Investments & Finance

Uganda’s Fiber Foods Secures Investment for Jackfruit Ingredient for Meat Alternatives

Uganda’s Fiber Foods, a pioneer of jackfruit for meat alternatives for food service, has received an undisclosed investment from FoodSparks, a fund for agrifood tech startups launched by PeakBridge and EIT Food, one of the largest agrifood innovation ecosystem.

Fiber Foods is a women-led business founded in 2020 by Inez van Oord and Ineke Aquarius, with support from the Netherlands Embassy, to create a scalable, gender-friendly value chain for a jackfruit ingredient.

The company was established as a trade support organization to create economic (fair wages), social, and sustainable value for all stakeholders, positioning itself as an “impact first” organization. It works with family farmers in East Africa to harvest, produce, and distribute dehydrated jackfruit, marketed as PrimeJack, from regional hubs.

The Dutch company Team Tastemakers provided technical guidance to develop the company’s first dried jackfruit product. As a result, Fiber Foods expanded in the Netherlands in 2021 to introduce its innovative African product to food service operations, looking to cater to the growing demand for plant-based foods.

Fiber Foods, a pioneer of jackfruit alternatives to meat for food service, has received an undisclosed investment from FoodSparks, PeakBridge's Seed Fund.
© Fiber Foods

Contributing to the food system change

PrimeJack is a versatile and affordable filler ingredient that can be used to make multiple meat and fish products and dishes. It is said to resemble the texture and structure of real meat closely. PrimeJack is high in fiber and low in calories, making it a healthy option. With its cultivation requiring fewer resources and emitting less greenhouse gas, it offers additional benefits compared to meat production.

Fiber Foods has established a robust, transparent, and scalable supply chain that positions the company as a significant player in the evolving alternative meat market, according to FoodSparks, which anticipates a substantial expansion and demand for meat alternatives and hybrid meats.

Ineke Aquarius comments: “As female entrepreneurs living in Uganda, we seized the chance to create a gender-friendly value chain of dried young jackfruit that was going to waste. Now benefiting thousands of farming families, creating jobs for rural women by adding economic value to the crop while contributing to global food system change.”

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