Food

We consider environmental impact of food production, rapidly consolidating food market, sustainable innovations that change how we eat, and technologies, companies, and processes reinventing global food supply chains. 

Owen Hoekenga: “We are…making better plants, so that you get more bang for your buck from a plant-based diet.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Improving food, and food systems, is the key to feeding the world’s rapidly growing population well into the future. Whether through genetically modified (GM) foods — in which the food’s genetic material has...

Palm Oil Faces Uphill Battle on Sustainability as Orangutans Fall Victim to Industry

The palm oil industry has a sustainability problem which can be summed up in one word: orangutans. Production of palm oil used in food, cosmetics, soap and other items has surged because it pairs both high yields and versatility....

Eat Meat Without Guilt: Innovations In Livestock Production

While Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have reignited investor appetite for meat alternatives, not everyone is going to become vegetarian or readily switch to a plant-based diet.  Vital Farms, an Austin, Texas-based producer of pasture-raised eggs, received an investment...

AeroFarms Raises $100 Million, Latest Deal in Booming Vertical Farms

From a former nightclub in Newark’s Ironbound to a basement in New York City’s tony Tribeca to shipping containers scattered out west, vertical farmers are seeding the future of agriculture and planting opportunities for investors, who see the farms meeting demand for...

Naio’s Farm Robots Win Investor Cash As Autonomous Field Vehicles Set to Proliferate

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The next 10 years will see robots on every farm, according to Naio Technologies, and the French agtech company is winning investor support to be part of that future. The developer of battery-powered weeding robots, designed to cut herbicide...

Cold Storage Sector Heats Up With Americold Buying Cloverleaf for $1.24 Billion

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. The cold storage business is heating up after Americold Realty Trust agreed to pay $1.24 billion for privately held Chiller Holdco LLC, also known as Cloverleaf Cold Storage, to expand its geographic reach...

Test-Tube Tuna: Fast-Growing Fake Fish Market Is Still ‘Very Open’ to Disruption

The next Beyond Meat success story could come from the fishing industry. As concerns grow about the cleanliness and sustainability of farm-grown fish, startups are employing stem cells and plants to create substitutes they claim are healthy, sustainable alternatives...

Italy’s Banfi Among Winemakers Pursuing Sustainability Goals as Consumers Shop Green

Vintage and variety aren’t the only things consumers are searching a wine label for these days.  More than a third of drinkers consider a winemaker’s environmental impact before buying, according to a 2013 Wine Institute survey. Two-thirds of those...

GrubMarket Eyes Product, Geographic Expansion with the Latest Round

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. GrubMarket, a San-Francisco based farm-to-table food delivery service for businesses and consumers, has raised a $25 million Series C1 round to invest in technology and acquisitions as it eyes a potential...

Coca-Cola Invests in Health-Ade Kombucha as Pivot Away From Sugar Continues

Coca-Cola’s polar bears might be switching from Coke to . . . fermented tea that includes something called scoby? As it cultivates its next generation of consumers, many of whom shun sugary beverages like Coca-Cola’s flagship drink, the company...

Israel’s Food Tech Sector Gets a $100 Million Boost

Interest in Israel’s food and agritech startups is growing, with more than $800 million invested from 2013 to 2018 and the number of companies mushrooming to more than 700. Many are developing technologies to aid sustainability and create healthier food.

Karma’s Guide to a Food Waste-Free Thanksgiving

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Americans are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day amid rising concerns about climate change and the future of our planet.  Next to carbon emissions from flying or driving, food waste is the holiday’s biggest environmental hazard. Americans throw away 200...

Blockchain for Agriculture: Regen Network Helps to Cut Waste in Food Supply

Regen Network, a Blockchain startup helping agriculture industry manage environmental impact, is pre-selling its token, Regen CEO Christian Shearer told Karma. Founded last year, the Massachusetts-based company records farming data on its Blockchain, offering food companies a trusted...

EU’s Plans for Sustainable Food May Open Door to Gene-Edited Crops

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The European Union says it wants to ensure safe and affordable nourishment for all its citizens, but a pair of food policy experts say a plan to do that may have unintended, and unhealthy, consequences. The EU’s “Farm-to-Fork” strategy...

Alt-Dairy Startup Perfect Day Raises Biggest Round Yet, Looks to Scale Animal-Free Products

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California-based food tech startup Perfect Day had a pretty good day: the maker of animal-free dairy products raised $140 million, aiming to commercialize their offerings and expand to multiple continents, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Perfect Day relies...

