Friday, April 12, 2024

UK food-tech business secures £2.5m from Clean Growth Fund

UK-based bio-tech business Clean Food Group has secured a further £2.5 million in funding from Clean Growth Fund, a climate-specific UK venture capital fund, providing UK cleantech entrepreneurs with the expertise and capital they need to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate crisis.

The funding will be used to accelerate the commercialisation of Clean Food Group’s sustainable oils and fats technology. The proprietary technology platform uses proven, scalable yeast strains and fermentation technology and utilises food waste as its food source to deliver sustainable alternatives to traditional oil and fat ingredients.  

Today, food production accounts for 25% of global greenhouse emissions, with high yield monocultures responsible for the increasing levels of diseases, deforestation and land exhaustion. Food waste, a nutrient source not currently recycled back into the food ecosystem, represents 30% of global food production. Vegetable oils such as palm and soy are two of the largest drivers of deforestation; combined they make up 20% of global deforestation and as sector oils and fats make up around 7% of total global greenhouse gases.

Clean Food Group’s go-to-market product is an equivalent to high oleic palm oil, supported by an externally validated LCA (life-cycle assessment) which demonstrates it delivers a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared with traditional palm oil. Clean Food Group’s oil has been designed as a drop-in ingredient that can be substituted in a number of consumables, including baked goods, confectionery and cosmetics applications.

Investment into Clean Food Group to date has come from Agronomics, a listed investment company focused on Cellular Agriculture, international industrial food specialists Alianza Team and Doehler Group, and SEED Innovations Ltd., an AIM-listed fund focused on investments in global health opportunities.

Alex Neves, CEO and Co-founder, said: “The capital raised with Clean Growth Fund will allow us to accelerate the scale-up of our technology platform while advancing critical regulatory and commercial pathways, with a fully funded commercialisation plan in place well into 2025.

“We are delighted to be working with the Clean Growth Fund team, led by Beverley Gower-Jones, who is equally passionate about accelerating innovation to help address climate change and to create a healthier, more sustainable, global food system.” 

Beverley Gower-Jones OBE, Founder and Managing Partner of Clean Growth Fund, said: “Clean Food Group has an impressive team with a broad set of skills, and who established several significant industrial partnerships.

“Backed by a strong technical base, Alex Neves and his team are well placed to commercialise the manufacture of palm oil substitutes and therefore reduce the reliance the food industry has on the production of palm oil, an industry which is one of the main drivers of deforestation and a major contributor to global CO₂ emissions. We are very pleased to support CFG’s development and growth.”

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