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Cargill Boosts Investment in ENOUGH's Mycoprotein Innovation Amidst Challenges in the Plant-Based Meat Sector

Cargill, a major player in the US meat industry, has increased its investment in the Series C funding round for Scottish-Dutch food tech startup ENOUGH. The undisclosed sum aims to expand the existing partnership, allowing Cargill to co-create and market products with ENOUGH's ABUNDA mycoprotein. This move further diversifies Cargill's alternative protein portfolio and secures a single-digit stake in the mycoprotein startup.

The collaboration involves a commercial agreement, enabling Cargill to work alongside ENOUGH in the development and marketing of plant-based meat products featuring ABUNDA mycoprotein. The funding injection supplements ENOUGH's €40 million/$43 million financing round from August, solidifying Cargill's commitment to innovative solutions in the alternative protein space.

ENOUGH's 160,000 sq ft Dutch manufacturing facility, located in Sas van Gent, operates in tandem with a Cargill starch plant. This collaboration ensures a sustainable supply chain, with the starch plant providing glucose syrup from responsibly sourced grains as feedstock for ENOUGH's fungal biomass. The mycoprotein production process incorporates a zero-waste approach, with sugary wastewater being repurposed for Cargill's neighboring bioethanol plant.

Part of the EU-funded PLENITUDE consortium, the partnership leverages ENOUGH's expertise in plant-based proteins, texturizers, and fats, coupled with Cargill's global footprint and feedstock technology proficiency. This collaboration positions both companies to scale up efficiently in the burgeoning alternative protein market.

ENOUGH, founded in 2015, specializes in producing ABUNDA mycoprotein through biomass fermentation, using the same fungi strain as Quorn. The mycoprotein boasts high protein and fiber content, all essential amino acids, a neutral flavor, and a meat-like texture. ABUNDA's production process claims to be 15 times more efficient than beef, emphasizing a circular, zero-waste approach with significantly reduced water, feed, and carbon emissions.

The startup's facility, operational since last year, initially produced 10,000 metric tonnes of ABUNDA annually, with plans to scale up to 60,000 tonnes by 2027. ENOUGH aims to produce one million metric tonnes by 2033, signaling a substantial shift toward sustainable protein production.

Despite challenges in the plant-based meat sector, including closures, layoffs, and declining sales in the US, ENOUGH CEO Jim Laird remains optimistic. Laird points out that while there are challenges, there are also success stories, emphasizing the underlying trends driving alternative protein. With total funding of €95 million/$102 million to date, ENOUGH's partnership with Cargill aligns with their commitment to meeting the demands of a growing global population sustainably.

Cargill, a leading private company with revenue of $177 billion last year, has actively invested in alternative protein ventures. The company aims to reduce supply chain emissions by 30% per ton of product sold by 2030. Despite controversies in its history, Cargill's focus on alternative protein investments represents a significant step towards its sustainability goals.

Belgin Köse, Managing Director of Meat and Dairy Alternatives at Cargill, emphasizes the importance of strengthening the partnership with ENOUGH to address the world's increasing demand for sustainable protein. The collaboration aims to harness mycoprotein's disruptive potential in terms of texture, protein profile, scalability, and sustainability. ENOUGH joins other companies, including Meati, Libre Foods, Infinite Roots, Bolder Foods, and CellX, in exploring mycelium-based proteins for the future of alternative protein.

[image credits: ENOUGH Foods]


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