December 15, 2022

How collaborative innovation helped shape the future of the food and beverage industry in 2022

For most of us around the world, 2022 represented change. And with that surfaced many opportunities for innovators across the food and beverage industry – from exploring new ways to enhance food safety to improving sustainable food access for people around the world.

This year, we’ve teamed up with an ecosystem of innovative partners across the food and beverage industry – pooling the knowledge and expertise of the brightest talents from institutions and academies, start-ups, suppliers and customers to help tackle our industry’s biggest challenges.

We believe that sharing thoughts and co-creating is the fastest route to innovating solutions that answer our industry’s most pressing questions. And by collaborating across the value chain, we’ve been co-developing solutions to help move our world’s systems forward. 

Working together to improve food systems resilience

How can we sustainably feed a growing population? To go some way to helping solve this issue, we joined forces with Fresh Start – a leading food technology incubator that works with start-ups to provide technological solutions to some of the challenges facing the global food system.

As our first collaboration with a food processing technology incubator, this initiative combines our extensive industry experience and expertise with Fresh Start’s innovative approach to driving solutions that contribute to improving food systems resilience. By working together, we can accelerate new food solutions that create novel avenues for addressing the challenges of modern food systems. 

Collaborating to unleash the potential of alternative proteins 

Over one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from agriculture – over half from animal farming. Alternative proteins create significant opportunities for designing new forms of sustainable food. 

We joined forces with food tech innovator, Mycorena, to build a greenfield production facility for fungi fermentation towards alternative protein-based food applications. The new plant, located in Falkenberg, Sweden, will produce a meat replacement product from fungi. The factory’s first phase will include mince-based products that serve as ingredients for making alternative meat products – with plans to expand its production capacity across geographies.

Teaming up to explore new food categories and reduce waste

How can we create a food and beverage production environment that is low-energy, low waste and truly sustainable? To explore different innovations across the food system, we’re teaming up with different players across countries such as France, US, Sweden and Italy, among others. 

For example, together with Swedish developer of cell-free biomanufacturing, EnginZyme, we’re exploring solutions to unlock the potential of by-products like acid whey. By combining our broad food processing expertise with EnginZyme’s biomanufacturing innovation, we are creating a system for converting large volumes of whey produced from fresh cheese into added-value ingredients like fibre.  

Joining forces to restore one of the most endangered biomes in the world

Forest restoration is vital to combating climate change. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide as they grow, with forests currently absorbing 30% of the world’s carbon emissions. We need to work together to help restore biodiversity and mitigate climate change. 

Developed in collaboration with Apremavi, a Brazilian NGO, the Araucaria Conservation Programme is set to restore up to 7,000 hectares of the Atlantic Forest over a period of ten years – equivalent to 9,800 football pitches. This industry-first initiative, which draws on the technical expertise of our partners, has the ambition to generate positive environmental, economic and social benefits for local communities and restore and protect biodiversity in the region.

Cooperating to help keep raw materials in use 

Today’s food systems have a big impact on our planet’s resources and the climate – accounting for more than one-third of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions. Players across the food value chain, from farmers and food packaging suppliers to consumers and governments need to work together to help realise sustainable and resilient food systems.

Together with Dong Tien Packaging and Paper Co., Ltd., we’re co-investing more than €3.5 million to upgrade and expand the recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Vietnam. The new recycling line, which will be ready by the end of 2023, will also enable the production of high-quality recycled pulp that can be used to make products of high commercial value, like napkins and office paper. This will help raise the value of used cartons and increase income for collectors.

Let’s help shape the future of food

The sustainability challenges facing the food and beverage industry are broad and varied. Tomorrow’s solutions can only come from transformational co-innovation and leveraging each other’s expertise. This year’s innovations are a result of the combined knowledge and expertise of our incredible collaborators, and we are always on the lookout for innovators to work with. Collaborate with us so we can shape the future of our industry together.

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