Food waste start-up, Apeel Sciences, has secured $30 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Temasek, and Astanor Ventures.
Apeel aims to combat food waste and improve the resilience of fresh food supply chains by using its plant-derived solution to add a little extra “peel” to the surface of fruits and vegetables.
Apeel produce reportedly lasts twice as long, without the need for refrigeration, thanks to the company’s edible coating product.
California-based Apeel says that it will use its new funding to help smallholder farmers in emerging markets to extend crop shelf life and gain access to new markets, including the US and Germany.
“It’s a misconception that people go hungry because we don’t grow enough food. The issue is the intermittency of supply and an inability to convert perishable assets into economic value,” said James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel.
“The harsh reality is that it is nearly impossible today for most smallholder farmers to get their produce to a marketplace that will pay for it before it spoils. Apeel was founded on the belief that we can improve food security around the world by using technology to create opportunities for those who have limited or no access to the global food system.
“The new funding from IFC, Temasek, and Astanor will enable us to not only give smallholder farmers more time to market their fresh produce, but also greater access to higher-value markets previously out of reach because of inevitable perishability.”
In conjunction with IFC, Apeel’s new programmes for smallholder farmers will lead to the establishment of Apeel-powered supply chains in Sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia, as well as in high-value end markets.
With the resulting decrease in food loss, smallholder farmers will be able to access new market opportunities previously out of reach without a refrigerated supply chain or means for rapid transport.
Earlier this year, the company raised $250 million in a round led by GIC with participation from Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rock Creek Group.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020