How automation will bring predictability back to your business: By Scott Keefauver, Executive Director Marketing – Equipment and Automation – Sealed Air

What if your food processing plant ran with the same performance qualities you expect to find in a high-precision watch? Your fine timepiece runs at a stable rate, day in and day out. You can count on it keeping time and being there for you when you need it. It performs exactly as you expect, no surprises, no flaws. It’s precise, predictable and reliable. Now, imagine these attributes apply to your business. Your current operational challenges aren’t challenges anymore, and your plant is humming along efficiently and sustainably. Employees are productive and fulfilled, and you have the right people in the right positions, all the time. Furthermore, you have all the data you need, where you need it and when you need it. If there is an equipment issue, the issue is diagnosed quickly and repaired cost-effectively, thanks to remote diagnostics and your access to the experts who provide insights and solutions. Potential issues are identified and solved before they have the chance to become problems. Bottom line is, your business runs like a well-oiled machine, predictably and immune to the chaos of influences beyond your control. Sounds a little like an alternate reality, doesn’t it? But it’s all possible with touchless automation. Touchless automation systems already are revolutionizing the way businesses operate, bringing things back into order, providing predictability and efficiency. An automated environment provides the ability to maximize safety, increase worker satisfaction, minimize waste, protect goods and deliver productivity savings. In other words, machine intelligence optimizes performance and create the highest levels of productivity, while ensuring the most profitable outcome. For meat processors who are striving to bring predictability back to their business, the future of their business may rely heavily on how they incorporate automation into their operations. What Automation Means for You While automation may bring to mind thoughts of faster machines and fewer people on the line, it’s about much, much more. Automation is about a commitment to a successful future, one that promotes the optimization of your labor force, the power of connectivity and better insights, and the predictability that comes from a totally integrated solution. Let’s take a closer look into this solution for success:
  • Labor optimization. Not labor reduction. Automation is about removing the uncertainty of day-to-day operations. It allows you to optimize the labor you have, while combatting labor turnover costs and minimizing disruption that can occur from daily unexpected labor shortages.
With an automated environment, new employees are trained and become productive quicker, and existing employees will find more satisfaction in their jobs. From the plant manager to a production line worker, automation will make their jobs more rewarding, more efficient and safer. For example, a fully automated production line will allow one employee, who formerly filled bags or performed other mundane tasks, to become a production line manager, overseeing all aspects of the line as the automated system loads the bags, fills the bags, and then advances to rotary chambers for vacuum and sealing. At the same time, the plant manager, who in the past spent much of their time gathering and calculating information from the plant floor, now has an entirely new visualization with the data produced from an automated system and can spend their time understanding and using the information rather than trying to gather it. And with a touchless automation system, not only does it mean that fewer people will need to touch the product, making the process faster and more efficient, it also creates a more sanitary and safer environment, especially important where food quality and safety are concerned. Overall, with automation, a business can use their people to their greatest advantage and strengths and leave the mundane work to the robots.
  • The power of connectivity. Remote connectivity allows service technicians to leverage data to provide better insights and enable continuous improvement to line performance. This helps reduce downtime, allows you to quickly detect problems to prevent huge repairs later, extends equipment service life and reduces overtime costs.
Imagine a piece of equipment suddenly has a problem, and rather than spending a lot of time trying to diagnose the problem, and perhaps going through 20 or more fixes before you get at the root of the problem, you have all the data and expertise at your fingertips to fix the problem quickly and cost-effectively through remote connectivity. These insights also help predict when things are going to fail, so problems can be solved before they happen. This type of predictive maintenance is yet another way to bring predictability back to business. Connectivity and the insights it provides also helps to ensure the highest product integrity, delivering a consistent result, protecting your brand reputation and adding to customer satisfaction when they purchase your products. Additionally, connecting to machines with advanced features is easier. They offer a simplified learning path, are more ergonomic, and ultimately safer for employees.
  • Predictability with a totally integrated solution. Packaging automation has become every bit as much about protecting production as it is enhancing it. It’s about reducing risk and finding a way to ensure your operation runs regardless of who does or does not show up for work that day. It’s about bringing predictability back to your plant by creating an environment that’s safe, flexible, and less dependent on restricted or uncertain resources.
And it goes beyond the package. When you think about automation, and the predictability that it brings, think about the entire production process… from the time the product arrives at the plant to the time it is put on the truck for delivery. For example, automation goes both upstream and downstream of the packaging process. The integration of vision systems augmented with machine learning can help to identify, sort, and find visual defects on each product as it goes through the process. This type of product traceability system helps ensure the optimal performance of automation equipment throughout the process. A Holistic Approach to Automation Think about automation as a commitment to a better tomorrow, and a commitment to your business. Investing in automation, Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies can help you make smarter, faster, and more proactive decisions about your operations to help maximize labor efficiency and productivity while minimizing downtime and reducing total operating costs. And remember that automation goes beyond packaging to include the entire production process. Automated solutions such as automated cartoning systems, infeeds, conveyors, shrink wrappers, and shrink tunnels are designed to dramatically shorten the packaging process by automating repetitive tasks such as lifting, turning, loading and sealing. For the right solution you’ll want to consider the total system, the scale of operation and the range of complexity. From setup to post-installation to maintenance, automation requires a multi-faceted approach. It’s not a one-size fits all endeavor. Automation can change the way the industry operates by changing how we address and respond to challenges. Touchless automated solutions are designed to bring consistency and predictability back to businesses and control back to our customers. With packaging automation, we can reduce chaos and find the way forward to a better and more predictable future.

