SINGAPORE – Global state-owned investor Temasek on Monday, November 15, launched a new company to drive adoption of sustainable food and create an ecosystem for food technology across Asia.
The company, called the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform, and the government Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A * Star) will invest more than $ 30 million over the next three years in a technology innovation center food. The facility was first announced by Temasek last year to accelerate the commercialization of food technologies.
The platform is also exploring joint ventures with Germany’s Cremer and US-headquartered ADM, both global experts in the plant and microbial protein industry.
The announcement comes at the start of Singapore’s first International Agri-Food Week, organized by Temasek in partnership with government agencies.
More than 1,000 industry leaders are expected to meet virtually and in person at Marina Bay Sands Monday through Thursday to discuss supply chain resilience, urban food systems, alternative proteins and affordable nutrition.
In a keynote address Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat noted that an estimated total investment of US $ 1.55 trillion (S $ 2.09 trillion) would be needed by 2030 to meet food needs. from Asia.
Temasek has invested over US $ 8 billion in agribusiness over the past decade, and Singapore has focused on food science research and development and capacity, he added.
Mr Heng then described ways in which advancing food innovation can achieve more efficient production, reduce waste and reduce carbon footprint.
âMeat is a major contributor to food-related carbon emissions,â he said. “Alternative proteins are much more sustainable than traditional cattle and poultry farming.”
Addressing the challenges of increasing production of alternative proteins is one of the goals of the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform, said Yeoh Keat Chuan, deputy director of business development at Temasek, at a conference release, highlighting the company’s support for Singapore’s â30 out of 30â vision to produce 30% of its nutritional needs by 2030.
Industry veteran Mathys Boeren, with over 25 years of experience at companies like Unilever and Symrise, has been appointed CEO of the platform.
Mr. Yeoh added, âThis new platform aims to provide solutions and support to food technology companies as they move from product development to commercial scale-up.
“The key differentiator here is our end-to-end ability as facilitator, operator and investor.”
For promising start-ups, the platform aims to play the role of ‘facilitator’ by providing R&D advice and pilot scale facilities, ‘operator’ by providing manufacturing capabilities and market intelligence , and âinvestorâ by providing networks and capital.
The upcoming Food Tech Innovation Center, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022, will support the process by providing access to a food-grade pilot facility with A * equipment, space and know-how. Star.
The center will house the global R&D and innovation center of its first partner Next Gen Foods, a company that manufactures plant-based meat.
The next step is access to manufacturing capacity – and that’s where the partnerships with ADM and Cremer come in, Yeoh said.
Cremer will strengthen the manufacturing capabilities of the Asia Sustainable Foods platform for plant protein products, which rely on high humidity extrusion. This new technology specializes in producing textured proteins that look more like meat than those made with other techniques, said Damian Kreuger, general manager of sustainable nutrition at Cremer.
Cremer’s expertise in contract manufacturing and operating other high humidity extrusion plants around the world will support a sector in which few companies in Asia have mature capabilities, Temasek said.
The Platform has also signed an agreement with ADM, with the support of the Economic Development Board. This partnership also hopes to enable the development of contracts and manufacturing services, but this time for microbial proteins produced by precision fermentation.
Small food technology companies can then leverage ADM’s global capabilities and expertise to effectively scale their fermentation innovations to pilot scale.
âIt would be the first of its kind in Singapore, serving both start-ups and mature businesses,â said Joe Taets, ADM president for the Asia-Pacific region, adding that the Asian food industry was âat the dawn of a new era “.
Temasek Chief Investment Officer (Agribusiness) Anuj Maheshwari noted that Asian consumer spending on food is expected to double to $ 8 trillion by 2030.
âAlternative proteins are going to be in high demand. What the Asia Sustainable Foods platform will do is enable food technology companies to seize the opportunity in Asia in a much faster way,â he said. declared. âWe can build on these companies and play a catalytic role in growing their business in Asia. “