TerViva Raises $20 Million

TerViva, an agriculture technology firm commercializing resilient pongamia trees that produce as much as ten times the beans per acre as soy for the supply of plant protein, vegetable oil, and biofuel raised an additional $20 million in its first close of its Series D funding and current commitments.
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/terviva-raises-20-million-in-series-d-to-drive-product-development-and-market-expansion-300818243.html

Back To The Roots Expands With New Funding And Retail Growth

Back to the Roots, the fastest growing organic food & gardening company innovating the way families are connecting with food, announces today its $3M series C led by Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT), the country’s leading lawn, garden and pet company. Central was joined by new investor Blue Scorpion Investments, a NYC-based consumer-facing venture capital fund. Back to the Roots will be using the capital to fuel its growth as leaders in the indoor gardening market with over a dozen new products in que to launch in 2019 and thousands of new retail partners including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Petco and Costco.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/back-to-the-roots-expands-with-new-funding-and-retail-growth-300799593.html

Back to the Roots has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019

The company first became known for its simple and popular grow-your-own-mushroom kits. Now it also has a line of organic cereal, but it’s who eats that cereal that’s most interesting. In 2018, the company finished its first full year as the cereal supplier for New York’s public schools, becoming the first organic cereal ever offered in a U.S. public school system. Now it’s working with Nature’s Path & the Urban School Food Alliance to bring organic cereals to 1 in 5 kids by 2020.
https://www.fastcompany.com/company/back-to-the-roots

Goregaon residents convert waste-to-wealth, develop fruit-vegetable garden

Monisha Narke, founder and chief executive officer, RUR Greenlife said, “This form of circular economy is highly sustainable and is a holistic solution to waste management. It not just results in waste management but also aids in remediation by replenishing nutrients back to soil, mitigates greenhouse gases generated due to transportation of waste from source to landfills.”
https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/goregaon-residents-convert-waste-to-wealth-develop-fruit-vegetable-garden/story-ypvmMswj4rdk6zvwaQ9DQI.html

Heralding a Sustainable Future: 5 Startups Blazing a Trail in Cleantech & Agritech!

Krimanshi Technologies: International agri-business awardee by the UN and the latest debutant in the Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list, the company upcycles surplus farm and food waste into nutritious cattle feed. Operating in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, it supplies cattle feed to 200 farmers every day across Jodhpur, Pali, Nagaur and Bikaner.
https://www.thebetterindia.com/169324/yes-bank-cleantech-agritech-sustainable-future/

South Mumbai society recycles 90% of its waste, thanks to this teen environment crusader

Dr. Aparna Pandey, senior research and development associate, RUR Greenlife, a waste management service in Mumbai, said, “Majumder’s interest and effort in the project has been commendable in terms of scientific monitoring and sensitisation of residents and staff about waste management. She is a living example of an eco-conscious Mumbaiite.”
https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/south-mumbai-society-recycles-90-of-its-waste-thanks-to-this-teen-environment-crusader/story-yIVagbjIBK3o3eMjOwdMHJ.html

It’s buzzing here!

Yes, it’s literally buzzing here at our Fargreen farms! We’ve just included a bee component in our farm ecosystem. So now, besides our delicious mushrooms, natural veggies and local rice produced in our signature closed-loop model, we’re also serving natural honey and it fits in the loop, too.
http://www.far-green.com/en/blog-en/2018/4/15/buzzing-far-by-buzzing-green

Better together: Why some food companies enter into partnerships

Now Nature’s Path, the largest organic cereal company in the U.S., runs the ingredient sourcing, distribution, manufacturing and supply chain aspects of Back to the Roots cereal. Items such as Back to the Roots Biodynamic Cinnamon Flakes still belong to Back to the Roots. Recipes and packages won’t be changed without Back to the Roots approval. But, Arora said, those products now will benefit from the category expertise of a longtime leader.
https://www.fooddive.com/news/better-together-why-some-food-companies-enter-into-partnerships/539411/

From bean to bar: The Bay Area’s chocolate revolution

On the commodity market, there’s no such thing as a high quality cacao bean. All beans are treated as equal, and their price is usually set very low. So the only way most cacao farmers can make more money is by selling more beans, and with the push for increased quantity comes inevitable exploitation.
http://www.kalw.org/post/bean-bar-bay-area-s-chocolate-revolution

What’s Fancy Chocolate Made Of That Makes It So Expensive?

