Tetra Pak and Fresh Start to teach next-gen Israeli start-ups food scarcity combat techniques
16 Nov 2022 --- Tetra Pak is collaborating with food technology incubator Fresh Start to help burgeoning businesses in Israel develop food and food packaging solutions to combat some of the challenges facing the global food systems.
The partnership was announced at Israel’s Agrifood Week and marks Tetra Pak’s first with a food processing technology incubator. The collaboration strives to improve food systems’ resilience by educating new companies. It hopes that by doing so the start-ups will help current food supply shortages.
The collaboration is set “to drive real-world solutions that will contribute to enabling resilient food systems worldwide. The collaboration also enables Tetra Pak to share its knowledge and wider ranging industry expertise around improving food availability directly with innovators in Israel, a country which is a world leader in food innovation and investment,” Micael Simonsson, director of processing solutions and equipment portfolio management at Tetra Pak tells PackagingInsights.
“Our collaboration with Tetra Pak marks a significant opportunity to accelerate the development of solutions from our start-ups that will prepare our food systems for future use,” adds Noga Sela Shalev, CEO of Fresh Start.
Consultation to drive innovation
The alliance provides opportunities for Israeli start-ups to engage directly with Tetra Pak, assisting them as they scale up, with access to product development centers and support for R&D.
“The current food system is not sufficiently resilient to meet the demands of our growing population,” says Rodrigo Godoi, vice president of processing portfolio management at Tetra Pak.
“By working together and combining Tetra Pak’s decades of industry experience and expertise with the breakthrough innovations of food incubators such as Fresh Start, we can accelerate new food solutions that create novel avenues for addressing the challenges of the modern food systems.”
As food scarcity and insecurity rise in tandem with energy prices, innovation is being beckoned on from across the industry. Tetra Pak and Fresh Start aim to make a dent in the demand for new solutions.
Simmons told us that one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. The waste produces a significant carbon footprint, with 8% of GHG emissions worldwide being attributed to food waste.
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, 48% of food is lost in the supply chain and 23% is wasted at distribution and retail.
“The future of packaging needs to center around sustainable end-to-end solutions that allow manufacturers to achieve their ambitions in three essential areas – food safety, food waste and the environment,” says Simonsson.
“We need a radical new approach to the way we feed the planet, from how we source and produce our food, to its transportation, to the materials we use to package it; a global transformation toward decarbonization, healthier diets and sustainable food systems,” he continues.
Israel’s food innovation
Israel is considered one of the world’s major food innovation and investment centers. Food tech investments in Israel increased from US$53 million in 2015 to US$866 million in 2021, according to IVC-Meitar Israeli Tech Review 2021 report.
Food and packaging innovation start-ups are also plentiful in the region, with Israel being home to over 400 food tech companies, around half of which were founded in the past five years.
A notable food tech development in Israel recently was The NakedPak, where food functions as a built-in wrapper, making every part edible and creating a true zero-waste food packaging system.
Tetra Pak has positioned itself as a company fighting global hunger. Earlier this year, the company announced a host of new research collaborations and programs to accelerate further efforts to address global food systems challenges. The initiative is part of the company’s drive to nurture an “innovation ecosystem” to open new opportunities in food availability, safety and environmental sustainability.
Some of Fresh Start’s past solutions include Bountica, a fermentation-based mechanism that prolongs the shelf life of food and beverage products and Alteco, a device that helps production facilities manage their energy consumption.
By Sabine Waldeck
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