UK food firms score place on EIT Food Accelerator Network programme

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

UK-based Clean Food Group and Nukoko were among 58 businesses accepted on to this year's Food Accelerator Network programme. Image: Getty, Mesh Cube
UK-based Clean Food Group and Nukoko were among 58 businesses accepted on to this year's Food Accelerator Network programme. Image: Getty, Mesh Cube

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Clean Food Group and Nukoko were among 58 food and drink startups lucky enough to secure a spot on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT’s) Food Accelerator Network programme.

The two firms were chosen from more than 500 applicants to land a spot on this year’s cohort after demonstrating their capacity to challenge conventional practices across the entire food and agriculture value chain, as well as working to solve urgent sustainability challenges.

Startups joining the entrepreneurship programme will benefit from access to global community of industry experts and leaders, research institutions, investors and EIT Foos Accelerator network programme corporate sponsors.

Who are Clean Food Group and Nukoko?

Clean Food Group ​produces sustainable, local, scalable, healthier oils and fats using fermentation. Last month saw the company secure an additional £2.5m in funding​ to further accelerate the commercialisation of its sustainable oils and fats technology.

Nukoko ​has developed a novel chocolate alternative that uses fava beans instead of cocoa beans, in a process it claims is more sustainable and better for humans and the planet.

Across Europe and Brazil

This year saw 50 businesses from across Europe and eight from Brazil secure a place on the programme, including the likes of Melt&Marble, who previously spoke to Food Manufacture about the application of precision fermentation in the world of cell-cultured meat.

Applicants were assessed by more than 60 experts from the agrifood sector on their potential to disrupt the food industry while cultivating a healthier, more sustainable and transparent food system.  

EIT Food chief executive Richard Zaltzman said: “Startups play a fundamental role in building a global food system that is strong enough to withstand cycles of worldwide turbulences. At EIT Food we harness the power of innovation and foster a collaborative approach to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.

“How? We come together as a louder, more direct voice, creating a shared vision, a common agenda, and an environment where innovation can thrive, collectively transforming the way food is produced, distributed and consumed.”

UK representatives

Last year saw food tech firm Adamo Foods and sustainable palm oil alternative producer Revive Echo make it on the list of startups in the programme.

Marie Russier, programme manager of the EIT Food Accelerator Network added: “Diversity is key, which is why during the scouting, evaluation, and selection process we ensure to have a fair mix of startups from our three EIT Food regions, as well as a fair gender balance.

“By continuing to partner with the best and the brightest talents in agrifoodtech, we continue to offer purpose-led startups even more ways to fuel their impact, grow and achieve their ultimate goals: a successful market adoption.” 

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