Organizations like Uncommon Cacao say they aim to “build a more fair and sustainable specialty cacao supply chain.” Uncommon Cacao issues a yearly transparency report that details the realities of growing cacao in each region and supplies information including annual farmer revenue, flavor notes and prices at each point of sale.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fancy-chocolate-expensive_us_5b7d8c4de4b07295150f25c6

The Farmer’s Smartphone, To impact the agriculture ecosystem

Atul believes in taking feedback from multiple people. He goes to the Sarpanch, meets the best farmer in his taluka, and then travels 70 kms to meet the Agri dealers at the market place. He ends up getting confused. The dealers talk to him about a new product being launched by a well-known company. They also try to convince him to buy a few low-priced unbranded products which are supposed to give bumper yields.
http://www.destaglobal.com/the-farmers-smartphone-to-impact-the-agriculture-ecosystem/

No bull: PharmaSecure, NDDB arm in pact to crackdown on fake bovine semen

To stem this rot, PharmaSecure, a provider of brand protection, consumer loyalty and engagement solutions, has joined hands with NDDB Dairy Services (NDDB-DS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), to provide a tool to help safeguard this population of high-quality breeds of cow, both indigenous and mixed.
https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/no-bull-pharmasecure-nddb-arm-in-pact-to-crackdown-on-fake-no20180208allan-f-a-lasradochennai0inno-bovine-semen/article22694069.ece

Huge tract of prime land near Walla Walla sold to San Francisco group

Farmland LP was formed in 2009 “to add value to farmland by converting it to organic, sustainable agriculture,” according the release. It manages more than 12,000 acres in Northern California and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. In 2015, the group purchased 6,000 acres in the Willamette Valley from Olsen Agricultural Enterprises, an entity controlled by a pioneer farming family.
http://www.goodfruit.com/huge-tract-of-prime-land-near-walla-walla-sold-to-san-francisco-group/

Next Gen Beekeeper: Katrina Klett

Currently Katrina and her husband of 3 years, currently work with 26 families to produce honey. These beekeepers work with Apis cerana, a docile honey bee, native to Asia, that has a “stable host-parasite relationship” with the Varroa mite parasite (a scenario that American beekeepers’ dreams are made of). Another fun fact: Apis cerana doesn’t collect sticky propolis, so there are no need for hive tools! However, these honey bees aren’t management-free, cerana bees tend to be much more “swarmy” than their American and European relatives, so Chinese beekeepers must be prepared with knowledge and intuition.
https://www.beegirl.org/blog/next-gen-beekeeper-katrina-klett

How the rise of gourmet chocolate can lift the fortunes of small farmers

Uncommon Cacao (UC) began in 2010, with a goal of growing high-quality, sustainably produced cocoa bound to export to quality-focused brands overseas. After successfully launching in Belize, UC has expanded to Guatemala. In both countries, UC is revolutionizing local economies by linking small indigenous producers with the specialized cocoa industry.
http://www.eco-business.com/news/how-the-rise-of-gourmet-chocolate-can-lift-the-fortunes-of-small-farmers/

Re-Nuble Targets USDA Over ‘Organic’ Certifications

Concerns over chemical fertilization, the poor nutritional choices available in Harlem – where she taught an SAT-prep class – and the massive waste of the nation’s “leftover” food put Pina on a scientifically entrepreneurial path. Her research led quickly to anaerobic digesters, biological processes that break down biodegradable materials with a number of beneficial side-effects.
http://www.innovateli.com/re-nuble-targets-usda-organic-certifications/

