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ReLondon awards grants to 10 food business innovators growing London’s circular food system 

26th January 2024

Today ReLondon is excited to announce the 10 innovative food businesses that have received grant funding to upscale their operations and impact to support London’s transition to a more circular, sustainable food system.

Each of the selected businesses is a London-based circular start-up or early-stage business that is pioneering circular food solutions that help to reduce food waste or food loss; create value from food waste or surplus by-products; or provide access to locally grown, sustainable food.

The 10 businesses are:

1. Angry Monk – Suppliers of surplus fruit and vegetables from London’s wholesale markets to commercial kitchens. They will use their grant funding to expand their ‘Grower Direct Surplus’ programme, sourcing surplus produce directly from farms based in the UK and Spain.

2. The Ferm – A Korean-owned, vegan, zero waste manufacturer of fermented products such as kimchi, made of commonly discarded by-products, such as cauliflower leaves and broccoli stalks. They plan to use their grant funding to procure equipment to automate their processes and scale production as well as increase marketing of their product.

3. Growing Communities – An organic fruit and veg scheme, farmers market, and wholesaler supplying box schemes, schools and HAF programmes and feeding over 10,000 Londoners. Their farmer-focused model has designed food waste out of their supply chain, from farm level onwards. They will use the funding to buy an e-cargo bike to reduce delivery emissions while expanding their product offering and customer base.

4. LEAP Micro AD – A hybrid micro-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) and composting system, which turns food waste into bio-energy, bio-fertiliser, and compost on sites such as council estates and schools or universities. The funding will contribute towards installing and piloting their integrated food waste management and food production system, SOURCE, at three different sites across London

5. Lifeafterhummus Community Benefit Society – A social supermarket, reuse centre and surplus food redistribution network in St Pancras and Somers Town, a multi-deprived area in Camden. They will use the funding to convert a closed café at Camden Council library at SPS into a ‘waste kitchen’ serving food predominantly made from the surplus food they collect from a network of 45 stores every week thanks to 50 local volunteers.

6. Limetrack A disruptive food waste technology company, adding value to food waste by effortlessly capturing data with their SMART bins. Their funding will support them in improving their offering through market research, customer journey mapping for businesses and to conduct trials of food waste measurement and collection with different target customers.

7. nibs etc. Producers of delicious and nourishing upcycled snacks and granola, made in England using industry by-products that normally get thrown away. They will be launching a new range of upcycled snacks to offer a greater variety to customers and increase the amount and type of food waste they’re able to use.

8. SAGES London Manufacturers of textile dyes made from food waste (e.g. onion skins, avocado pits, blueberries) sourced from commercial markets and food processors in London. They will use the funding to purchase equipment and invest in new processes that scale up stockpiling, processing and storage to increase manufacturing capacity.

9. Silo London – The world’s first zero waste restaurant that offers a menu based on natural farming and closed loop cooking. The grant funding will help them scale up production of koji, a cultivated fungus, used to make their own products from food waste such as turning spent grain and bread into miso and soy sauce, and to help other businesses do the same.

10. Sitopia Farm CIC – An urban farm in South East London growing fruit, vegetables and flowers using organic, agro-ecological and regenerative farming methods and selling locally. They’ll use their funding towards increasing the farm’s growing efficiency and creating new pathways to market for the produce grown on the farm by encouraging local businesses to use locally grown, sustainable produce.

10 grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 were available as part of a new support package from ReLondon in the form of business grants, advisory support and training to help London’s small and medium-sized businesses to grow London’s circular food system. The selected businesses will receive additional non-financial business support between January to June 2024.

These grants are made possible thanks to funding from UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Food accounts for over 10% of London’s consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions because of the kinds of food we eat, how and where that food is produced, and the amount of it that is wasted. An estimated 33% of the food produced to supply London is lost or wasted, 67% of which is edible – therefore adopting more circular approaches to food is essential.

Fortunately, London is home to a wide range of innovative sustainable food businesses who are pioneering solutions to tackle food loss and waste and provide access to locally grown, sustainable food. We’re thrilled to be able to support these businesses to scale and grow their models across the capital and beyond to drive the circular food system transformation that is so urgently needed.

Wayne Hubbard, CEO, ReLondon

Explore more opportunities

Don’t worry if you missed the boat on this one, we’ve got other opportunities for SMEs to get involved in.

Apply now to scale your business through partnerships with public sector organisations

Our new support stream, delivered as part of London & Partners’ Grow London Early Stage programme, is dedicated to making partnership opportunities with public sector organisations more accessible to established circular businesses. Support kicks off with training packages giving SMEs the inside track on public sector interests, readying you to effectively pitch your solution when the time comes.

Apply to join ReLondon’s Circular SME Community

Join a growing community of businesses making London a low carbon, circular city. The businesses in our community range from ‘everyday’ SMEs redesigning their business for the good of the environment to innovative start-ups created with circularity at their core.

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