CORPORATE COALITION COMMITS TO ENDING FOOD INSECURITY IN US AND ABROAD WITH INVESTMENT OF $2.5BN
A new coalition formed from S2G Ventures, Food Systems for the Future and other partners has launched, with a call to action to raise $2.5 billion (€2.61bn) in private investment over the next three years to end food insecurity and improve hunger and health outcomes through food.
Called the Food, Nutrition and Health Investor Coalition (FNHIC), the group includes agtech, food tech, nutrition, healthcare, biotech, pharma, and generalist firms, as well as innovators and executives. The announcement was made at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
Together they promise to support the development of innovative new technologies that will increase access to high-quality, affordable, nutritious foods and deliver positive health outcomes, both in the US and around the globe.
More than 20 investor partners have joined FNHIC’s call to action to cumulatively invest an additional $2.5bn into ending worldwide food insecurity problems over the next three years, with potential to grow via inclusion of other capital providers in the future, a statement said.
Founding FNHIC participants include S2G Ventures and Food Systems for the Future, as well as ACON Investments, Astanor Ventures, Beyond Impact Advisors, Bluestein Ventures, Boardwalk Collective, Cleveland Avenue, iSelect Fund, KdT Ventures, Khosla Ventures, L Catterton, Leaps by Bayer, Mayfield Fund, Middleland Capital, PowerPlant Partners, Rethink Food, Rich Products Ventures, Supply Change Capital, Synthesis Capital and Tyson Ventures.
Sanjeev Krishnan, S2G Ventures managing director and chief investment officer, commented: “Poor nutrition and food insecurity accounts for more than $50bn (€52.2bn) in US health care costs each year. There is tremendous opportunity for the food system to help drive down costs, improve patient lives, and complement existing healthcare systems – essentially forming a bridge between disease care and health care. If we are going to successfully and expeditiously close the large gap between nutrition and healthcare, however, we must have as many stakeholders at the table as possible, which is why we are so excited to join Food Systems for the Future and other founding partners to launch the Food, Nutrition, and Health Investor Coalition.”
Ertharin Cousin, Food Systems for the Future founder, added: “With over 34 million Americans experiencing food insecurity and 117 million suffering from diet related disease, the US is confronting a ballooning hunger and nutrition crisis. The good news is we know what it takes to successfully respond: multi-sector financial investments in scalable food and agtech businesses to create a sustainable; equitable food system that improves people’s health outcomes; respects the planet; and ensures geography and income are never barriers to nutritious, affordable food.
“Along with S2G and the other Food, Nutrition, and Health Investor Coalition founding partners, I am thrilled to see the bold capital investments either already made or planned. Our partners recognise it is possible to deliver market rate financial return and make a sustainable nutrition impact and we hope this catalyses more corporations, asset managers, and asset owners to join this effort. I look forward to expanding our coalition of private-sector stakeholders committed to ending hunger, malnutrition and reducing diet-related diseases both here at home and abroad.”
According to a statement by the coalition, individuals experiencing food insecurity are at higher risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
At the same time, global developments including the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have disproportionately impacted the food insecure, the group said.
Supply shocks have driven food prices higher. The pandemic has reinforced the linkage between nutrition and health, with high comorbidity rates between Covid and obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
To address these developments, FNHIC believes that it, along with governments around the world, must embrace innovation that puts deflationary pressure on food prices to address hunger and targets nutrition needs for high-risk individuals.
FNHIC says it seeks to “highlight and financially support the incredible amount of emerging technological innovation underway that leverages the power of affordable and nutritious food to remediate hunger and improve human health”.
Speaking at the White House conference, Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures continued: “Khosla Ventures has been focused on investing in technology companies that work on food to drive healthy outcomes for people and a more sustainable world. Today’s news underscores the importance of food and nutrition and we look forward to working with the Food, Nutrition and Health Investor Coalition to advance our collective efforts.”
FNHIC’s call to action is the start of a long-term, high-potential journey to realise the benefits of greater exchange between food, hunger and health innovation in the public and private sectors.
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