By 2050, the world will have to feed 10 Billion people—all while facing severe problems like climate change, resource degradation, and immunity and lifestyle diseases. This translates to a severe need for the global population to jumpstart changes towards The Paris Climate’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and fast.
The food industry is one of the most wasteful on the planet, and in the US alone 30% of all food, worth US$48.3 billion (€32.5 billion), is thrown away each year—with the growth in food demand and waste only projected to skyrocket with the escalating population.
The good news, however, is that research has shown returns of up to 14 times the initial investment can be achieved by businesses in the food industry that participate in the SDG goal of halving consumer food waste—presenting an annual opportunity of around $380 billion by 2030 and creating a huge incentive for companies to get on board.
Democratizing access to healthy and sustainable food is a key component in this, commencing a collective call to action for efforts by all businesses along the food supply chain.
Boston-based The Live Green Co is leading the way on this effort by melding some of the most brilliant minds in the global food industry to help them create a systematic change in the food industry for the better. These efforts will be bolstered by the fact that the company recently closed a USD $8 million Pre-Series A round and moved its commercial HQ to the United States from Chile.
Let’s take a look at how (and with whom) this company is breaking the old habits that seem to be dying hard in the food industry and creating positive and sustainable ones for the future.
Foodtech to Help Evolve The Food Industry
On top of increasing numbers of mouths to be fed, demand for healthier, cheaper, and safer food products has accelerated technological innovation in the food industry. Because of these factors, and others, combined, the foodtech market is forecast to exceed 342 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.
CharakaTM, The Live Green Co’s proprietary recommendation engine powered by artificial intelligence (AI), blends the ancestral wisdom of plant nutrition with biotech and machine learning. This food tech innovation can be used to prescribe plant-only replacements for the animal, synthetic, and ultra-processed additives in food products—helping the global food industry transition to plant-only, allergen-free and 360° green food.
The Live Green Co’s end goal is to work collaboratively with the world’s retailers, food manufacturers, and ingredient companies, helping them to transition their processes to a more sustainable efficiency by using quality, plant-based ingredients. This is beneficial to both the consumer and the company, as by using the power of Charaka, food manufacturers won’t need an army of biochemists or expensive R&D labs.
In order to truly get this proprietary technology integrated into the food industry, the company has brought on nine advisors with noteworthy experience in biotech, data science, retail, food safety and nutrition, food, supply chain and logistics, business, finance, M&A and sustainability.
Leveraging the advisor board’s deep expertise and networks, The Live Green Co will be able to further its vision of becoming a large-scale agent for change in the global food industry.
World Class Advisors
The first of the company’s new advisors to be announced is Dr. James Marsden, who counts more than 40 years of insurmountable acumen in food safety, nutrition, and compliance. He served as an advisor to the White House and directed food safety programs at national chain, Chipotle. He was brought into Chipotle when the burrito giant slipped into dangerous waters on account of health and safety concerns, saving the business and restoring the company’s reputation back to its former glory. His role at The Live Green Co will give the company the insight it needs to disrupt the food industry in the US, but with the utmost safety in mind.
Two other advisors bring to The Live Green Co a wealth of industry experience. First up is Ludwig Graf Douglas, who is a shareholder and board member of Dr. August Oetker KG —a family-owned conglomerate active in the food and beverage industry with $6 billion in sales. He has a specialized understanding of and extensive networks in the European and Canadian food markets, coupled with extensive expertise in FMCG, food production, and quality ingredient sourcing in food supply chains.
Another stalwart of industry, Kenneth Chan served as the CEO of McDonald’s in China and later oversaw the franchise’s operations in Singapore and Malaysia. He brings an extensive background of scaling businesses, managing large-scale operations, talent development, supply chain management, and digital transformation.
Bringing expertise from the health space is Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, who was named TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and Harvard’s 100 Most Influential Alumni. He co-discovered the genes for Alzheimer’s, and co-authored Decoding Darkness in addition to three international bestsellers that focus on how food is our first source for not only nutrition but medicine as well.
Next up is neuro and data scientist, entrepreneur, and investor, Dr. Shaun Patel, who is also the co-founder & CEO of REACT Neuro, a VR & ML digital health company. He’s a founding General Partner of DRADS Capital, which invested into The Live Green Co. He was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and has graduate degrees in medical sciences, neuroscience, and machine learning from Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.
A true oracle of logistics and supply chain management, FedEx veteran and Senior VP Masamichi Ujiie is one of the core executives who catalyzed FedEx’s North and South Pacific market development. He has a proven track record of leading significant structural change initiatives while leveraging noteworthy cost savings and profit improvement and will help The Live Green to achieve these initiatives as well.
The final three advisors have noteworthy business and financial savvy.
First is Amer Baig, who has been involved in numerous highly complex mergers and acquisitions, negotiating with a wide range of stakeholders within both political and non-political frameworks and across cultures, sectors, markets, and regions.
Next up, Suprotik Basu, who is an impact Venture Capitalist who is now working to support companies that are focused on improving health and sustainability around the globe. Previously the CEO for the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Health Financing, he led the office’s effort to mobilize over $3 billion in public and private capital to end deaths from malaria.
Finally, Rajan Pillay, the Founding Managing Partner of DRADS Capital, has invested in companies that are currently valued at over US $2 billion and is a dynamic entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience. He previously served as a Senior Vice President at Pepsi.
A Plant-Focused Future
The plant-based food market is predicted to exceed $162 billion within the next decade. The Live Green Co is a company showing its deep belief in this momentum towards sustainable eating by investing in the individuals who can inform this movement through their industry insight.
“All of our advisors will help our company become a market leader, making CharakaTM the intel inside of the CPG industry to deliver disrupting functionality to retailers, food manufacturers, and ingredient companies,” said Priyanka (Pri) Srinivas, Founder, and CEO of The Live Green Co.
“We are extremely honored and humbled that these advisors have chosen to work and share with us the benefits of their expertise and networks,” added Sasikanth, a co-founder and COO.
The Live Green Co’s newly implemented advisory board of top-level market movers will help tune the company’s KPIs meaningfully and execute strategies to scale it to its full potential—helping to catalyze a revolution in the global food industry.
Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.