Dust extraction specialist announces attendance at UK’s premier manufacturing event

Dustcontrol UK is set to exhibit its collection of high-performance extraction equipment at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2023. Taking place from Tuesday, February 7th to Thursday, February 9th at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre, Hampshire, the Dustcontrol team will be showcasing the firm’s extensive range of both fixed and mobile cyclone-based dust extractors and air cleaners, at Stand L170. Some of the equipment attendees will be able to see up close includes the DC Tromb 400, Dustcontrol’s most powerful single-phase dust extractor. The unit has been designed to meet modern safety requirements and work in conjunction with tools that have become ever more efficient in manufacturing processes. The powerful DC 2900 range will also be on display, which can be used for industrial vacuuming or on-tool dust extraction. Its suction casings make it particularly effective for dust-creating activities. In addition, Dustcontrol’s range of DC AirCubes will be exhibited at the event, which are the perfect complimentary background air cleaners to at-source extraction, circulating clean air back into an area used for dust-creating activities and providing greater extraction efficiency. Rounding off the equipment on display will be the DC 1800 EX and DCF 60 Pre-Separator, along with a range of accessories including ATEX and suction cases. Ira Morris, Country Manager of Dustcontrol UK, said: “Once again, Southern Manufacturing & Electronics promises to be another great event for those within the industry. With an expected 800 exhibitors and 9,000 guests in attendance, we’re excited to be hosting live demonstrations of our vacuum systems to showcase their effective dust extraction capabilities.” The company, based in Milton Keynes, has 50 years of experience in developing dust extraction solutions and centralised vacuum systems to fit client requirements in the manufacturing industry, including electronics, healthcare production, and aviation. They are experts in problem-solving with a high technical capability of capturing dust at its source, then containing and transporting it to a convenient discharge solution. Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the UK. Having been held for over 20 years, the event has fast become a major pan-European showcase for new technology in machinery, production equipment, electronic production and assembly, tooling, components, and subcontract services across a wide range of industries. Ira concluded: “The event will enable us to show key personnel in the manufacturing and electronics industry how our expertise in efficient dust extraction can help businesses stay healthy.”