New blockchain for agriculture and food businesses

Discussing the launch of the currency, Mark Meytin, who is a co-founder and partner in the new venture, said: “1000EcoFarms.com is a marketing and customer management platform while FoodCoin is focused on payment and contract-processing services based on the Ethereum blockchain.” Blockchain is a suitable process for farming; it allows farmers to transfer value, or assets, between each other without the need for a trusted intermediary.
http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/new-blockchain-for-agriculture-and-food-businesses/article/501623

‘Bachelor’ Star Sean Lowe Partners with Fellow ‘Bachelorette’ Contestant Alejandro Velez to Donate 125,000 Meals Supporting Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

“Bachelor” & “Bachelorette” star Sean Lowe has partnered with fellow ‘Bachelorette’ contestant Alejandro Velez to donate 125,000 breakfast cereal meals in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The organic cereal is from Back to the Roots, a company Velez co-founded in Oakland, CA.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/09/prweb14657882.htm

Why agtech grows in Brooklyn

Digging beds on rooftops and harvesting baby radishes under the summer sun is rather 2010. This year, Blue Planet Consulting will reveal its +farm — a build-it-yourself, modular hydroponic farm unit for the home. Agrilyst is refining its workflow and data management software for indoor farms to automate aspects of the industry. Re-Nuble brought its fertilizer for hydroponic and soil applications derived from wholesale food waste to market in late 2016.
https://technical.ly/brooklyn/2017/08/30/brooklyn-loves-agtech/

Why Biodynamic Breakfast Cereal Is The Go To Choice in 2017

Biodynamic food is trending in 2017. It is extending beyond organic farming, reducing the need for outside fertilisers. Moreover, it is creating a balanced farm ecosystem. This is achieved through rotational crops, a variety of plants and animals as well as on-site composting. We know there are hundreds of cereal products on the market, but very few of them can call themselves biodynamic! Back-the-roots is where health is heading.
http://www.longevitylive.com/nutrition-body/healthy-eating/biodynamic-breakfast-cereal/

Back To The Roots And Taking The Friction Out Of Natural Foods

The team at Back to the Roots can’t help with all the levels of fish madness that go into fish tank ownership. They can’t make your fish like each other, and they have not invented technology that will make you more able to tell if your fish is truly happy or just pacing in its bowl awaiting death. What they can do, however, is offer a fish tank that requires a lot less maintenance.
http://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2017/back-to-the-roots-natural-foods-ecommerce-innovation/

We need more innovation to repurpose and reclaim natural resources

Until premium priced, slow, organic, food fast casual chains are located in communities representative of a larger demographic range, I will continue to fight this good fight. These establishments’ business models are incredibly successful but their impact is limited if they are claiming to be a benefactor in increasing the accessibility of nutritious food.
https://foodtank.com/news/2017/08/tinia-pina

Baltimore farm-in-a-box a potential catalyst in urban revitalization

Reidy, 29, is the founder and CEO of Urban Pastoral Collective, a two-year-old business with a dual mission: to produce and sell fresh, whole foods in an urban setting and to help leverage the value of such foods into a movement that transforms the way Americans live and interact in cities.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-urban-pastoral-20170726-story.html

Two Oakland Area Entrepreneurs Are Reconnecting Us to Food

Back to the Roots is a thriving and growing business. Their ready-to-grow and ready-to-eat products are sold in thousands of locations nationwide, and the company has won several awards from leading publications and organizations for food innovation.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/two-oakland-area-entrepreneurs-are-reconnecting-us-to-food_us_595d47f1e4b02e9bdb09fa22

20 Years In The Making, A Personal Quest Led To A New Venture

“Himalayan Wild Fibers is a company that is commercializing a textile fiber that’s extracted from a wild growing plant, a form of stinging nettle that grows in the forests of the Himalayas. It is wild harvested. We extract from that a fiber, we refine it and then we sell into existing developed supply chains,” she explains.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2017/07/12/20-years-in-the-making-a-personal-quest-led-to-a-new-venture/#7369e43a69eb

