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Foodtech

Upcycling food- a great investment opportunity (Pt 2)

(estimated reading time: 5 minutes) 

Introduction

Our last newsletter provided a holistic overview of food waste and the mismatch between funding and investment opportunities. Below are some of the highlights:

  • US spending on transporting, processing, and disposing of food waste: $200 billion
  • 20%: the amount of freshwater, cropland, and landfill volume consumed by food waste
  • The global food and vegetable market: worth $200 billion by 2020
  • Venture capital funding in food waste in 2016: $140 million (4% of 2016 AgTech raises)

Continue reading “Upcycling food- a great investment opportunity (Pt 2)”

Water Crisis

DROUGHT SPECIAL #6: The Successes of Desalination: The case of Israel (+ Cape Town UPDATE)

27|2|2018 – CAPE TOWN DROUGHT UPDATE

Cape Town’s tough water-saving regime has seen Day Zero be pushed back once again, to 9 July from an earlier date of 4 June. This announcement came off the back of a 10 billion litre water donation from the Groenland Farmers Association. Residents of Cape Town have collectively cut consumption by more than half in the last 3 years. Last week water consumption averaged 523ML per day, falling far short of the target of 450ML per day.

Cape Town water crisis snapshot:

  • Cape Town’s cumulative dam levels are sitting at 24.1%, down 0.5% from last week
  • The City’s main water source, Theewaterskloof Dam is at just 10.9% capacity, down 0.7% since last week.
  • The City claims its progress in securing alternative water sources through desalination, recycling and groundwater is at 62%.

Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population, underlining the urgent need for large-scale solutions to ensure long-term water security. Cape Town requires around 500ML of water per day to supply its citizens with 100L per person per day. Cape Town has begun down the road of desalination- the process by which salt and other impurities are removed from seawater to produce potable water.

We looked at Israel as an example of where desalination is being utilised in a cost-effective way.


Israel

Much like Cape Town, Israel is faced with limited rainfall and a gruelling climate. In order to secure water sources, Israel has increasingly relied on desalination since the 1960s when the world’s first plant was built.
Continue reading “DROUGHT SPECIAL #6: The Successes of Desalination: The case of Israel (+ Cape Town UPDATE)”

Water Crisis

DROUGHT SPECIAL #5: Can desalination plants secure Cape Town’s water supply? (+ Cape Town UPDATE)

20|2|2018 – CAPE TOWN DROUGHT UPDATE

Day Zero has once again been pushed back, to 4 June from an earlier date of 11 May, reportedly as a result of continued decline in agricultural usage, and reduced consumption by Capetonians. Over the past week urban usage has seen an all-time low average of 526 Ml per day, though targets remain at 450Ml per day with level 6B restrictions still in place. This improvement comes off the back of increased pressure management interventions by the City, and just 8mm of rainfall on Tuesday afternoon which provided a brief respite from the dry conditions.

Cape Town Water Crisis Snapshot:

  • Cape Town’s cumulative dam levels are sitting at 24.6%, down 0.5% from last week
  • The City’s main water source, Theewaterskloof Dam is at just 11.6% capacity, down 0.6% from last week.

Desalination for water security

As seawater accounts for 97% of the Earth’s water, and South Africa boasts a coastline of over 2,500kms, desalination seems to be an obvious solution. Continue reading “DROUGHT SPECIAL #5: Can desalination plants secure Cape Town’s water supply? (+ Cape Town UPDATE)”

Foodtech

How to feed 10 billion people? Upcycle food! (Pt 1)

(estimated reading time: 5 minutes) 

Introduction

The United States spend over $200 billion transporting, processing, and disposing of food waste – over 1% of GDP. Estimates vary, but the total amount of food wasted each year hovers between 30-40%, likely towards the upper end. Food waste consumes around 20% of fresh water, crop land, and landfill volume. Put simply, there is a lot of discarded, edible food (!). Continue reading “How to feed 10 billion people? Upcycle food! (Pt 1)”

Water Crisis

DROUGHT SPECIAL #4: CPT Water Crisis Update and the Cape Flats Aquifer

13|2|2018 – CAPE TOWN DROUGHT UPDATE

Capetonians rejoiced as a welcomed 0.8mm of rain fell on Friday evening. Day Zero has potentially been extended to mid-May as dwindling water supplies continue to be allocated at a rate of 50L per person, per day. While this may come across as a small, but triumphant victory for Capetonians, evidence suggests that water savings have not primarily resulted from reduced consumption by citizens. The city claims that this new forecast is due to a decline in agricultural usage.

