Nicolas Deswaef

SpecialityCoordinator of CIAGO and Organizer of FXT Connect

The food industry is the most exciting sector there is
At least that’s Nicolas’ profound belief. Not only because food unites and plays such a central role in our own daily lives. Also because of the complexities of the food system. From crops to food processing, from maintaining the cold chain to connecting the supply chain. From consumer tastes and preferences to dealing with food waste. And so much more.

He was fortunate to be brought up in an SME family, active in smoked fish and delicatessen, which took its pride in both product quality and business ethics. He was raised with the values and the role of the SME in giving back to the local community. But as a young kid he also enjoyed being around when guests from all around joined at the dining table and shared their own stories. It was always very natural that business relations blended with family life. And so food, values and relations became a thread throughout his professional life. He set up a trading firm, importing and distributing exotic meats in the EU, always with a focus on increasing revenue up the chain to the farmer. Hence also his fascination for food logistics, the importance of shortening the chain and maximising efficiency.

When in 2021 he was presented with the opportunity to set up a support initiative in and by the Belgium province of Limburg dedicated to agriculture, food and foodtech it was a unique opportunity to shift from international trade to supporting local entrepreneurs and businesses. Nicolas is coordinator of the Centre for innovative agricultural entrepreneurship (CIAGO), organiser of the local FXT Connect foodtech-event and initiator of the agrifood network He is a firm believer in the importance of collaboration and cross-pollination to support the transition towards a sustainable and resilient food system.