Keurig Dr Pepper invests in non-alcoholic beer company

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has taken a minority stake in Athletic Brewing Company, the American non-alcoholic craft beer maker. The transaction represents KDP’s latest move into rapidly emerging beverage categories, following its acquisition of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique. The $50 million investment by KDP provides the company with an equity stake in Athletic Brewing that is comparable to other lead investors, namely TRB Advisors and Alliance Consumer Growth. KDP will have a seat on the company’s Board of Directors. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed. Athletic Brewing was founded in 2017 by Bill Shufelt and John Walker and is a top-20 U.S. craft brewer, according to Nielsen. In 2022, Athletic Brewing was ranked as the 26th fastest-growing private company in America by Inc. Magazine and was also named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Companies” list. Non-alcoholic beer in the U.S. grew almost 20% in retail dollars over the past year, with the craft segment, where Athletic Brewing holds a 55% market share, far outpacing total category growth. Athletic Brewing has a lineup of more than 40 brews. Non-alcoholic beer accounts for over 85% of total sales in the fast-growing category of non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits, as an increasing number of consumers moderate their alcohol consumption. “Athletic Brewing is a winning brand in a rapidly growing beverage segment. Our investment reflects our interest and ability to move into exciting white spaces, including in the blurring of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories,” said Keurig Dr Pepper executive chairman Bob Gamgort. “We look forward to partnering with the Athletic Brewing team to help them scale the business.” “We’re thrilled to welcome Keurig Dr Pepper as an investor and strategic partner,” Shufelt said. “Their team brings a tremendous amount of expertise and truly embraces our mission of brewing great-tasting non-alcoholic beers that are fit for all times. This investment will enable Athletic Brewing to further accelerate our growth across North America.”

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company to sell Eagle Brewery to long-term partner Damm

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) has revealed plans to sell the Eagle Brewery in Bedford to its long-term partner, the Spanish brewer S.A. Damm (Damm), best known in the UK as the brewer of the popular premium beer, Estrella Damm. The Eagle Brewery’s beers will continue to be sold as part of CMBC’s portfolio.
An ambitious new step for Damm in the UK, the Eagle Brewery will become Damm’s first brewery outside of mainland Europe and only the second Damm brewery outside of Spain. The sale is expected to complete by the end of this year. As part of the agreement, the Eagle Brewery’s beers will remain part of CMBC’s diverse portfolio, ranging from world beers Birrificio Angelo Poretti and Brooklyn Pilsner to British ale brands Hobgoblin and Wainwright. CMBC and Damm have enjoyed a long partnership distributing Estrella Damm, with the UK being one of Estrella Damm’s key export markets. Much of the partnership’s activity has taken place at the Eagle Brewery, where Estrella Damm has been packaged for the UK market since 2010. All 67 production colleagues working at the Eagle Brewery will transfer over to Damm’s workforce in the UK and will be supported by CMBC through the transition. CMBC’s logistics operation in Bedford will continue from its current location on the site for around the next 12 months, before moving to a new location. Paul Davies, CEO, CMBC, said: “We are pleased to be able to share the news of our deal with our long-term partner Damm, building on our successful relationship to help ensure the brewery’s prosperity. “I am grateful to all of my colleagues and their counterparts at Damm for their collaboration throughout the process of making this agreement a reality. This significant moment for the brewery, becoming Damm’s first brewery outside mainland Europe, has been made possible thanks to the brilliant and dedicated team at the Eagle Brewery, who we will be supporting throughout the transition.” Demetrio Carceller Arce, executive president, Damm, said: “We are delighted to announce, with our partner CMBC, the purchase of the Eagle Brewery and to welcome the brewery’s 67 employees into the Damm family. “This deal will strengthen our position in the UK market and help drive our brand in the UK, a key market for the company’s international growth. The British public can currently enjoy our products in more than 10,000 bars and restaurants, a figure we expect to continue to grow in the coming years.”

