A coffee with… Irati Bejarano – Innovation project manager at Basque food cluster

My name is Irati Bejarano and I am currently working in the Basque Food Cluster as an innovation project manager.

Empack: What is your day-to-day work in the company and what does your role/position consist of?

Irati: My job consists of coordinating innovation projects. The projects we set up are mainly related to sustainability, many of them with the revaluation of organic waste, eco-design of packaging, such as the one we presented at the fair, ODS, also related to talent, product and market innovation, etc.

My day-to-day work in the Basque Food Cluster basically involves identifying the needs of the companies, designing these projects and giving them shape, looking for lines of funding and partners that can help us to set these projects in motion; all the coordination and monitoring of the projects once they are underway and, finally, disseminating them and making them known to all the food companies in the Basque Country so that the learning and knowledge that we have generated in the projects can permeate the entire value chain.

Empack: Could you give us a brief explanation of what the Basque Food Cluster is?

Irati: Basque Food Cluster is the reference association for the food value chain in the Basque Country that brings together more than 130 companies from what we call the characteristic branches of the value chain: production, processing and distribution; and also industrial and auxiliary service companies and knowledge agents, such as universities or technology centres.

Our mission is to work for the competitiveness of companies by generating added value and focusing above all on innovation and very focused on consumer and market knowledge.

Empack: What assessment would you make of the first edition of the Empack and Logistics & Automation Bilbao fair, what do you think of the fact that this type of meeting is being held for the first time in the north of Spain?

Irati: For us, the fact that this type of meeting is being held in the north of Spain adds a lot of value. We currently have several projects underway in the field of sustainable packaging, as well as one to find out about the distribution models for more sustainable elements that we can tackle and, in the end, it is a luxury opportunity to find out what solutions there are on the market.

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