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Food & Agriculture Innovation Fund Launched

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Food & Agriculture Innovation Fund Launched

Food & Agriculture Innovation Fund Launched
October 31
15:56 2013

Anterra Capital has announced the launch of its new growth capital fund investing in innovative companies that will make the food and agriculture supply chain safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

Anterra has been formed following the spin-out of Rabobank’s proprietary venture capital investment team, Rabo Ventures. Rabobank will remain a cornerstone investor in Anterra alongside incoming investor Moonray Investors, the proprietary investment arm of FIL, the parent company of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

As Rabo Ventures, the investment team has taken a leading role in financing the growth of innovative companies operating across the food and agriculture (F&A) supply chain. Working closely with Rabobank, they have developed deep F&A investment knowledge, as well as an investment model that leverages the resources and networks of the team and its partners. These resources and networks are used to strategically support the growth of its portfolio companies. Anterra will continue to follow and extend this investment approach with the backing of Moonray Investors and Rabobank.

Nicky McCabe, chief operating officer of Moonray Investors, says: “Moonray is excited to be backing the team in launching Anterra. As a long-term investor, we believe in the importance and investment potential of changing the way we produce, move, and consume food. Anterra is taking a leading role in financing innovative F&A companies that are making this change happen. We look forward to putting our international network and resources behind Anterra, and the companies in which it invests.”

Lizette Sint, managing director of Rabo Private Equity Fund Investments, remarks: “The global food system needs to be transformed in order to secure the long-term food supply. We believe innovation is a key requirement to make this transformation happen. We look forward to working with Moonray and Anterra as we build on the team’s investment strategy of driving that change.”

Anterra’s debut investment is in Food Freshness Technology Holdings (FFT), a UK leader in food preservation. FFT’s technology, It’sFresh! is proven to be the world’s most effective way of absorbing and locking away ethylene gas, the natural plant ripening hormone. By reducing ambient ethylene levels, It’sFresh! radically slows the ripening and decay of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers in the supply chain, reducing waste and assuring consumer product quality.

Available in the form of a simple pad, easily inserted into fresh produce packaging, It’sFresh! is the only ethylene reduction technology that can be used along the whole supply chain from grower to consumer. Existing retail client usage demonstrates that It’sFresh! typically reduces in-store, fresh produce waste by 50% and adds at least two days to product life.

Peter Sugarman, chairman of FFT, says: “It’sFresh! technology has tremendous opportunities to reduce waste, improve food security and sustainability and provide consumers with fresher fruit in both the developed and developing worlds. For example if all UK supermarkets used It’sFresh! technology, we calculate they could avoid wasting over 13,500,000 packs of tomatoes and almost 19,500,000 punnets of strawberries every year. In each case that’s a saving of almost 7,000 metric tonnes, an equivalent mass to the Eiffel Tower —and in only two of the many fresh produce categories, in one country.”

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