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March 3, 2021

US grocer Kroger wants to back upcycling firms

One of the largest food retailers in the US has a fund set aside to support companies set up to "manufacture, process or distribute upcycled consumer food products".

By Dean Best

Kroger, one of the largest food retailers in the US, is looking to put cash into companies set up to “manufacture, process or distribute upcycled consumer food products”.

By 1 April, firms in the area can submit an application for support and funding from a pot worth US$2.5m in grants.

Denise Osterhues, president of the Kroger Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation charity, said the grocer is “committed to helping build a more efficient and resilient food system and charitable food system in the US and beyond”.

She added: “In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impacts, we are more determined than ever to direct as much food as possible to its highest purpose: feeding people. We can no longer afford to waste surplus food at any level in our food system.”

Ten start-ups will be selected, each receiving $100,000 in upfront “seed grant funding”. Each fledgling firm will be eligible for an additional $100,000 grant “based on achievement of identified programme milestones”, Kroger said.

The programme will last six months, at the end of which, two start-ups will be selected by their cohort peers, Kroger said, for an opportunity to receive an additional $250,000 in funding.

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