Plant Based World Council Introductions: Michelle Adelman
Michelle Adelman, the visionary founder of Accite Holdings and Infinite Foods is a distinguished figure whose career spans over three decades at the nexus of sustainable development, technology, and food systems. Her work, primarily focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, aims to foster economic diversification and boost employment for youth and women, thereby enhancing the continent’s food security.
Adelman’s journey from a global managing director at Accenture to a leader in sustainable agriculture and food technology in Africa is a narrative of transformation and impact. “My transition from the finance world to developing and investing in sustainable farms in Botswana really changed the way I think about food systems and technology,” she reflects. This pivotal shift allowed her to view food production through a new lens, focusing on maximizing caloric output from minimal resources.
Through Infinite Foods, Adelman launched Infinite Cafe in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2021. The fully plant-based menu featured many of the leading meat, cheese and milk alternatives that were gaining popularity in the United States. Partnerships were key to introducing these products to a new marketplace long before they would have made it through traditional distribution channels. These relationships offered Adelman a unique perspective on the plant-based marketplace. She began to think creatively about how to best structure the management of these mission-driven companies to truly penetrate the market and have lasting impact.
At the heart of Adelman’s mission is a commitment to the plant-based sector’s growth and competitiveness. “I am excited to take these next steps as an industry to make the plant-based category able to compete with the meat industry and have products that are delicious, affordable, and widely available,” she states. Her vision for the plant-based marketplace is not just about offering alternatives but ensuring these options are accessible and appealing to a broad audience.
Michelle Adelman’s journey embodies a profound dedication to environmental sustainability, economic empowerment, and the advancement of plant-based foods through experiential foodservice and retail. Her innovative approach to agriculture and food technology in Africa serves as a blueprint for how to address global food challenges. As she contemplates her next steps, her focus remains on leveraging technology and sustainable practices to revolutionize food systems, meeting people where they are at and moving the needle one eater at a time.
Michelle has been a speaker at both Plant Based World Expo North America and Europe consistently since its inception. We welcome her voice to the Advisory Council as we work towards collaborative solutions to these challenges.