Food tech start-up Relocalize has announced that it has raised CAD 1.4 million ($1.1 million approx.) in a pre-seed round to invest in the development of an automated food micro-factory.
The funding round was led by grocery retail and industry leaders, including senior executives from Slack, Emerson, ex-Sobeys and an undisclosed US retail chain.
The company plans for the automated micro-factories to be the size of shipping containers in order to reduce carbon emissions and shrink large-scale food production to an efficient micro-scale.
Relocalize intends to install thousands of micro-factories at grocery distribution centres across North America.
Its first micro-factory, which will produce packaged ice, will be deployed in November of this year.
Wayne McIntyre, CEO of Relocalize, said: “Our food system is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. At Relocalize, we drastically reduce the carbon footprint of production by eliminating long-haul transportation. We’re making food where people live, unlike conventional centralised producers.”
He continued: “We’re starting with ice because the standard practice of trucking frozen water long distances just doesn’t make ecological or economic sense. 24 billion pounds of packaged ice travels across the United States and Canada from centralised production plants to retailers, and our mission is to disrupt this… market and prove the benefits of re-localisation.”
The company’s ice product cuts down on road transportation by 90% and water waste by 50%.
Each automated micro-factory produces, packages, palletises and stores up to 1.6 million bags of ice per year, supplying around 100-200 local retail stores.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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