The RESPECTfarms team
United by their shared vision of what the future of meat and farming could be, and by a down-to-earth 'show don't tell' approach, Ira, Ruud, Florentine and Ralf combine knowledge, experience and their networks in the cultured meat industry, in technology and innovations to make things happen.
Ira van Eelen is a designer, speaker, and co-founder at KindEarth.Tech, a privately funded nonprofit that accelerates the new protein industry through unique in-person and digital events. Ira is a board member and advisor to various companies (JUST) and foundations (InVitroMEat Foundation, Cellular Agriculture Netherlands) and fellow at NextNatureNetwork. As the daughter of Willem van Eelen, the Godfather of the CellAg industry, her four-decade-long legacy at the forefront of cultured meat drives her to champion the urgency and enormous potential of these innovations. Her father's original plans included the important role for existing farmers. It is this vision that brought RESPECTfarms to life.
Ruud Zanders is one of the founders of another successful blueprint for sustainable livestock farming: the revolutionary Kipster farm for laying hens. Kipster is the world's first climate neutral laying hen company that opened in September 2017, supported by supermarket chain Lidl as well as government funding and collaboration. Kipster farms are currently built in several countries in Europe and the United States. Ruud is known for his revolutionary ideas about the future of livestock farming - and his ability to actually make them happen together with governments, NGOs, science and corporations. His contribution is recognized by – among others- Change.Inc and AgriFoodTop50.
Florentine Zieglowski is researcher in the field of Strategic Innovation and Sustainable Development. With two Master degrees, she focused her research on decentralized cultivated meat production. She strengthens the team through her insights on cellular agronomy and the surmountable conflicts of interests within the field. As coming from the political sphere and as a representative of GenZ in agriculture, Florentine also represents both the conventional and cultivated meat industry interests to the German government.
Ralf Becks is an industrial designer with a strong background in commercial roles and technology, including 12 years in various roles at Microsoft, setting up a software startup and helping several companies with business model innovation at Business Models inc. Ralf quit his job in September 2021 to design the most sustainable food production business model. "We will accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system by bringing the right people together to make the impossible possible."