Temasek Launches the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform
Posted on 11/16/2021
Singapore’s Temasek Holdings announced the launch of the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform to focus on addressing the challenges of scaling up the production of alternative proteins, as well as accelerating the growth of sustainable foods in Asia. The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to provide solutions and support, as an enabler, operator and investor, to food-tech companies as they go through their life cycle from product development to commercial scale-up.
“Asia is 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. We need to evolve our current capabilities to bolster food security and strengthen supply chains,” said Yeoh Keat Chuan, Deputy Head, Enterprise Development Group at Temasek Holdings in a press release.
“Temasek has invested over US$8 billion in the global farm-to-fork value chain since 2013, and will continue to increase our investments in this space. Singapore has a significant role to play in the transformation of the agri-food sector. The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to support local and regional businesses, innovate, scale up and commercialise,” he added
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform will be managed by a core team of food-tech professionals, led by newly appointed CEO, Mathys Boeren. Prior to joining the Platform, Mr Boeren worked in the food and food-ingredients industry for more than 25 years, amongst others for Unilever, Givaudan, Symrise, and Kerry. More recently, he has advised start-ups in the sustainable food space on the alignment of product attributes and consumer preferences.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform and A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Food & Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) have committed to invest over S$ 30 million in the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC) over the next three years, to provide tailored infrastructure and service offerings to promising food-tech start-ups. FTIC will be a one-stop shop where aspiring food-tech start-ups will have access to a food grade pilot scale facility with extrusion and fermentation equipment, shared labs, test kitchens, co-working spaces, as well as A*STAR’s deep R&D know-how.
FTIC’s first partner, Next Gen Foods, will be setting up their global R&D and innovation centre within FTIC. Next Gen Foods is a food start-up that is creating a portfolio of plant-based foods, beginning with its “chicken” made from plants, TiNDLE, now available in over 150 restaurants across seven markets in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform is exploring two joint ventures with global industry experts in plant-based and microbial proteins. A partnership with Cremer GmbH, a German agri-food multinational with expertise in plant-based protein, through a joint venture company, will augment the Platform’s manufacturing capabilities for plant-based protein products. Key to this process is high moisture extrusion (HME), a new technology for producing texturised proteins that more closely resemble meat than other plant-based manufacturing techniques. The Platform’s investment in, and the operation of, the joint venture company are subject to obtaining all required regulatory approvals and consents.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform has also signed an agreement with Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) that will pave the way to form a joint venture that enables contract development and manufacturing services for microbial proteins produced via precision fermentation. ADM’s global capabilities, and innovative fermentation-based expertise, will help enable smaller existing food-tech companies to efficiently scale their fermentation innovations through to the pilot scale. This project is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).