Nature’s Fynd, a food company growing novel Fy™ protein from fermented microbes, has received a $4.76M grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to introduce its fermentation technology in low- and middle-income farming communities. Intended to bolster global food security, the multi-year grant will support the development of independent fermentation-based production units that can provide more income and nutritional benefits to rural farmers.
According to the company, approximately 1/3 of the world’s food is produced by 500 million small farming households in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. However, most of these households live off of less than $2 per day and manage less than five acres of land, limiting farmers’ opportunities to diversify their income and invest in greater production. By decentralizing the production of Fy protein, farmers can utilize local crops to create new sources of protein within existing infrastructure and with the involvement of local stakeholders.
Based in Chicago, Nature’s Fynd makes nutritious, non-GMO foods from Fy, a “new-to-the-world” protein first sourced from microbes living in Yellowstone’s hot springs. Using breakthrough fermentation technology, the brand says it can create an infinite variety of animal-free meat and dairy products that require a fraction of the resources needed for animal agriculture. Early last year, its pre-release of breakfast patties and cream cheese sold out in out 24 hours. The brand’s products can now be found in a growing number of US retailers, including Whole Foods Market.
Nature’s Fynd is one of the most well-funded in the alt-protein industry, having raised $500M following a massive $350M Series C round last year.
“Impact has always been at the heart of what we do at Nature’s Fynd. We know that across the world, access to protein is a major challenge,” said Thomas Jonas, CEO and Co-Founder of Nature’s Fynd.”In regions like Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, this challenge will increase significantly as population pressures, income growth, and urbanization increase demand for protein, while the effects of climate change constrain supply. This grant gives us the opportunity to develop breakthrough technology that can potentially impact the lives of millions of farmers and nutritionally challenged communities across the world.”
**Watch for our upcoming interview with Nature’s Fynd on Tuesday, May 3rd. **