- Thai Union creates a venture fund with an initial commitment of US$ 30 million
- The venture fund will invest in alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology
- First investment announced into Flying Spark, who produces larval insect protein as a sustainable and nutritious alternative protein
17 October 2019, BANGKOK – Thai Union Group PCL has announced the foundation of a venture fund as part of its continuous investment in innovation. Thai Union has initially committed US$ 30 million for investments in innovative companies that are developing breakthrough technologies in food-tech.
The fund will focus on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology. Thai Union will invest in entrepreneurial companies that are active in these areas and will actively partner with these companies to support and accelerate their development.
Caption: Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO, Thai Union Group PCL.
“Over the last years, Thai Union has made significant investments to become a leader in seafood innovation and sustainability,” said Thai Union CEO Thiraphong Chansiri. “As we move into the coming decade, we will increasingly cooperate with innovative start-ups in strategically interesting areas. This will complement our own activities as we are broadening our business beyond our traditional core.”
The announcement of its venture fund follows the recent opening of Space F, Thailand’s first food-tech incubator and accelerator, where Thai Union Group, together with Thailand’s National Innovation Agency and Mahidol University, is a founding member.
As a first investment, Thai Union has announced an investment into Flying Spark, an alternative protein start-up. Flying Spark uses fruit fly larvae that in nature feed on fresh fruits. The larvae have a lifespan of only seven days yet multiply their body mass 250 times in that period. Flying Spark’s technology enables easy and low-cost cultivation and processing, with nearly zero waste, as all parts of the larvae are used. This gives Flying Spark an edge over conventional protein sources — not only those from meat and plants but also over other insects, such as crickets and grasshoppers.
About Thai Union Group
Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for more than 40 years.
Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 133.3 billion (US$ 4.1 billion) and a global workforce of over 47,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.
The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.
As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Find out more at seachangesustainability.org. Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by being ranked number one in the world in the Food Products Industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, achieving a 100th percentile ranking for total sustainability score. Thai Union has now been named to the DJSI for six consecutive years. Thai Union was also named to the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the third straight year in 2018.
About Flying Spark
Flying Spark is producing 70 percent protein powder that is extremely rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber, and is an excellent source of amino acids. Its white color and mild taste and aroma enables easy incorporation of the protein into a variety of food and feed products.
The protein production process is highly sustainable; Flying Sparks’ technology requires very little water and land, creates no methane emissions, and does not use hormones or antibiotics. The startup received its seed investment, and is supported by, the Israeli FoodTech incubator “The Kitchen Hub”, a part of the Strauss Group Ltd., the second largest food producer in Israel.
Thai Union Group PCL.
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