From left, CEO Marel, Henrik Ladefoged, winner of the Food Innovator Award, Gitte Haar and Vice President, Emerging Technologies, R&D, chairman of Danish Food Cluster, Esben Laulund.

This year’s Food Innovator: Wonder woman dressed in green

It was a close-run at the Food Innovator Award 2019. A strong green field of smaller companies – all part of putting Denmark on the sustainable world-map. The winner has transformed KLS Pureprint from a dying food packaging company into leaders within the field.

On 21 March, the winner of the Food Innovator Award was elected at Danish Food Cluster’s yearly conference, A Great Day for Food Innovation. This year’s winner is an experienced business woman with green blood in her veins. Her name is Gitte Haar and she is the hero in KLS’ heart-warming story.

The heart-warming story starts in the tough printing industry and continues to the other side of the fence where the grass is now much greener for KLS Pureprint. The green grass and the success are a result of how KLS Pureprint, led by their board member and Development Manager, Gitte Haar, has been able to convert the business in such way that they now master the high hygiene demands and have a sustainable star power within the field of food packaging.

In 2016, KLS Pureprint and Gitte Haar were the first in the world to present a 100 percent biodegradable food packaging product made from cardboard. Since 2017, they have produced all so-called doggy-bags in Denmark which, of course, are 100 percent biodegradable. In 2019, Gitte Haar is now acknowledged by the industry as the Food Innovator of the year.

The chairman of Danish Food Cluster, Esben Laulund, Vice President at Emerging Technologies, R&D, Chr. Hansen, is pleased that the small and green innovative men and women are honoured:

Both the winner and the entire field of nominees reflect the many innovative small and medium-sized companies who represent the core of Danish Food Cluster. It is a worthy winner from the growing number of innovative companies who create the sustainable solutions of the future.”

According to Gitte Haar, the award’s focus on innovation and sustainability is important:

It is a great honour to win, be recognised and get a prize that is personal. More important is that this prize put emphasis on innovation within the industry. The fact that Danish Food Cluster puts sustainability high on the agenda is really good, because a sustainable change is needed in this industry. Moreover, I think it’s important to tell the story of a company that dared to disrupt their existing business model. And let’s remember that doing good business drives the green transition and not the other way around.

This year’s Food Innovator Award is a recognition of those small and medium-sized companies who leave a sustainable mark on Denmark – this goes for both greener solutions, social responsibility, plant-based products and alternative protein solutions.

The company Marel is the sponsor of the Food Innovator Award 2019.

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