Circular Economy Startups in the Food Sector
We can implement the circular economy by building startups, and one sector that has great opportunities is the food sector. Unfortunately, we still produces a lot of food loss and waste. In fact, food loss and waste is a major problem that has many negative impacts on the environment, social, and economy. Then, the challenges to meet human needs, which have reached 8 billion people, are still increasing. Therefore, circular economy startups operating in the food sector have enormous opportunities in the future.
Better Origin is a startup in the agri-food sector that received $ 16 million from Balderton Capital. Their anxiety started when they learned that there was a lot of food waste at various stages of the supply chain. In addition, food availability is always a challenge. In addition, the food distribution process often results in significant carbon emissions. Because of this, they founded Better Origin to utilize vegetable and fruit waste as a food source for insect larvae. These insect larvae later become food for livestock. Interestingly, they create larval growth sites in containers that they can move around. This will reduce the distribution process they don’t need.
Almost everyone in any part of the country uses a glass to drink. However, have you ever thought about eating your glass? This idea is what Cupffee has. They know that there is a lot of waste from food or beverage packaging. Therefore, they make glasses from food ingredients so that we can drink coffee, tea or milk while eating the glass. This glass material is resistant to temperatures of 85 degrees Celsius and can withstand the heat of drinks. In addition, the crunchy texture can last up to 40 minutes. Thus, this innovation can reduce food waste while reducing the use of single-use plastics. In 2022, they have been able to produce 3 million cups per month. With help from the Buhler solution, they plan that next year they will be able to produce 10 million cups per month.
Uglygood startup is a food waste management startup from Singapore. They manage organic waste into valuable products (waste valorisation). Their main focus is citrus fruit waste management. The products they produce include Natural Cleaning Solutions, Live Feedstock, and Orange Essential Oil. As a result, they are able to recycle up to 100,000 kilograms of waste and avoid 50,000 kilograms of CO2 emission. In addition, they have also worked with 20 upcycling companies. Thus, this startup has a big impact both in terms of environment, social, and economy.
MiAlgae is a startup from the University of Edinburgh. Their concern stems from the production of Omega-3 which comes from the extraction of fish in the ocean. Their research eventually found that food and beverage by-products can grow microalgae that are rich in Omega-3. This circular economy startup eventually developed very rapidly. Various investors came to fund this startup. The Conduit Impact Fund managed by Ascension investing £900,000, SIS Ventures putting forward £350,000. In addition, Equity Gap, Old College Capital, and Scottish Enterprise contributed investments of up to £1 million. This investment fund is the capital for MiAlgae to develop its startup to a bigger stage.
Food scraps are often wasted. Whoever threw them away also doesn’t know the exact amount. However, not with Winnow. They are a circular economy startups that really values food. They created technology to measure, analyze, and categorize food waste that goes to waste. Thus, every day they can obtain data on waste and its impact. So that the data can be the basis for carrying out strategic policies such as menu engineering, portion control, and customer signage. In the end, companies or restaurants that already use Winnow’s technology can reduce food waste and lower production costs, as well as improve their service to consumers.