News PEUL-CHAIN aims to gain ground for legumes (pulses)

Spoons of red beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas

More legumes on our Flemish fields and on our plates. That is the goal of the brand new project 'PEUL-CHAIN' that will start soon. With this project, the Flemish Institute for Healthy Living wants to contribute to the transition to more healthy, environmentally responsible and affordable sources of protein in our diet. The recent news about rising food prices and the importance of local production make it even more relevant and urgent to start working on this. ILVO and the Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven vzw are joining forces for this project.

From cultivation to processing to consumption

Despite all the benefits of legumes (pulses like red beans, chickpeas, lentils ...), their consumption is very low in Belgium, according to the 2014 Food Consumption Survey. Only 20% of Belgians eat them weekly and as many as 1 in 5 Belgians never eat legumes. The average Fleming is still not very familiar with them and cannot, for example, specify what legumes are. In 2019 we already did a campaign to highlight the benefits of legumes. Within this project, we build on that by addressing the levers and barriers that emerged from the research: what stops people from choosing legumes and what can encourage them?

At the same time, we see that the local production and processing of legumes could also use a boost. That is why we focus on several links of the chain with PEUL-CHAIN: production, processing and consumption. In this way we want to stimulate simultaneous supply and demand of pulses.

The projet in a ‘peashell’

With PEUL-CHAIN, we want to further explore what resonates with consumers about whether or not they choose to include legumes in their diets. Is it a question of knowledge, skills, habits, taste, convenience, price ...? We will map this out by means of a consumer survey in community kitchens of day-care centers, schools and companies. In addition, we will integrate the results of the VLAM market survey, which will also give us an insight into the thresholds and motivations of consumers in their home situation.

In addition, we will look at the opportunities and challenges for production, processing and marketing of pulses in Flanders by interviewing growers, processors and caterers.

Finally, with all these results, we can work to improve and expand the Healthy Living legume campaign, and thus increase the consumption of legumes. At the same time, we want to give local growers and processors a face to create more connection with consumers.

Legumes: good for you, good for the environment

Legumes are healthy sources of vegetable protein and have a very low environmental impact. Therefore, they are in the dark green zone of the food triangle and we recommend to eat 'more' of them.

The project is financed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and fits within the project call 'realization protein strategy', within the framework of the relaunch plan 'Flemish resilience 2021'. The Agency for Care and Health (through the management agreement nutrition, exercise, prolonged sitting and prevention of malnutrition 2021-2025 concluded with Gezond Leven vzw) and ILVO provide the co-financing. We are looking forward to working together with ILVO on a pleasant collaboration with our other partners VLAM, Peas & Beans, HUMUS, Casibeans, De Paddenstoel, Deldiche, Solucious, AGAPE and FoodMaker.
Partners peul-CHAIN


Contact us

Hilde Muylle

Researcher on novel crops

Geert Van Royen

Meat and other protein expert

See also