🌭 For better, for wurst

PLUS: $1.7B fund for sustainable agrifood, a long-overdue framework for regenerative ag, 13 food waste tracking startups

We can't change the world alone. And we don't need to do it alone.

That’s why Hack Communities are growing. Bringing together more founders, funders and operators to foster innovation and collaboration, locally.

This week we welcomed our first cohort of ClimateHack Ambassadors, powering 10 Chapters worldwide.

Now with 105 Ambassadors across 30 countries and 49 active Chapters, it’s never been easier to get to know your local Food and Climate community.

Here’s where you can join us this October.

This Week in Food:

  • 46-year record pricing for cocoa

  • TV broadcast’s vegan investment

  • Brazil’s first cultivated R&D centre

The Digest

📈 What’s up? Global shortages in both 2023-24 cocoa and sugar production, caused by extreme weather events, have seen sugar prices reach a 12-year high and cocoa prices soaring to a 46-year high.

📉 What’s down? The US International Trade Commission announced its preliminary determination that there is “a reasonable indication” Chinese companies are flooding the US market with high protein content pea protein “at less than fair value and subsidized by the government of China.”

🛢 Scientists at Queen Margaret University, Scotland have developed PALM-ALT, a clean-label, healthier and more sustainable alternative to palm oil, made from a byproduct of the linseed industry along with fibre and rapeseed oil.

🖊 The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform launched its global framework for regenerative agriculture, Regenerating Together, designed for practical use at farm-level to bring about “large-scale, long-term systemic change within the global food supply”.

👀 Here’s what you should know before fundraising for your startup, according to Brad Pruente of Prime Movers Lab.

🔦 Good Read: Why food waste is a major global issue with no easy fixes, according to Sophie Attwood at World Resources Institute.

Funding x Funds

Credit: Kern Tec

💰 Private equity firm Paine Schwartz Partners closed its latest fund with $1.7 billion to support the sustainable food and agribusiness value chain. Its most recent investments include AgroFresh Solutions, Costa Group, Elemental Enzymes, HGS BioScience and Monterey Mushrooms.

🇦🇹 Austrian startup Kern Tec raised €12 million Series A funding to upcycle stone fruit pits into plant-based dairy alternatives. It will use the funds to scale up European production and enter the US market in 2025. Here’s why it’s a record-breaking raise.

🦟 New Zealand-based Scentian Bio raised $2.1 million seed funding for its biosensors which mimic the olfactory capabilities of insects and have potential applications in everything from food quality control to rapid testing for diseases.

🇺🇸 Novel Farms, based in California, received a $999,967 Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation to scale its proprietary scaffolding platform for the cultivated meat industry.

📺 British alt meat brand THIS secured investment from the UK’s largest commercial television broadcaster, ITV, as part of its Media for Equity programme, and announced a collaboration with pie brand Pieminister.

🎢 Check out all the fundraises this week from crowdfunding €1M in (almost) 1 hour to funding Asia’s ‘largest’ facility for cricket meat and snacks.

48H Muscle Growth

Credit: ProFuse Technology

🧫 Israeli biotech startup ProFuse Technology has developed a scaffolding 3D growth technology for cultivated meat production that it claims can accelerate muscle growth time fivefold to allow cultivated meat production within 48 hours, reducing the standard production time by 80%. Here’s why scaffolding and micro carriers are pivotal to achieve price parity.

🥬 The Dutch arm of vertical farming startup Infarm has been “declared bankrupt” according to official documents. The company is now reportedly focusing solely on the Middle East, and is rumoured to have raised $40 million – $50 million in new funds from Qatar.

🏭 UK CDMO Extracellular has opened what it says is Europe’s largest contract pilot plant for cultivated meat and seafood, to support companies looking to scale up their operations.

🍞 US-based Equii debuted plain and multigrain high complete protein and low carb bread, which contains 10 grams of complete protein and all 9 essential amino acids per slice.