The future of tech is in ‘cities across Africa,’ says start-up CEO

While ecommerce and mobile money companies are leading Africa’s tech race, solar technology and agriculture are also big sectors there. Ignitia, a startup based in Accra, Ghana has developed a weather model to help small-scale farmers in West Africa better predict water availability in order to manage their daily activities, optimize food production, and improve yields.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/16/jeremy-johnson-andela-ceo-future-of-tech-is-africa.html

Evaptainers decouples refrigeration from electricity to help rural farms and families

Evaptainers’ co-founders Spencer Taylor, Quang Truong and Jeremy Fryer-Biggs developed their cooling units as a kind of modern take on an analog invention, the “zeer pot,” or pot-in-pot refrigerator. The way these things work is something like sweating.sweat, water molecules draw heat out of our bodies to go through a phase-change, and evaporate. As that happens we cool down. This machine has water in a tank, and permeable membranes that deliver water to evaporative walls.”
https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/02/evaptainers-decouples-refrigeration-from-electricity-to-help-rural-farms-and-families/

Producing a Portable Fridge That Runs on Sun and Water

The story of the company, which is now headquartered at MassChallenge as an “alumni in residence,” starts at a class of the MIT Development Lab. The first day, the professor asked for ideas that “would change the life of one billion people.”
Quang Truong, at that time a master’s student at Tufts University who had a chance to cross-register into the class, wanted to be up to the task. Thanks to his background in agribusiness, he was aware of an electricity-free technique to produce cold by leveraging the evaporation of molecules. All he needed at that time was a group of engineers to perfect an efficient device based on this principle. And there’s no shortage of engineers at MIT.

https://www.americaninno.com/boston/these-masschallenge-alumni-are-producing-a-portable-fridge-that-runs-on-sun-and-water/

Millennial Food Innovators: Kulisha Turns Flies into Sustainable Animal Feed

USA-based Kulisha is taking on the destructive fishing practices of commercial vessels. Practices like bottom trawling, blast fishing and cyanide fishing result in unintentional by-catch and the destruction of coral reefs. As the world’s population continues to increase, finding regenerative sources of protein is imperative. Kulisha is betting on the Black Soldier Fly as this alternative source of protein.
https://foodtechconnect.com/2017/05/11/millennial-food-innovators-kulisha-turns-flies-into-sustainable-animal-feed/

Proof That Not All Kids are Addicted to Sugar

When you were a kid, chances are, the days when you were allowed to pick out your own breakfast meant one thing: a heaping bowl of Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And if your mom stocked the house with “healthy cereal,” your only option was something very bland. Bleh.
https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/back-to-the-roots-cereal-nyc-schools/

Healthier Cereals Snare a Spot on New York School Menus

The New York City public school system has quietly replaced breakfast cereals made by the Kellogg Company, the titan whose name is virtually synonymous with cereal, with those from a small California upstart called Back to the Roots.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/dining/cereal-health-new-york-city-public-schools.html?_r=0

Back to the Roots, NYC Schools Take ‘Undo Food’ Movement One Step Further

Back to the Roots was that something different. Though miniscule in comparison to food industry giants such as Kellogg, the California startup — which last summer got a $10-million funding boost from investors — offers a lineup of organic cereals with half as much sugar as conventional brands and no preservatives or added vitamins. The cereals’ nutritional profiles and organic ingredients made them the ideal candidates for New York City’s free breakfast program, which currently serves 254,000 students on average. Administrators weren’t the only ones keen about the new addition —after a lengthy test period, students gave the brand’s Purple Corn Flakes their seal of approval.
http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/startups/libby_maccarthy/back_roots_lands_major_deal_new_york_city_schools

Garden Spaces Join the Sharing Economy

Alfrea, a company based in Linwood, New Jersey, is trying to extend the sharing economy to garden spaces. The company was founded in 2016 as an online marketplace for renting land and finding farm hands for hire. Alfrea has since expanded to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Frederick, Maryland. The company has plans to expand nationwide. The website also has as a farmers’ market platform which allows farmers to sell produce at any time.
https://foodtank.com/news/2017/03/alfrea-plants-garden-spaces-sharing-economy/