Using the whole sugar beet
In 2012, Bram Fetter argued at the Commercieele Club Groningen that sugar beets are "the new oil", as they cannot only be used for sugar, but also for many other good products. "We think you should use the whole sugar beet, we've never yet thrown any part of it away. That's why we also make products like cattle feed and bio fertilizers. In the near future we want to further develop the value pyramid by also starting the production of bioplastics and green chemicals."
Involving other parties
According to Bram Fetter, cooperation is essential, and that's why it is good that Chemport Europe has been launched. "The biobased economy by definition means cooperation. Suiker Unie is exploring many avenues in association with other parties, with knowledge institutions and also with market operators. We almost always go for joint ventures, for if you want to develop new products, you have to involve parties that know the market. That determines our success."
Getting things started
Is Chemport Europe going to help promote greening the chemical industry? "Absolutely!" says Bram Fetter. "The early beginnings are often what is most difficult, the valley-of-death-syndrome is lurking around the corner. You need parties that help you get through this. Chemport Europe can play that part, for example in the process of getting permits and funding, and in putting forward a new proposition. "That means we're able to get things started."