Plant Based

Credit: The Vegetarian Butcher

🔪 Unilever-owned The Vegetarian Butcher is set to open a plant-based butchery in Rotterdam, Netherlands on World Animal Day.

🇩🇪 Germany’s The Raging Pig Company launched Raging Weißwurst, a plant-based Bavarian white sausage, developed in partnership with restaurant chain SIGGIS to celebrate the 188th edition of Oktoberfest.

🤍 Texas-based Mooala launched three-ingredient, organic, shelf-stable plant-based milk, made from filtered water, organic oats or almonds, and sea salt, to meet consumer demand for products with simplified ingredient profiles.

🤝 Swedish mycoprotein producer Mycorena is joining forces with leading animal meat supplier Atria Sweden to launch a range of mycoprotein-based products, made with the startup’s signature ingredient, Promyc.

🌭 TiNDLE Foods has launched a breakfast sausage in the US, marking its first domestically-made product, and has expanded its restaurant and retail presence in the UK, including a debut at Whole Foods.

🥞 Impossible Foods has partnered with IHOP to launch a range of new menu items at almost all of the pancake diner’s almost 1,700 locations, significantly expanding its US foodservice footprint.

Big Food

Credit: JBS

🔨 JBS has begun construction on “Brazil’s first” cultivated protein R&D innovation centre, set to open in Q4 2024. It will be the largest FoodTech research facility focused in the country. Here’s what the CEO said about the connection between Food and Climate.

🏍 UberEats is partnering with Turkish speedy grocery delivery startup Getir. Starting in the UK, the tie-up, which expands the range of groceries on tap for Uber Eats’ users, will roll out into other European markets where the pair operate in the coming weeks.

🧫 DSM-Firmenich has developed new single-cell proteins, designed for use as an animal feed ingredient, which it says have the capacity to produce net-zero carbon proteins.

🔥 Coca-Cola is coming under fire from animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission, which claims that its Fairlife brand is continuing to source milk from two Indiana dairy farms where cows are being subjected to animal abuse. 

🥛 Dutch dairy leader Boermarke announced its intention to move to a fully plant-based product lineup by 2026.

🤝 Dutch NoPalm Ingredients broke the news it is working with Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive to close the loop and introduce a new sustainable ingredient.

HackTrends: Food Waste Tracking

Of all the food that is produced in the world, of it is wasted. We’re producing way more food than is necessary, and using far more land than we need to cultivate said food - with all the water, pesticides and other environmental no-nos associated with mass agriculture. All of this adds up to increased emissions. The last thing we need.

🔎 Discover in the full HackTrends Report:
- 2x case studies (Winnow, Orbisk)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 13 companies tracking the food we throw away
- Expert insights from Jonas von den Driesch, Elif Güngör Reis, Samantha Gadenne and Ben Holden

From the Community

Get a (new) job in FoodTech:

- BettaF!sh (Germany) are looking for a Chief of Staff
- StartLife (Netherlands) are hiring a Managing Director and CTO
- Protein Distillery (Germany) are looking for a Business Developer & Intern
- April3rd Foods (India) are recruiting a Market Research Executive

🍌 Take a listen to these food waste fighting podcasts.

🌟 Introducing The Female Founders in Food Tech Virtual Pitch Event. Apply today if you’ve raised less than $1 Million USD in capital.

🔦 Meet the cohort of startups joining the Balkans’ Future Verticals accelerator program by Launchlabs including TerraLife Solutions, IcePro, Agriniser.

📣 Nucleate Chicago is looking for trainees to join their 2024 cohort. The Activator Program is a non-equity accelerator program to empower academic trainees to transition their ideas to startup biotech companies.

🌍 Europe’s top 4 startup ecosystems for attracting VC investment.

 👩‍🏫 Back to school: Is your startup manifesto the same as this 5th graders?

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Curated by Nicola and Laura 

Until next time - Stay Hungry