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Support for commercialising sustainable foods in Asia

A Singapore government-backed investment firm has created a new platform to provide research and development facilities, along with manufacturing and investment support, to food techs working on alternative protein sources.

Temasek will support the

creation, scaling and commercial-isation of sustainable foods.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform will take on what it describes as the “friction-to-adoption” that hampers new products coming to market.

It will take a three-pronged approach – from enabling product development to providing manu-

facturing capabilities and in-vesting in companies.

The investment agency de-scribes the platform as “an enabler, operator and investor to food-tech companies as they go through their life cycle from product development to commercial scale-up”.

Companies will also get the chance to tap into Temasek’s vast connections in the investment world and gain access to capital to further expand.

Mathys Boeren, who is leading the initiative, said the platform would provide bespoke solutions and support to aspiring food-tech companies at every stage of their development.

“With our support to remove friction-to-adoption, companies can speed up their product development and pilot launch, as well as accelerate their commercial scale-up and go-to-market,” he said.

“In the end, it is our goal to delight consumers across Asia with tasty, fresh, traceable and sustainable food.”

Yeoh Keat Chuan, deputy head

of Temasek’s Enterprise Develop-ment Group, said Asia was expected to require around US$1.55 trillion of investment over the next decade to satisfy growing consumer demands for healthier and more sustainable food options.

The Singapore government has a local food production goal of 30 per cent by 2030 as part of its climate adaptation strategy.

It has allocated additional funding for sustainable protein projects and food techs in the wake of the pandemic. Last year, the country became the world’s first to approve the commercial sale of cultured meat.

One of the first startups to set up a base is Next Gen, the company behind the vegan chicken brand Tindle, which has now made its way around the world from Singapore to Hong Kong, UAE, the US, and most recently the Netherlands.

Other key partners on board with Temasek’s new platform include German plant protein firm Cremer, and global nutrition giant ADM, the latter being a project supported by Singapore’s Economic Development Board.

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