KWS partners with vly to further develop plant-based foods

Einbeck, June 12, 2023

Seed specialist KWS and the Berlin-based start up VF Nutrition GmbH, better known under the brand name vly, are entering a multiyear development partnership. The two companies are working together to advance the development of foods based on pea protein.

vly has been developing and marketing pea protein-based dairy alternatives for three years, aiming to serve the growing market for nutritious plant-based foods. As seed specialist, KWS has a broad portfolio of seeds for various crops. The company started breeding yellow peas back in the 1980s and is now the leader in France, the largest and most important European pea market. The seed specialist is expanding the focus of its breeding work beyond such criteria as yield, resource efficiency and standing power to include adapting plant genetic traits for use as plant-based food ingredients.

With this in mind, KWS and vly have decided to enter a multiyear development partnership. “As a seed producer, we can contribute to food development right from the start — for example, in terms of improving taste, processing quality and texture,” explains Nigel Moore, who oversees the area of nutritional food ingredients at KWS.
“Closely collaborating with downstream players in the value chain is the key to developing new products with tailored ingredients.”

“Our collaboration puts to use knowledge and methods from molecular biology, bioinformatics, sensory science and food technology to drive innovation and long-term change in the field of dairy alternatives made on the basis of, in particular, peas and to provide healthy, nutritious and flavourful products for consumers,” adds Dr. Anna Birke, Senior Fermentation Scientist and Innovation Manager at vly.

About KWS*

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. Over 5,000 employees* in more than 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.5 billion in the fiscal year 2021/2022. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, oilseed rape and sunflower. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €285 million last fiscal year in research and development.
*excl. seasonal workforce

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About vly

VF Nutrition, vly, is a Berlin-based food tech start-up that has been developing and providing dairy alternatives primarily based on pea protein since 2020. With around 20 employees, the company produced milk and yoghurt alternatives, as well as protein shakes based on pea protein for retail. The products are available in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. With its team of food technologists and scientists, vly is continuously updating their products based on data obtained through research and consumer feedback to maximise the nutritional value and sustainability of their products.


Nigel Moore
Nigel Moore
Head of Food Ingredients
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Sina Barnkothe-Seekamp
Sina Barnkothe-Seekamp
Lead of External Communications
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KWS and vly are collaborating! Drawing on their own bases of knowledge and know-how, both companies plan to jointly fuel the continued development of plant-based food.

Demand for plant-based food is growing: One way to meet this demand is the trailblazing brand called vly, a company whose milk-substitute products made with pea protein have been lining supermarket shelves in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands for three years. For KWS as a plant breeder, too, improving plants for use in human nutrition is an important topic for the future.

Th multi-year development partnership will focus on improving criteria such as taste, processing quality and texture.

“A close partnership with a range of different actors in the value chain is the key to the continued refinement of healthy, nutritious and delicious products made with plants,” said Anna Birke, Senior Fermentation Scientist and Innovation Manager at vly, and Nigel Moore, the Head of Nutritional Food Ingredients at KWS.

You will find more information about the issue at: NFI

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