The selected projects provide the European food system with solutions to supply chain disruption, food safety risks, and improved nutrition to consumers
EIT Food has announced a €6.17 million investment into 13 European companies as part of its Covid-19 Rapid Response Call for Innovation. Through the fund, EIT Food is supporting innovative projects with solutions to supply chain disruption and food safety risks, as well as providing consumers with improved nutrition.
The new fund follows on from the Covid-19 Bridge Fund, where EIT Food invested €5.4 million in 13 start-ups that were negatively impacted by the pandemic earlier this year.
Andy Zynga, chief executive of EIT Food, said: “We believe that we are all responsible for, and connected to, the food that we eat, so we all need to work together to improve it. Our role is to bring all players together, and guide and accelerate the innovation process that will transform the food system.”
Innovation fund portfolio companies
The Covid-19 crisis has placed unprecedented pressure on the global food system, demonstrating the need for innovative thinking and partnerships to face the immediate challenges of the pandemic and future recovery.
The innovation fund was designed to fast-track product or service solutions that could have a significant and immediate impact on the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic on the agrifood sector.
The funds will accelerate impactful projects that address business and consumer needs throughout the food system in Europe.
EIT Food has awarded funding to the following 12 innovation projects:
Supply Chain Disruption
Food Safety Risks
Projects in the spotlight
Friends Reduce Food Waste is an initiative led by the Israel-based food waste start-up Wasteless and operating from offices in Amsterdam, London and New York.
This project optimises food pricing through AI to reduce food waste and its carbon footprint, ensure a smoother supply chain of perishable goods, bring fairer prices to customers and improve safety on the floor shop.
The idea Wasteless is pushing forward is that through its AI, food retailerss can reduce the price of products that expire earlier on the shelf, thus incentivise customers to buy those products with the shorter expiration date, helping to reduce food waste along the way.
The funding provided by EIT Food has helped accelerate retail partnerships with major national supermarkets and retailers, including Metro in Germany, bringing this innovative food solution to stores across Europe in 2021.
Metro has also teamed up with 10 of the biggest retailers in the world – Tesco, Walmart Kroger Carrefour and IKEA Foods – and has committed to halving food waste by 2030.
This specific project already involves 30 different people in four countries –Poland, Israel, Netherlands and Germany. The goal is to make the project successful, impactful and scalable and replicate the model across the globe.
Supply chain focus
The recent pandemic has resulted in enormous amounts of surplus leftovers such as vegetables and fresh fruits, causing difficulties for farmers.
At the same time, a growing number of people do not have enough resources to feed themselves and their families due to the economic shock and rising unemployment caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Haling from Rikolto in Belgium, Robin Food will offer new life to those leftovers, transforming them into new food products – tomato soup, for example.
The food products will be launched in Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium, focusing on making them available particularly to socially vulnerable groups.
Mtching Covid is a platform that connects recovering Covid-19 patients with dietitians and health coaches to motivate them, follow-up and provide inspiring recipes.
Patients can find inspiration to cook meals they like, prepare their shopping based on their weekly planning and personalised needs.
Dieticians can motivate and follow-up in a highly personalised way focussing on the nutritional, food pleasure and immunological aspects of a balanced diet.
Date published: 25 October 2020