Research project Levers and bottlenecks for growing, processing and consuming pulses (legumes) in Flanders


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Geert Van Royen

Geert Van Royen

Meat and other protein expert


General introduction

Local cultivation and consumption of legumes? Not yet. There is still a gap between what is desirable for health and the planet, and what is actually happening. The recovery project Peulchain, which subscribes to the Flemish protein strategy, aims for more legumes on our Flemish fields and on our plates. This is done with partners from policy, the sectors involved and research. Which bottlenecks prevent the (hoped for faster) growth of the Flemish legume story? And who can give some encouragement?

Research approach

VLAM and the Vlaams Instituut Gezond Leven vzw conducted consumer research in community kitchens of nurseries, schools and companies to understand consumers' motives for choosing or not choosing legumes in their diets. Opportunities and challenges for production, processing and marketing of legumes in Flanders are identified by interviewing growers, processors and caterers. ILVO demonstrated cultivation technical knowledge and invested in food grade post harvest pilot infrastructure to support innovative experiments.


The transition to more healthy, environmentally responsible and affordable sources of protein in our diet needs and receives support through the project Peulchain. The results of the various interviews form the basis for (and enhance) the Healthy Living's legume campaign promoting the consumption of legumes. Legumes are known as healthy vegetable protein sources, a nutritional alternative to meat, with also a very low environmental impact, but they are not seen as equally easy in use, taste or variety. It is also important to put a face on local growers and processors and for retail and convenience (frozen) processors to play their pioneering role, to create more connection with consumers.


Vlaamse Overheid Departement L&V