Top stories on the FFF investment radar week 6

By David Stevenson on Wednesday 16 February 2022

Top stories on the FFF investment radar week 6
Image source: Top stories on the FFF investment radar week 6
CommentaryFood DeliveryGrocery DeliveryAlternative proteinPlant-Based FoodTech

Future Food Finance cherry-picks the stories we think should be on the radar of investors.

Key theme for this decade: carbons sequestration

The drive to net zero isn’t just about reducing emissions its also about sequestrating carbon through the land. We think this will be a major source of income for farmers.

Excellent overview from academic journal: "Microbes are everywhere and in everything," says Kristen DeAngelis, professor of microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and senior author of the study, recently published in ISME Communications. "There are billions of microbes in one teaspoon of soil; a trillion times more microbes than stars in the known universe. And yet, we don't know that much about them."

Farmers in Australia are already getting worried about carbon sequestration: NSW Farmers president James Jackson said carbon projects had "limited inputs" and local agricultural suppliers would lose a significant number of clients. "This is about the rate of change and structural adjustment, because carbon projects change the dynamic of employment in an area," Mr Jackson said.

Regenerative farming adds another dimension to carbon sequestration: The Ecdysis Foundation is launching a study that aims to investigate regenerative agriculture across the United States. The 1000 Farms Initiative is one of the largest projects to date that will gather data on agricultural management practices, soil and water health, biodiversity, and profits on more than 1,000 farms and ranches.

Key theme for this decade 2: Nextgen fertilizers

Farmers need to find a way to replace nitrogen based fertilizers. Cue the rise of biologicals

Founded in 2013, Sound Agriculture has developed technology that activates the soil microbiome to give plants access to important nutrients that exist in the field, allowing growers to optimize fertilizer inputs. It is also exploring accelerated breeding technologies.

Public markets and IPOs 1: Delivery Hero’s share price slumps

The foodtech bloodbath intensifies for key member of the home delivery space

Analysts pointed to Delivery Hero’s 2022 guidance as the reason behind the negative market reaction. While Delivery Hero said it expects its platform business to hit breakeven, full-year guidance for the group’s core profit margin came in at between -1% to -1.2%.

Public markets and IPOs 2: Greenlight Biosciences completes merger

Here come’s the plant biotech next wave

Greenlight Biosciences, which develops RNA products for agriculture and human health — including Covid-19 vaccines — became a publicly traded company yesterday after merging with Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Environmental Impact Acquisition Corp. The combined company, with an estimated enterprise value of $1.2 billion, is now trading under the ticker symbol GRNA.

Public markets and IPOs 3: Useful roundup of foodtech stocks worth watching from  Benzinga

Oatly, Beyond Meat, Tattooed Chef, Mission produce, Calavo Growers, Local Bounti, App Harvest and Laird Superfood

Worth watching: Food giant moves into insect protein

The race is on to come up with alternative, environment friendly animal feeds

French insect farming startup InnovaFeed and US agribusiness giant ADM have entered into a strategic partnership agreement which will see the two collaborate on insect protein production. The Paris-based startup will supply its black soldier fly protein to ADM’s pet foods division in order to create “high-quality nutritional” products with “a significantly lower carbon footprint and land requirement” than conventional livestock protein, they said in a statement

Worth watching: Custom proteins to order

Next gen cell free processes using biomolecular machinery could slash R&D times with new products likely to emerge. Or so says Teirra Biosciences

Worth reading 1: Anyone for biotech foods?

We’re not convinced that the alternative proteins sector has done enough to educate the market….

Decades ago, when food makers started selling alternatives to animal products, such as soymilk and tempeh, the idea was to solve a problem: many consumers, for a variety of reasons, could not or chose not to consume dairy products or meat. These days, the rush to replicate animal products and ingredients has far less to do with meeting consumer demand. Rather, it’s all about investor frenzy, and “because we can.”

Worth reading 2: Sifted’s roundup of top alt protein startups

Leading European VC publication handpicks the businesses to watch in the alt protein space

Worth reading; thought wool was good for the environment?

No, says academic research though we suspect others may disagree

The average climate cost of sheep’s wool, according to the findings, is three times greater than acrylic materials. And, a whopping five times greater than conventionally grown cotton. Additionally, it uses 367 (!) times more land per bale than cotton. Further, the chemically intensive process of cleaning shorn wool kills aquatic life and pollutes waterways, says Shear Destruction.

Coming to a high street near you 1: IKIEAs 3D printed vegan meatballs

IKEA has perfected the signature appearance, flavor, and texture of the IKEA meatball without the meat by way of its printers, which sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie but could mean big things for the future of sustainable eating.

Coming to a high street near you 2: Vegan tuna for US wide delivery

Newly rebranded Current Foods has announced the launch of a direct-to-customer sales initiative. The company, which was formerly known as Kuleana, making its vegan tuna and smoked salmon analogues available for delivery throughout the U.S. Interested consumers can sign up for pre-launch access to a new online shop, which will feature Kuleana Tuna and smoked salmon.

Coming to a high street near you 3: Pizza vending machine

PizzaForno, a Toronto-based company, is rolling out its automated pizza vending machines across North America, including in Michigan and other U.S. locations. For $10 to $13, they serve up hot, 12-inch pizzas in under three minutes.

Big deal of the week: Vegetable oil alternative in $37m series A

New kid on the block Zero Acre Farms, a San Francisco fat startup that has been in stealth mode until this week, has a big mission: disrupting vegetable oils with a fermented alternative that is more sustainable and healthier. The founding team claims its palm oil and corn oil replacement will help fight deforestation and the littany of health issues that our dependence on cheap vegetable fats have caused- over 20% of daily calories now come from these oils, according to the company.

and in depth profile