The federal government has lent Dartmouth-based Beyond Food Inc. $925,000 to develop a manufacturing plant and market its nutritional supplement made out of grocery store produce nearing its sell-by date.
The two-year-old company’s mission is to reduce food wastage, which now amounts to $49.5 billion a year in Canada alone, by finding supermarket produce that is about to be tossed out and using it to make a food supplement. It sells nutrition products under the brand TDF Sports, and the supplements are available nationwide.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency issued a statement Tuesday saying Beyond Food is establishing a new manufacturing facility in Dartmouth to scale up its plant-based nutritional supplement production capacity. This will allow the company to rent its Nutrient Upcycle pods, which are repurposed shipping containers fitted with clean processing technology, to local grocers.
The pods will enable grocers to dehydrate and transform thousands of dollars worth of late-stage fruits and vegetables into nutrient-dense powders. The powders will then be used as ingredients in value-added supplements manufactured and packaged at Beyond Food’s new facility in Dartmouth.
“The issue of food waste and food insecurity is large and complicated,” said Beyond Food Co-Founder and CEO Darren Burke in the statement. “We have developed a unique technology that can have a significant impact on the environment, economy and for those in need. It is great to have the support from our government and trade partners locally and outside of the region. The involvement from multiple stakeholders including ACOA has helped us advance our business and will be instrumental in our success.”
ACOA has supported the company by making two loans to Beyond Food through the agency’s Business Development Program. The first, for $500,000, will be used to develop a marketing plan to grow awareness of the brand, establish distribution channels and increase sales.
The second loan is worth $425,000. It will be used to establish a production facility to manufacture and package nutritional supplements, to continue research and development on plant-based proteins, and to convert food waste into high-value products.
Burke is a serial entrepreneur, who sold his previous company Rivalus Sports Nutrition, Inc. in 2013. He linked up two years ago with former NHL forward TJ Galiardi to plot a business that would develop a product from food that would otherwise be wasted. The management team they assembled includes First Angel Network Co-Founder Brian Lowe, who previously held senior positions with such Halifax companies as Immunovaccine Technologies and ABK Biomedical.
The team raised $1 million in equity funding earlier this year from a range of investors, including several former National Hockey League players.
Disclosure: ACOA is a client of Entrevestor.