Cape Town Water Crisis Snapshot:

  • Cumulative dam levels are sitting at 25.1%, down 0.7% from last week
  • The City’s main water source, Theewaterskloof Dam is at just 12.2% capacity
  • Only 1 out of 7  alternative water source projects are on schedule (V&A Waterfront desalination plant)
  • The City claims it’s progress in securing alternative water sources is at 62%

Continue reading “DROUGHT SPECIAL #4: CPT Water Crisis Update and the Cape Flats Aquifer”

Water Crisis

DROUGHT SPECIAL #3: What does the drought mean for agriculture? An outlook from Syria

CAPE TOWN DROUGHT UPDATE

Even though Day Zero was pushed back to mid May, Capetonians are still urged to dramatically cut down water their consumption. Rates of consumption remain capped at 50L per person, per day – less than one-sixth of what the average American uses. Dam levels sit at 25.8%, a 1% decrease since just last week.

If you want to see alarming before and after aerial photographs of the Theewaterskloof dam, click here.

The situation in Cape Town is dramatically escalating- water tanks and bottles are selling out across the city and bottled water sales are capped. The Newland Spring water collection point has been particularly popular, attracting hundreds of residents keen to supplement their 50L quotas. Reports show that physical conflicts have already broken out, with one person being arrested by South African Police. On top of this, many have complained about the noise and traffic in the area at all hours of the day. This is raising serious questions about access to and security of the proposed water pick up points, and sparking speculation of chaotic anarchy upon the arrival of Day Zero. Until now, a shutdown of this magnitude has been close to inconceivable.

Continue reading “DROUGHT SPECIAL #3: What does the drought mean for agriculture? An outlook from Syria”

Foodtech

Cultured meat (Pt 2) – Startups and Investments

(estimated reading time: 6 minutes) 

Introduction

Various industry experts expect the cost of bringing cultured meat to the public to vary between $150-370 million, according to AgFunder. To date, investors have poured less than $100 million into every company operating in cultured meat combined.  Despite the obvious dichotomy, should 2018 be the year of cellular agriculture and cultured meat, funding rounds for startups operating in the space will be both massive and widely covered in the media. Many investors and scientists wrote off the prospects of cultured meat after its initial debut – Dr. Mark Post’s $300,000 adventure. Cause for optimism nevertheless resides – the cost of production has fallen by 98% in less than two years and, often times, it’s easy to forget how expensive bringing a product to market can be. After all, the first iPhone cost over $2.5 billion in R&D. In this blog you will learn more about some of the companies vying to make cultured meat as widespread as Apple’s device.

Continue reading “Cultured meat (Pt 2) – Startups and Investments”

Water Crisis

DROUGHT SPECIAL #2: How the City of Melbourne overcame the drought and how Cape Town is tackling the water crisis

City of Melbourne (1997 – 2009)

Australia faced their worst ever drought from 1997-2009. The south-eastern city of Melbourne, with a population of 4.3 million saw dam levels drop to 25.6%. 

Through collaborative governance and policy change Melbourne was able to succeed from the grip of the drought:

  1. Prior to the drought, legislation was passed that stipulated integration of government response in the case of a drought. This instantiated a trickle-down flow of funding from federal to state to city projects, with a regional manager having authority to force all levels of government to cooperate.
  2. Millions were invested infrastructure including a desalination plant (which has never been used)
  3. Rebate programs for residential greywater systems
  4. Government investment in recycled water systems in the urban and agricultural sector

Following these changes, residents and businesses reduced their water use by almost 50% from 1997.

Continue reading “DROUGHT SPECIAL #2: How the City of Melbourne overcame the drought and how Cape Town is tackling the water crisis”

Foodtech

Cultured meat- the meat that could revolutionise the $844bn meat market

(estimated reading time: 6 minutes) 

Introduction

Our last newsletter (hyperlink) offered insight into a unique sector of the rapidly growing plant-based protein industry – mushrooms and the fascinating potential of fungi in the human diet. We opted to dive into a more nuanced sector of plant-based proteins due to the abundance of media attention and venture capital funding on plant-based alternatives to traditional meat products. Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Hampton Creek, the three most prominent plant-based meat startups, have collectively raised over $500 million from Silicon Valley’s most reputable firms. Surprisingly, companies that produce lab-grown meat – or “cultured meat,” as we will refer to it – have received significantly less capital and experienced comparatively slower growth. This newsletter will explore the realm of cultured meat to unearth and explain the technology, active players, and its place in the lucrative meat market alongside plant-based competitors.

Continue reading “Cultured meat- the meat that could revolutionise the $844bn meat market”

Agtech, alternativeprotein

(Mush)room for Improvement? How Fungi is Disrupting the Food and Agri Tech Space (Newsletter #12)

(Estimated reading time: 5 Minutes)

Why Mushrooms?

We are confident that fungi is one of the most underrated products in in agriculture. For centuries, fungi has been used to formulate some of the most fundamental items for human health and consumption. From penicillin to protein and packaging, fungi stands poised to disrupt the food and ag-tech space in 2018.

Continue reading “(Mush)room for Improvement? How Fungi is Disrupting the Food and Agri Tech Space (Newsletter #12)”