Rocket Food sold to Restaurant Associates

FRP Corporate Finance has advised luxury event caterer Rocket Food (Rocket) on its sale to premium hospitality brand Restaurant Associates, which is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland (Compass Group). The acquisition will increase Rocket and Restaurant Associates’ presence in the luxury hospitality sector across the UK. The transaction will also support Rocket with developing its sustainability and supply chain credentials and provide the business with access to Compass Group’s training and apprenticeship schemes. Based in Battersea, Rocket caters for private and corporate events, and is a preferred supplier at many of London’s most prestigious venues, including Kensington and Hampton Court Palaces, the V&A, the British Museum, and the Tate Modern. The company was founded by brother and sister duo Michael Symonds and Caroline Hall in 2000, and today it employs 50 people. Restaurant Associates operates across some of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions, including Glyndebourne, Hatfield House and Hever Castle. The brand is part of Compass Group, an international company that provides catering, cleaning, and facilities management services in more than 6,000 locations across the UK & Ireland. Jon Dodge, FRP Corporate Finance partner, said: “The deal represents an exciting new partnership for Rocket Food and Restaurant Associates, and closely aligns two organisations renowned for their passion and commitment to providing the highest quality food. “The corporate luxury events sector is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to generate £480 billion by 2030. With the strength of its offering and through its sale to Restaurant Associates, Rocket is well positioned to capitalise on this opportunity. We are delighted to have represented the owners of Rocket and congratulate them on having built a fabulous business.” Michael Symonds, Managing Director at Rocket Food, added: “Our team at Rocket has a passion for exceptional food, creativity and service, all values that we share with Restaurant Associates. The new partnership will be a formidable offering for the clients we are proud to serve.”

Nearly 10% of food goes to waste in the supply chain as managers bemoan damaged and excess inventory


Stock inefficiencies and inventory ‘black holes’ are exacerbating the supply chain crisis for food companies according to new research. Nearly 10% of stock is lost – either through the 7.1% which is damaged or perished or the additional 2.9% which is overproduced. This loss is the equivalent of 3.5% of annual profits, which equates to $114.7 billion in terms of the sale value of lost stock.

This data has been published in a new global report released today (November 10, 2022) by Avery Dennison, a leader in materials science and digital identification solutions. The Missing Billions: The Real Cost of Supply Chain Waste is an in-depth report assessing the state of global supply chains and the issue of waste across the US, UK, France, China and Japan.

The data analyzed 61 global food firms including manufacturers, wholesale and distribution firms and retailers. Respondents said that spoilage of perishable items and concerns over product packaging are their two main concerns in relation to supply chain waste (on a scale of 7 both concerns were ranked as 5.3). Respondents are in a good position to judge this, since nearly all (97%) track supply chain waste.

But transport issues were listed as the biggest concern by nearly half of respondents in terms of the ‘most disruptive to supply chain operations’. The increased cost of transportation was stated by 24.6% with an equal number citing ‘availability of transportation and logistics capacity’ (24.6%).

A massive 92% of respondents said they are coming under pressure to become sustainable and they estimate that a third (32.4% on average) of their total company sustainability impact comes from their supply chain activities. But despite this awareness of the problem, they are not investing the budget required to fix it. Just 3% of technology budgets are specifically dedicated to supply chain sustainability improvement.

When asked about the greatest challenges to achieving supply chain resilience, the largest barrier by far is integrating disparate systems (stated by 21.3%) ahead of ‘budgetary limitations’ (13.1%).

The report highlights an intention to address these issues with a step change in the breadth of technologies used over the next three years to boost efficiency. For instance, while 51% currently track unique items in their supply chain, a further 46% plan to in future. When asked which of these technologies would you consider ‘most strategic to address supply chain waste over the next 24 months’, RFID (selected by 33%) topped the list followed by autonomous delivery vehicles (31%) and delivery drones (15%). Passive UHF RFID is used by 25% of respondents today but this will triple to 74% in three years.

