses on connecting education, the professional field and practical research in the area of Sustainable Production of food, both nationally and internationally. The chair focuses on three themes within this area: combatting food waste, making food processes more sustainable and creating closed loop systems.

Varied experience

During her time as general director at ZLTO (Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization) and before that at Brainport high-tech region, Elies Lemkes-Straver built up a wide range of experience in both the agrifood and the high-tech and design sectors. Cooperation between business, knowledge institutions and government, connecting sectors, society and open innovation; all come together to create an important foundation for the chair in Sustainable Production.

Food waste

Companies are looking for further ways to optimise processes (reducing the use of inputs, energy and water), improving quality (extending shelf life), combatting food waste and reducing costs. Due to globalisation, it is also essential for companies in the agrifood sector to work together in the supply chain and to create closed loops, both at company level and within the chains, thus securing continuing production for the future. The chair wants to make an active contribution to this, taking into account global trends such as the biobased and circular economy, the emergence of new raw materials for the agrifood sector and healthy food.

The new chair focuses on 3 specific themes:

  • Combatting food waste: The chair focuses on short food chains for vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy.
  • Making food processes more sustainable: Reducing the pressure of existing food production processes on the environment by integral process improvements and optimisation with a focus on product quality, sustainability and reducing the use of water, energy and other inputs.
  • Creating closed loops: By reducing the use of inputs in the agrifood sector as well as implementing efficiency improvements with the goal of secure global food provision in the long-term.

The core of the chair is formed by lecturers and teaching researchers from the study programmes Environmental Studies, Food Technology and International Food & Agribusiness.

Providing added value

Elies is looking forward to starting work in the chair. “I’m enthusiastic and very motivated to start as Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Production. The societal relevance is greater than ever before: working to create a sustainable environment for people, nature and animals. The need for collaboration between various fields within the agrifood and high-tech sectors and across sectors, in dialogue with society, is greater than it was in the past. There is plenty of dynamism and energy in this area. The challenge for this chair is to supply the crucially-required added value using the expertise, experience and research ambitions of the lecturers, researchers and enthusiastic students involved. Our professionalism, drive and international perspective, combined with our practical focus and ability to stimulate entrepreneurship makes HAS the perfect place to work on this societal challenge and to contribute to the implementation of these ambitions.”