Food Scraps, Packing Protein and Profit, Get Second Life

As peas and soy, crickets and fungus are increasingly eyed as sustainable protein sources, a group of entrepreneurs is looking a little lower on the food chain -- at piles of waste. Sunflower tailings are among the scraps being “upcycled” into protein-rich...

Greenwashing Packaging: Starbucks, Pepsi Meet Cost and Tech Challenges

Starbucks test of reusable cups, the latest example of drink companies seeking to cut waste, is probably expensive and of limited help to the environment. In fact, the biggest benefit at this point may be to the company’s image, in part because...

Indian Agtech Startup DeHaat Scores $2.8 Million to Unlock “Upstream”

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. DeHaat, an agricultural tech startup, raised $2.8 million in venture debt funding from Mumbai-based Trifecta Capital as investors seek more opportunities in farming-focused companies, which have long been overshadowed by startups...

Zume Steps Up Plant-Based Packaging With Pivot Purchase

Zume, which  uses vans with hyper-efficient ovens to make pizzas while delivering them, bought Pivot, a California-based company that designs plant-based packaging. The deal continues a shift into packaging for Zume which introduced a compostable pizza box made from...

Kellogg’s Stealth Brand in Plant-Protein May Boost Company Fortunes

Plant-based faux-meat startups are all the rage with Wall Street, but long-established vegetarian brand Kellogg’s MorningStar Farms may be in the best position to cash in on the craze. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have made investors happy with...

West Africa Aims to Raise $80 Million in Smart Agriculture Push

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An alliance of West African nations seeking to help small farmers cope with climate change are helping them adopt agricultural practices that are also attracting a growing share of investors.  The Economic Community of West African States is raising...

Beyond Meat CEO Welcomes Competition, Sees Pressure to Deliver As Biggest Challenge

Ethan Brown, the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, does not seem fazed by intensifying competition in the plant-based industry, from either food tech startups or industry giants like Tyson Foods Inc. “Our biggest challenge is around pace. It’s...

DoorDash Knocks GrubHub From Top Delivery Spot Amid Controversy

DoorDash overtook GrubHub as the top online food delivery company in the U.S. amid accusations from restaurants that DoorDash didn’t get permission to post their menus or deliver their food to customers. DoorDash topped monthly meal-delivery sales in May,...

Meat, Dairy Producers Ignore Climate Change Despite Effects On Profits

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The $1.5 trillion global meat and dairy industries are taking little responsibility for their roles in climate change even as increased droughts, floods and storms cost them money. That’s the assessment of Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return, a London-based collaborative investor...

While Consumers Wretch, Entrepreneurs Go Full Steam on Bug Protein

The day is nearing when moms around the world may tell their kids to “sit down and eat your crickets!” Bug protein -- grasshoppers, crickets and the appropriately named mealworms -- is crawling to your grocer’s shelves. While a...

How This Small Tel Aviv Impact Fund Wants to Move the Needle on Sustainability

Six years ago, Vanessa Bartram started Zora Ventures to invest in early-stage Israeli tech startups, with an ambition that some of the companies would become billion-dollar companies and solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Since then, Zora has invested about...

The Beekeepers of Notre-Dame: the French Beekeeping Startup Eyeing U.S. Market

After the fire that destroyed the roof and spire of France’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, there was a piece of good news: the bees have survived. The startup behind the Notre-Dame beehives is called Beeopic, a small, tightly-run operation that after...

Silo Shines a Light, Smooths Kinks in Agricultural Supply Chain

Ten years ago, Ashton Braun was pricing and shipping coffee for export as a commodities trader in Southeast Asia. His experience in a supply chains rife with labor abuses, shoddy environmental practices and inefficiencies got him thinking: how might technology bring transparency...

Noblegen Inks Lands $19 Million in Series B Funds to Ramp up Production of Fermented Ingredients

Startup Noblegen snagged $19 million in Series B funding, to ramp up production of its fermented food ingredients, which require minimal water use and less energy to manufacture. The company’s vision is to “transform the global ingredients market by...

Low-CO2 the Next Gluten-Free? Quorn to Put Carbon Footprint of Products on Labels

Is low carbon footprint a selling point for you? Quorn Foods is going to find out. Just as we’ve gotten used to “low-gluten,” “all-natural” and “non-GMO,” the meat-substitue company is adding a “low-carbon footprint” claim to its labels. The...
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