Use of blockchain can help with supply chain tracking and is used by 8% of those surveyed for the report today but this will increase 11x to 95% within three years. Other technologies that can help with broader efficiency are also major investment targets. The use of delivery drones and robots will see a 17x rise in the next three years from just under 5% today to 84% by 2025. Robots and cobots use will rise 14x from 6.6% today to 94% by 2025. Autonomous delivery vehicles will see a 13x increase from 6.6% today to 85% in three years. By 2025 all companies will use predictive analytics (an 8.7x increase from the 11.5% using it today) and 98% will use machine learning (a 6x increase from the 16.4% using today).

Nestlé participated in the research. Mr. Tony Domingo, senior vice president: supply chain & procurement for Nestlé Zone Greater China, says: “Given the highly fragmented routes-to-markets/shoppers, Nestlé China’s supply chain is embedded with its insightful data-enabled platforms and tools such as the indigenous DSCC, QR coding, Intelligent-program-interactive tools equipped for better decision-making, drive visibility from farm-to-chopsticks & transparently optimizing the flow of data, intelligence, information & brands.”

Mr. Arik Mo, head of supply chain for Ice Cream business, Nestlé Mainland China, adds: “We are in the process of implementing RFID technology within the Nestlé China supply chain, we believe in its potential and ability for visibly optimizing efficiencies and managing waste throughout the value chain. It’s evident that the use of such advanced technologies, including those we’ve developed internally i.e. the Digital Supply Chain Centers (DSCC); enable us to detect demand signals, ensuring effective replenishments of products to the marketplace, therefore responding to the needs of customers.”

Shoppers driven by better choices for longer lasting products

The Missing Billions: The Real Cost of Supply Chain Waste also surveyed 7,500 shoppers globally to understand shifts in consumers’ spending. Unsurprisingly, cost is a high priority for consumers globally when it comes to buying products. However, quality is ranked equally alongside cost as the number one concern at 22%. UK consumers are the most cost-conscious with 28% listing it as the top priority followed closely by France and Japan, both at 25%. China is a significant outlier with just 6% of shoppers surveyed stating cost as their number one concern.

The data also reveals some concerning trends around sustainability with just 16% of shoppers putting sustainability in their top three deciding factors and only 12% prioritizing the ethical sourcing of their products. However, the research also signaled the importance of transparency with 44% of food shoppers saying transparency about a product’s origins and journey is important to them and over a third (37%) stating that if brands are transparent about ingredients in their food products it would encourage them to make more sustainable purchases.

Mr. Francisco Melo, senior vice president and general manager at Avery Dennison Smartrac, says: “The current supply chain disruption is leading to a waste crisis in the food industry and elsewhere. Having visibility is key to optimizing supply chains for efficiency and sustainability, as well as helping to build trust and transparency with consumers. Digital identification solutions play a vital role in supply chain planning strategy and it is encouraging to see that companies are committed to further drive this change through the increased use of RFID technology in the coming years.”

Melo adds: “Digital triggers such as Radio Frequency Identification or RFID, provide unprecedented end to end visibility in a highly efficient and accurate way. Connected products not only shine a light on supply chains but also reveal valuable new information to enable consumers to make better decisions, including transparency and carbon footprint data.”

Durham Box wins at North East Charity Awards 2022

Corrugated packaging manufacturer, County Durham-based Durham Box, has won the Outstanding Charity Support by Small to Medium Companies Award at the North East Charity Awards 2022, held on Wednesday 19 October at The Fed in Gateshead. The award was for the company’s continued support for local charity, Feeding Families. Feeding Families is a lifeline for many families, delivering food all year round to families in food poverty. Working closely with other organisations and agencies, the charity ensures that thousands of families in desperate need have access to emergency food boxes and support packages. Covering Sunderland, Newcastle, County Durham, Northumberland, and Teesside, the charity routinely send out over 1000 emergency food boxes monthly, and provide over 9000 hamper boxes during the Christmas period. Durham Box supports the charity through the supply of corrugated boxes used to distribute food. They also provide branded dump bins, which are placed in local shops, businesses and schools, to enable food donations throughout the region. “The support that Durham Box gives to us is a fundamental part of the charity, without this we would not be able to help as many people are we do,” said Sarah McPhie, Feeding Families’ communications & fundraising manager. “We cannot thank all the team at Durham Box enough!” Dan Morris, Durham Box’s Managing Director, added: “We are delighted to have won an award for our ongoing support for Feeding Families. For those who are struggling in food poverty across the region, life can be particularly challenging for many families, particularly with the rising cost of living and the impact of that across the country. We’re glad that we continue to make a difference with our box donations.” To find out more about Durham Box visit

