Henry Dimbleby – the co-founder of the Leon food chain – has launched an investment firm backing food businesses that will “change the world for the better”.
Bramble Ventures will make investments in businesses from Series A to growth stage. It will provide funding and support to companies with the “potential to significantly improve the environmental or health impacts of the food we eat, or improve food security in the face of climate change”, according to a statement.
Backed by a £50m ($63.3m) fund, the firm is global, but “UK companies with global potential” will be an initial focus, a spokesperson told Just Food.
Dimbleby, Bramble’s executive chair, said: “The current global food system is disastrous both for our bodies and our planet: it is the single biggest cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss, drought and fresh-water pollution, and the second-biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, it is also by far the biggest cause of preventable illness and death.
“Things have to change – and in fact, they already are. There are fantastic new businesses springing up all over the food system, using both cutting-edge technology and old wisdom to create better ways of feeding the world. We believe there is a significant opportunity for Bramble to accelerate change by championing these pioneering companies. We want to help UK entrepreneurs deliver what politicians have not yet been able to.”
The Leon founder was the adviser behind the UK government’s National Food Strategy but resigned in 2023. He said the government had “pulled back” on promises to restrict junk-food advertising and warned of the cost to tackle diseases related to diets high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS).
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Dimbleby and John Vincent, Leon co-founder, sold the chain to EG Group, the Issa brothers’ petrol station and convenience store business, which now operates as part of Asda.