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Fonterra announces new nutrition science corporate venture arm

Fonterra has announced a new corporate ventures arm to incubate, scale and invest in the area of nutrition science. Provisionally named Nutrition Science Solutions (NSS), the business will operate as a standalone within Fonterra with its own board and CEO. NSS will adapt the cooperative’s existing capabilities and assets as well as new “disruptive” capabilities through partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. Fonterra CEO, Miles Hurrell, said: “When we released our long-term strategy in September 2021, we identified nutrition science solutions as an area with future growth potential. Nutrition science is a segment of the global health and wellness category that goes beyond everyday lifestyle and wellness products. Given our expertise in dairy science, we committed to exploring the potential for Fonterra to play more boldly in this space.” He added: “We have developed a business case and agreed on a way forward, which includes establishing a corporate ventures arm with access to our dairy science and innovation expertise, combined with the agility of a start-up”. The business will scale a portfolio of disruptive ventures, he said, by developing solutions that combine science, nutrition and technology. NSS will partner with and invest in global start-ups that will benefit from accessing Fonterra’s “dairy science expertise and understanding of the global market," while Fonterra will benefit from access to emerging technologies, advancements in science and novel channels to market. Fonterra has disclosed its first investment through the new ventures arm of $10 million for a minority shareholding in Pendulum Therapeutics, a biotech company that specialises in targeting metabolic health through evidence-based microbiome solutions. Pendulum's CEO and co-founder, Colleen Cutcliffe, commented: “Pendulum’s team of top-tier scientists are conducting cutting-edge microbiome research and developing products that will have a meaningful and measurable impact on metabolic health for millions of people". She added: “This strategic partnership with Fonterra enables us to tap into their deep-rooted manufacturing expertise and established global leadership to bring a new wave of microbiome products to market”. The partnership will see Pendulum and Fonterra establish a presence in global markets and co-develop and commercialise microbiome products that are scientifically formulated to make measurable improvements to people’s health.

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