Cheese maker expands globally with support from UK Government and Barclays

Wyke Farms, the independent cheese producer, has received support from UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Barclays to help finance its Cheddar stock as its export sales have gone from strength to strength now exporting in over 160 countries. Wyke Farms’ products are in high demand – but rising inflation has hugely impacted the cost of milk, increasing Wyke Farms’ production costs exponentially. Wyke Farms’ existing financing facility needed to be revisited to cover the increase in costs, so UKEF stepped in guaranteeing a £30 million General Export Facility with Barclays, allowing the business to continue its upwards trajectory and plough ahead with its global expansion plans. Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch said: “I am delighted to see our first-class food producers take full advantage of opportunities outside the EU that trade opens up. “This funding will help Wyke Farms – a local, family-owned, and sustainable firm – promote their iconic British brand and sell more delicious British cheese to customers around the world.” With the backing from UKEF, the third-generation family-owned cheese producer has continued building its market share in Europe after first entering the continent over 25 years ago. Now, its expansion is reaching new regions as it establishes brands in Japan, Australia, South Africa and the USA. Wyke Farms is also developing brands to specifically target Asian markets, including Japan, with its ‘London 1856’ brand putting the Union Jack on the heart of the packaging and the world’s first Carbon Neutral Vintage cheddar ‘Ivy’s Reserve’ targeted at established cheese markets and global pockets of affluence. Wyke Farms was established over 160 years ago and continues to use the secret family recipe. The business produces over 18,000 tonnes of Cheddar cheese each year, 65% of which is sold domestically, including premium own-label ranges in the UK for leading supermarket chains, such as Lidl, Asda and Co-op. The remaining 35% share of around 6,000 tonnes is exported abroad. The business has seen a sizeable uptick in exports in recent years and this is set to continue to grow over the next 12 months. Richard Clothier, third generation family member and Managing Director at Wyke Farms, said: “We’re grateful for UKEF’s support and Barclays which enabled us to fulfil our growing export sales despite the rising cost of production. “By developing these new regions, we can expand sales of our more premium cheeses which helps to improve the milk price paid to Southwest farmers and therefore benefits the whole region. This UKEF support has enabled us to grow our business quicker by allowing us to continue to push further into markets all over the world.” James Binns, global head of Trade & Working Capital at Barclays, said: “Barclays is passionate about supporting the trade and exporting agenda and policy makers and finance providers have a vital role to play in stimulating a thriving, export-led economy. “Supporting Wyke Farms with their working capital is a powerful example of how the private and public sector can work together to bring the benefits of UK Export Finance to bear in these challenging times. The solution we have put in place will enable driven and focused businesses like Wyke Farms to continue their export growth strategy, fulfilling opportunities and diversifying into new markets.”

