top of page

Speakers in 2023

Sirli Rosenvald FUNKI_edited.jpg

Sirli is a highly experienced food scientist with expertise in food technologies and protein research. Over 10 years, she has led various research projects and teams in different food research areas, in recent years with a particular focus on alternative proteins and meat alternatives. She has gained various recognitions through international grants and competitions. In 2022 she founded a start-up company, FUNKI, which provides tasty and healthy high-protein food products from mycoprotein to diversify people’s everyday food choices and nudge their consumption habits towards more sustainable paths. FUNKI products are vegan but are made to provide a new taste experience and not imitate meat.

Sirli Rosenvald
PhD Co-founder & CEO of FUNKI

Mary-Liis Kütt ÄIO.jpg

Mary-Liis Kütt has been working in food science for over 15 years. Starting her studies first in the field of Food Technology and Product Development at TalTech, she defended her doctorate in food science at Aarhus University, Denmark. Later, she did her postdoc at the University of Vienna, Austria, studying the effects of mycotoxins on the human body and working in the core laboratory of analytical chemistry. After her studies, Mary-Liis started working at the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK). She has studied different microorganisms from the perspective of the food industry, applying them to the production of dairy, beverage, and plant-based alternatives. Currently, Mary-Liis works at the biotech startup ÄIO, which uses microorganisms to produce unique fats to replace unsustainable palm oil and coconut fat in various meat and dairy alternatives.

Mary-Liis Kütt

Talis Raak RIMI (2).jpg

Talis Raak is a commercial operations lead for Rimi Eesti Food AS. His job is to unite together Baltic commercial department with local needs. Rimi Eesti is the leading retail chain in Estonia, with a network of 81 stores. Rimi employs nearly 3,000 people in Estonia. Since 2020 Rimi also has an e-store in all three Baltic Countries. Balanced, environmentally friendly and sustainable options are always important in Rimi`s assortment. Through communication, responsibility projects and other initiatives, they want to educate and motivate all people to make better choices for the society of the future.

Talis Raak
Baltic Category Management Director, RIMI

Mariliis Mia has long-term communication management and business experience, being, among other things, a co-founder of a food technology start-up. She has been actively involved in promoting health awareness through work and social roles and is interested in how food affects the human body, health, mental well-being, longevity and, through this, the economy and the environment. Reitan Convenience Estonia is a leading convenience chain, which includes R-Kiosk convenience store brand and the Caffeine coffee shop chain. RCE belongs to the Norwegian family company REITAN and is part of Reitan Convenience, a business line focused on convenience trade, which has a significant impact on people's food choices in 7 Nordic and Baltic countries. Therefore, the strategic goal of the company is sustainable business activity, which, among other things, is based on the principles of the Planetary Health Diet: a food selection that takes into account both human health and the well-being of the Planet.

Mariliis Mia Topp
Reitan Convenience Estonia (R-Kiosk)

Ranno Nahku has been part of teamTFTAK since 2005. As a devoted scientist (PhD since 2012) he has become from researcher to R&D Director in Biotechnology. He is leading a group of 20 scientist, and he believes that a strong multidisciplinary team is key to solving complex research problems. Rannos scientific experience involves different aspects of microbial cultivation. In TFTAK his team has introduced a comprehensive pipeline that combines different methods working together - advanced cultivation, omics methods, and metabolic modelling. One of his strengths is to bring out positive aspects - we always learn something!

Ranno Nahku

Atova Regulatory Consulting provides scientific and regulatory advice to the alternative protein and food-tech industry. Atova is the first regulatory consultancy to specialise in alternative proteins and food-tech, passionate about helping companies of all sizes get these vitally important products through regulatory approval in the EU and other global markets. Hannes Malfroy is a Regulatory & Novel Food Specialist at Atova. He is a biotechnologist by training, with knowledge in microbiology and plant biotechnology. He has over 5 years of regulatory experience in areas ranging from plant protection products and biostimulants to food and animal feed. Hannes has worked on several alternative protein dossiers in the EU, including applications for plant protein isolates and mycelial biomasses.

Hannes Malfroy
Atova Regulatory Consulting

Hannes Malfroy_Atova.jpeg
Jürgen Jürgenson_The Naturist.JPG

Jürgen Jürgenson is the former Co-Founder of Pürg, Siil Agency, Levercode, Plantaator, 372 Ventures, TenantPass, Longrun Assets. Currently he is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Naturist - a food innovation startup. The Naturist was born not as a mere product venture, but as a platform dedicated to educating and uniting individuals who share a desire for a healthier and longer life. Through The Naturist, Jürgen's mission is to empower people with knowledge and foster collective efforts to create a healthier world.

