15 Sustainable Startups Shaping the Future of Food and Agriculture Selected to Take Part in Second London Programme

LONDON, 23 September 2019: FoodBytes! by Rabobank – the global pitch competition and networking platform that connects innovative consumer food, foodtech and agtech startups with corporate leaders and investors has announced the 15 food and agriculture startups that will compete live on stage for FoodBytes! London at Victoria House on 6 and 7 November 2019.

From farm waste-based fertilisers to 3D printing for personalised nutrition and labelling solutions to extend fruit shelf-life, the 15 startups were selected to pitch through a rigorous round of stakeholder scoring. Plant-based nutrition, future farming technology and circular supply chain solutions were amongst the dominant themes identified.

The startups all demonstrate product innovation, market relevance, traction and commercial viability – with a focus on sustainability and social impact – and were selected from 157 applicants across 38 countries and five continents. The selected companies will pitch their innovations with the potential for investment and intensive business mentorship, led by a panel of industry experts.

Rabobank first launched FoodBytes! in San Francisco in 2015 as part of its Banking for Food (B4F) strategy and mission to grow a better world together.

Nick Fereday, Executive Director – Food & Consumer Trends at Rabobank and FoodBytes! London judge commented: FoodBytes! builds lasting connections for the most promising food and agriculture startups who are critical in innovation and promoting a thriving sustainable food and agriculture eco-system, that will feed the increasing global population, expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Ever Since we launched in 2015, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that there has been no let up in the quality of the applicants seeking to make a profound impact and change on the food ecosystem.”

The startups – selected based on a specific criteria – will each have 3 minutes to pitch live on the FoodBytes! London stage.

Sustainable Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)

  • Seaweed & Co. – producers of naturally innovative seaweed ingredients and products for the food and nutrition markets which boast an incredible mix of health, nutrition, flavour and sustainability benefits
  • Borrago – a delicious non-alcoholic botanical spirit with all the flavours and theatre of a cocktail, but without the alcohol. The company’s namesake ‘borage’ is also known as the bee flower and they have given away over 100,000 borage seeds to date, as part of their commitment to help save the bees
  • Plant Pops – makes award-winning snacks from popped Lotus flowers (and other grains and seeds) which are good for you, the environment and the communities that grow them

Agtech:

  • Computomics – unlocks the diversity of biological life to enable data-driven decisions which can accelerate sustainable agricultural development, with a focus on biotech, breeding and indoor farming
  • N2 Applied – aims to fundamentally improve global food production by adding nutrient value to manure and enabling farmers to replace mineral fertiliser with an environmentally-friendly fertiliser
  • Co2i / DryGro – has developed a new way to grow an animal feed protein ingredient called Lemna, a perfect supplement to soybean meal
  • LLeaf – technology that is best described by the company name, an acronym for Luminescent Light Emitting Agriculture Films. Lleaf technology will help the world to increase food yield by improving the light that reaches plants
  • Trellis – allows the key players – growers, manufacturers, and retailers – to get insights from supply chain AI to accurately predict crop production and yield, supply chain fluctuations and market trends, resulting in lower costs, improved quality, and reduced waste

Food Tech:

  • Stix Fresh – peelable stickers for fruit which help to keep them fresh – the all-natural way to safely extend the shelf life of fruit by up to 14 days
  • Fresh Check – offers a simpler, faster and low-cost method of performing crucial hygeine testing with colour change spray to warn users about bacterial, chemical or organic contamination
  • Zero Waste Biotech – developed the Aero-D machine which converts food waste into clean renewable energy, enabling a circular economy
  • NOURISH3D – developed a patented 3D printing technology which allows them to combine 7 different active ingredients into personalised nutrition stacks, based on consumers’ lifestyle and goals
  • Redefine Meat – their technology produces animal-free meat with the same appearance, texture and flavor of animal meat, from natural and sustainable ingredients
  • Else Nutrition – 100% plant-based alternative to dairy-based baby nutrition
  • Element Packaging – creates innovative packaging solutions made from bamboo paper, plant starch and other sustainable polymers for the Food2Go, Retail, Travel and Fashion sectors, which are fully compostable or biodegradable

The 15 pitch companies are in the running to win one of three awards – Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice and Highly Commended.

Winners will have the opportunity to pitch and network at Rabobank’s European Advisory Board Meeting in France in April 2020 as well as receive 8 hours of tailor-made mentor sessions with Rabobank specialists. In addition, they will benefit from business consultation services from FoodBytes! sponsors, including branding and legal consultation and go-to-market advice.

FoodBytes! London 2019 is officially supported by Compass Group UK & Ireland, Saputo Dairy UK (formerly Dairy Crest) and Coca Cola European Partners, as well as supporting sponsors Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), DLL Watson Farley & Williams LLP. and Berry M&H.

See these 15 pioneering startups pitch at FoodBytes! London on 7 November 2019 – tickets are now available to purchase here.

Keep up with the FoodBytes! action by joining the newsletter and following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, or view curated content via the hashtag #FoodBytes.

FoodBytes! by Rabobank

Rabobank is a leading global food and agriculture bank, providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Rabobank first launched FoodBytes! in San Francisco in 2015 as part of its Banking for Food (B4F) strategy and believes that sustainability and innovation are critical in promoting a thriving food and agricultural industry that will feed the increasing global population, expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Since launching in 2015, 280 startups have pitched on the FoodBytes! stage, more than 1900 startups have applied from 70+ countries and more than 5,000 people have attended events in Europe, North America and Australia. www.foodbytesworld.com / www.rabobank.com

Media contact

For press information, interviews or photography, please contact Melanie Rawlings: melanie@mrawcomms.co.uk / +44 (0) 7388 662 147

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