Future Planet Capital backs Roslin Tech’s cultivated meat momentum with further investment

Future Planet Capital (FPC), the international venture capital and impact investor, has revealed its participation in Edinburgh-based food & ag tech company Roslin Technologies’ latest £11m funding round, helping to fuel the company’s next wave of growth in its mission to become the leading provider of animal cell lines to the emerging cultivated meat sector. Cultivated meat is meat grown directly from animal cells without the need to raise animals. Cultivated meat offers a promise to improve animal welfare, lower antibiotics use, and reduce the environmental footprint of meat production. The cultivated meat sector is rapidly growing with billions of dollars invested to date, in over 100 active companies including global meat producers. To make cultivated meat viable, production cost needs to come down and products need to create great consumer satisfaction. High quality cell lines are required to make cultivated meat safe, affordable and nutritious.
Having made an initial investment of £10m in 2017, FPC has supported Roslin as it has grown from an intial concept to the revenue generating commercial enterprise it is today through board representation, funding and strategic commercial introductions. FPC also facilitated an introduction to the now King Charles at its leadership event at COP 26. As a long term partner looking to profitably solve the world’s greatest challenges, FPC says it is now pleased to be making a substantial contribution to this latest round via its Blue Ocean mandate and its Challenge Response II (CRII) strategy.
This new funding will allow Roslin Tech to invest in expanding its cell line portfolio and further developing the protocols for scale up of its cells into competitive cell biomass for meat production. It will do so jointly with its customers, development collaborators, and the University of Edinburgh with which Roslin Tech has a privileged relationship. It will also invest in its insect venture which focuses on breeding better insects for the emerging insect protein sector, a promising regenerative agricultural technique.
Guy Pengelley, investment director at Future Planet Capital, said: “Roslin’s ambitions to create disruptive biotechnologies to improve how proteins are made, very much aligns with FPC’s mission to deliver returns while tackling the world’s greatest challenges. As an early investor, we’re delighted to be in the position to continue to back their both their momentum and continued growth and are excited to see what more we can achieve together over the longer term.”
Ernst van Orsouw, CEO of Roslin Tech, says: “This round is a real milestone for Roslin Tech as we look to expand, but also to have received such strong recognition and support not just from new investors but also from those that have already been an integral part of our journey so far. “We are proud to have recieved this continued support from Future Planet Capital. As firm believers of long term partnerships, in the five years we have worked together they’ve already shown the value add they can provide beyond the initial capital and we are pleased to have received this latest show of commitment in our future ambitions.”

Fungi protein companies unite

Following the boom in alternative proteins, the leaders of several companies pioneering fungi fermentation for food sustainability purposes have united to form a new trade association: The Fungi Protein Association (FPA). The FPA will represent the interests of its member companies, including advocating for fungi protein in public policy, conducting consumer research, and more. While mushrooms have been used for centuries as meat replacements, various methods of fungi fermentation are creating a new crop of high-protein, high-fibre, meat alternatives.  As such, fermented fungi is taking the alternative protein market by storm. Alongside plant and cell-based protein, it now represents one of the three mainstays of the burgeoning meat alternative sector. In the UK alone, the sale of meat substitutes has grown from £390m in 2018 to £650m in 2021, with sales of mycoprotein products expected to grow at 12.6% CAGR between 2022 and 2032. The increased popularity of mycoprotein chimes perfectly with growing awareness, particularly among Generation Z, about the effect of processed foods on our health, a concern that has continued to grow during the pandemic. Given the lower carbon, land and water footprints compared to chicken and beef, mycoprotein offers a sustainable way to cater for growing alternative protein demand and a growing world population. A 2022 study in Nature found that replacing just 20% of beef with microbial protein – the products FPA members are pioneering – could cut global deforestation by a whopping 50%. In addition to Quorn’s leadership of the fungi fermentation space for decades, dozens of start-ups founded in the past several years have mushroomed into a newly emerging multi-player industry. This has led to a need to create a trade body specifically focused on championing fungi protein. Founding members of the association include Quorn, Nature’s Fynd, Enough, The Better Meat Co., The Protein Brewery, Prime Roots, Mycotechnology, Mycorena, ProVeg and the Good Food Institute. “The world needs more protein, and fungi fermentation offers a delicious, sustainable way to do just that,” said Marco Bertacca, CEO of Quorn Foods. “We’re excited to partner with our fellow fungi enthusiasts to raise awareness and appreciation of the wonderful ways fungi can improve human health and the health of our planet.”