Jürgen Jürgenson
The Naturist

As a dedicated enthusiast and advocate of plant-based food, Triin has previously advanced the field both in the public and third sector. Today, Triin's journey has led her to Mati, a pioneering food tech startup developing mycoprotein-based alternatives to chicken and fish whole-cut fillets. In her current role as co-founder and CEO of Mati, Triin works together with a team of food technologists, sales & marketing experts.Together, they are resolutely committed to realizing Mati's overarching mission: enabling people to enjoy plant-based products that surpass their animal-based counterparts in terms of taste, healthiness and eventually, popularity.

Triin Remmelgas

Kristina Mering is the founder of the Taimne Teisipäev (Veggie Tuesday) campaign in Estonia, and for the last six years as the strategy manager of the campaign, she has ensured that plant-based food is popular on everyone's table and does not remain a niche product only for vegetarians. Kristina has conducted marketing consultations for food companies in order to prepare the best sales strategy based on marketing research and to ensure that plant-based products do not remain on the shelves. By constantly keeping abreast of news, developments and research in the field of plant-based food, Kristina ensures that the Taimne Teisipäev campaign can have as much positive impact as possible through the exciting flavors of meals, healthiness, animal welfare and a more positive environmental impact.

Kristina Mering
Taimne Teisipäev

Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca is the co-founder and COO of Gelatex Technologies. Gelatex is a materials technology company that specializes in the high-throughput manufacturing of nanofibrous materials for applications such as 3D cell culture, wound care, or cultured meat. Their patented halospinning technology reduces the cost of nanofibers by over 90% making them accessible in applications that were unfeasible before. With Gelatex's plant-based scaffolds cultured meat whole cuts and fillets will become possible and no animals will be required for meat production. Mari-Ann has BASc in Technology of Apparel and MBA in Entrepreneurship and Technology Management and before Gelatex had worked in the textile industry with product development and manufacturing optimization and as a consultant & project manager in a business incubator.

Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca

Peeter Tava

Peeter has over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, having worked in various industries, as well as logistics, catering, retail and wholesale sectors. For the last 14 years, he has been active in food production, 12 of which were at Estonia’s leading gourmet brand, Gourmet Club, where he was the co-founder and CEO.
Three years ago, he co-founded the food start-up Vegestar, which develops and produces various plant-based meat alternatives under the THORMI brand. He is the CEO of this company.
In two years, THORMI has become a successful brand, with its products sold in all major retail and gas station chains in Estonia, as well as in Finland and on Tallink ships.
He participates in the activities of the NGO Plant Protein Innovation Cluster.

Peeter strongly believes that to improve the health of the planet and its people, humanity should significantly reduce meat consumption. However, to change even the most addicted carnivore’s menu towards plant-based foods, delicious alternatives must be offered. This is what he is committed to doing daily.


Juha-Pekka Pitkänen
Solar Foods

Juha-Pekka Pitkänen is Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Solar Foods. He graduated from Helsinki University of Technology (now part of Aalto University) as a Master of Science in chemical engineering in 2000 and as a Doctor of Science in technology in 2005 majoring in bioprocess engineering. J-P has more than 20 years of experience in biotechnology from research and development, the main part of which is from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. In the beginning of the 2000s, he was 6 years in biotechnology startup Medicel OY between VTT stints focusing on equipment development for bioprocess engineering. Since 2014 J-P has been researching various ways of utilizing renewable electricity and carbon dioxide as the raw materials for bioprocesses. Essentially, with his colleagues at VTT he tested the functionality of the underlying technology behind Solar Foods, which inspired J-P and Dr. Pasi Vainikka to establish Solar Foods in 2017.

Vilma Kapociene.jpg

Vilma Kapociene, Business Manager Food at Nestle Baltics, with a long term business management experience in food and beverages industry. I am passionate about plant based food and strongly believe more people will embrace plant based food, the better the world be and the healthier life we live. I am happy to start the journey of „Garden Gourmet“ brand in Baltics, which has been launched in 1985 with a vision to source goodness from the land to create vegetarian dishes full of flavor. I am interested a lot in Sustainability area and strongly believe, that higher consumption of plant based food makes a positive impact to the planet.

Vilma Kapociene

Garden Gourmet

Mikk Rajaver_edited.jpg

Mikk Rajaver has worked in catering industry for over 15 years and he founded the healthy fast food restaurant chain Poke Bowl 6 years ago. Since from beginning, the environment and sustainability have been key factor for him. That's why at Poke Bowl, they want to provide people with healthy and balanced food. Poke Bowl offers takeaway bowls in reusable or biodegradable disposable packaging. They don't use plastic wraps or foil, they try to minimise food waste with rotation of raw foods and they grow their own avocado trees from leftover stones. Poke Bowl team are all looking for quick and convenient solutions and Mikk wants to help people with the way that protects their health and so their well-being does not come at the expense of the environment. Mikk is also a beekeeper, traveller, a sportsman, an entrepreneur and a father of 4. In addition to he created MEZE, a restaurant chain with an innovative approach to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours.

Mikk Rajaver
Poke Bowl

bottom of page