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Nature’s Fynd™ Awarded $4.76 Million Grant To Advance its Breakthrough Fermentation Technology To Support Small Farming Households
The multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support the development of Nature’s Fynd fermentation-based solutions in low- and middle-income countries with the goal of furthering food security.
CHICAGO, April 26, 2022 —Nature’s Fynd, a food company growing Fy™, its nutritional fungi protein from a microbe with origins in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park, has been awarded a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant will support the company’s research to develop an independent fermentation-based production unit that can provide income and nutritional benefits to small farming households in low and middle-income countries.
There are an estimated 500 million small farming households across the world, primarily concentrated in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Although these households produce about one-third of the world’s food, they account for a much larger proportion of the world’s poor who live on less than $2 per day. Small farming households typically manage pieces of land that are less than 5 acres, offering limited opportunities to diversify their incomes or to invest in enhancing the productivity of their land. Additionally, these farmers often have limited access to markets, with no direct channels to buyers who can guarantee consistent or fair pricing for their produce. Decentralized fermentation is a promising solution that uses locally grown crops to develop novel protein sources, within infrastructure constraints and through the involvement of local stakeholders.
“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. 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,” said Thomas Jonas, CEO and Co-Founder of Nature’s Fynd.
Nature’s Fynd has considerable expertise in fungi-based fermentation, particularly through its proprietary liquid-air interface fermentation technology, which has been commercialized since 2021 at its manufacturing facility in Chicago. Growing their fermented protein, named Fy™, uses 99% less land, 99% less water, and emits 94% fewer greenhouse gasses at scale compared to beef. The grant will support research and development to create a decentralized version of the technology that is appropriate for rural settings with a sustainable business model that leverages local crops, improves farmer incomes, and can enable production at scale.
About Nature’s Fynd
Nature’s Fynd is a Chicago-based food company creating versatile alternative proteins to nourish the world’s growing population while nurturing the planet. Born out of research conducted for NASA on microbes with origins in Yellowstone National Park, the company’s breakthrough fermentation technology grows Fy™. Fy is a new-to-the-world nutritional fungi protein that uses only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. The company has raised over $500 million in equity and debt financing to date. Nature’s Fynd’s products are available in stores across the country, including Berkeley Bowl in California, Fairway Market in New York, Mariano’s in Chicago, and now select Whole Foods Markets stores in ten states across the West and Northeast. For more information visit www.naturesfynd.com. Or follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The terms “Nature’s Fynd,” “The Fynder Group,” “Fy,” and “Fy Protein” are trademarks of the Company.
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