Two Ir­ish fi­nal­ists in Euro­pean FoodNexus Startup Chal­lenge

Irish Examiner - Farming - - TECHNOLOGY FOCUS - Stephen Cado­gan

Two Ir­ish com­pa­nies are among the 15 fi­nal­ists se­lected for the Euro­pean FoodNexus Startup Chal­lenge.

They are Anú Dairy of Kin­sale, Co Cork, and the on­line Wylds­son snack com­pany. The fi­nal­ists were se­lected from more than 400 ap­pli­ca­tions across Eu­rope. On De­cem­ber 13, at the grand Euro­pean fi­nals in the Dutch city of Wa­genin­gen, these food and agtech star­tups will pitch their ideas to a jury of cor­po­rates and in­vestors. Anú Dairy is a cer­ti­fied organic food com­pany, and works with organic dairy farm­ers to pro­duce Anu organic but­ter, rich in vi­ta­min K2, and mar­keted as the world’s first vi­ta­min K2 hearthealthy but­ter.

They achieve a high con­tent of vi­ta­min K2, through a mix of soil man­age­ment tech­niques and work­ing with the farmer. Bet­ter soil health and high-qual­ity mixed pas­tures for grass-fed cows also in­crease nu­tri­ents for im­proved health such as omega 3 and con­ju­gated linoleic acids, in dairy prod­ucts.

In con­trast, the Wylds­son on­line snack com­pany doesn’t use any an­i­mal prod­ucts for its pre­mium ve­gan health and snacks, and uses only cer­ti­fied gluten-free oats. The Euro­pean FoodNexus Startup Chal­lenge win­ner will be awarded a cash prize of €50,000. All the nom­i­nees have al­ready gained the ad­van­tage of be­ing able to work with Unilever, Fries­landCamp­ina, and other lead­ing cor­po­rate part­ners, in keep­ing with the Chal­lenge’s aim of of­fer­ing growth op­por­tu­ni­ties by fos­ter­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with lead­ing food and agri cor­po­rates. Harry Bar­raza from Arla Foods, who is part of the jury of the Euro­pean FoodNexus Startup Chal­lenge Fi­nals, said: “This type of fa­cil­i­tated meet­ing be­tween star­tups and cor­po­rates is a really pow­er­ful in­stru­ment for us at Arla Foods to en­gage with peo­ple with in­no­va­tive ideas and so­lu­tions that have al­ready been pre-qual­i­fied.

“It ba­si­cally saves us valu­able time for scout­ing the mar­ket.”

The Chal­lenge is ini­ti­ated by the FoodNexus con­sor­foods tium, and or­gan­ised by StartLife.

Other fi­nal­ists come from seven Euro­pean coun­tries. They are Aveine (France), Bo­real Light (Ger­many),Cer­erscon (The Nether­lands), In­sylo (Spain), Kuan­tom (France), Le Champignon de Brux­elles (Bel­gium), Melixa (Italy), Nat­u­ral Ma­chines (Spain), Revoilu­tion (Italy), Seamore (The Nether­lands), Sen­so­mind (Den­mark), Ur­ban Crop So­lu­tions (Bel­gium), and YourLo­cal (Den­mark).

Pic­ture: Jeff Har­vey

Euro­pean FoodNexus Startup Chal­lenge fi­nal­ist Dave McGeady of Wylds­son ad­dress­ing Bord Bia’s Small Busi­ness Open Day in Co Meath ear­lier this year, with Alan Kingston of Gle­nilen Farm, Grainne Walsh of Me­tal­man Brew­ing, Johnny Lynch of Mac­room Buf­falo and Aoib­heann O’Brien, Food Cloud.

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