Posted in: Podcast Country

Meraki Impact on investing in regenerative agriculture through venture philanthropy

Fernando Russo is the co-founder of Meraki Impact, a single family office from Brazil dedicated to investments in regenerative agriculture, forest and the future of sustainable food production. Guided by venture philanthropy, Meraki Impact has made dozens of investments in technology to enable the scale of regenerative agriculture and in large scale regenerative agriculture farms in Latin America and Europe.

In this episode, we discuss Fernando's uncommon career path. He used to work for Playboy and AB InBev before he pivoted to food. We also explain what regenerative agriculture is, the industry's potential, and technology enablers. Fernando also explains how they use the venture philanthropy model to invest in pioneering startups as well as grassroots initiatives, especially related to regenerating the Amazon rain forest.

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Tony's Chocolonely on making chocolate 100% slave free

In 2007, journalist Teun van de Keuken turned himself in for eating chocolate. He claimed that by buying chocolate he was benefiting from child slavery and he wasn’t wrong. The cocoa supply chain is shaped like an hourglass. The chain starts with millions of farmers that produce cocoa and ends with the billions of consumers like us that enjoy chocolate. But what about the bit in between? This section is dominated by a small group of chocolate giants that profit from keeping the cocoa purchasing price as low as possible. For the farmers, this creates a poverty trap that leads to illegal child labor and modern slavery. From this revelation, Tony’s Chocolonely was born. By raising awareness with great marketing, leading by example in producing their own chocolate, and inspiring others to act with initiatives like the Open Chain they aim to make 100% slave free chocolate the industry norm. Today’s episode is an awesome example of how a strong vision can shift an industry. I sit down with Joke Aerts to discuss how Tony's got started, how the chocolate supply chain works, the power of transparency and collaborations, and how we can make 100% slave free chocolate the industry norm.

Posted in: Denmark

Claus Meyer on eating as an agricultural act

Claus Meyer is a true gastronomic entrepreneur. He co-founded Noma with Rene Redzepi, which has been voted the best restaurant in the world multiple times. In 2004, he spearheaded the writing of the New Nordic Manifesto, an influential philosophy that spread like wildfire on how chefs can approach cooking using traditional ingredients and local produce. Claus is also behind the Melting Pot Foundation, which trains individuals in underserved communities from Morocco to Bolivia and even in Danish prisons to become chefs. He’s also been the host of multiple cooking shows with global reach, authored several cookbooks, started a catering company, deli, bakery chain, country hotel, orchard, and is behind several high-end restaurants globally. The red thread through all of Claus’s work is to create healthy, delicious meals that inspire us to see eating as an agricultural act. In this episode, we discuss Claus’ career and how his opinion on what a good food future looks like has changed over time.

Posted in: Podcast Country

WWF's Brent Loken on solving the great food puzzle

When it comes to the solving the climate crisis, food is a big part of the puzzle. Food is responsible for 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions, but historically it hasn’t been in the spotlight of climate conversations. In today’s episode, I speak with Brent Loken who is the Global Food Lead Scientist for the World Wildlife Fund. We discuss the power each country has to create food system transformation. All of these natural climate solutions fit together to create an exponential roadmap for solving the Great Food Puzzle and reaching the biodiversity, climate, and health goals we’ve set as an international community.

NordGen's Lise Lykke Steffensen on storing seeds to safeguard our future food supply

At the top of Norway near the Arctic Circle, you will find the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Like you and I back up our phones and computers, seed banks around the world serve as the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply. They store copies of every important crop variety available in the world today. Their goal is give future generations options. Whether we face war, climate change, or population growth, they make sure that we have seeds to replant and genetic diversity in our food supply for years to come. Lise Lykke Steffensen is the Director of NordGen or the Nordic Genetic Resource Center. NordGen runs the Svalbard Global Seed Vault along with the Norwegian Ministry of Agricutlure and Food and the Crop Trust. Their mission is to preserve and promote the sustainable use of the genetic resources within plants, farm animals, and forestry in the Nordic countries. Join us as we discuss the importance of genetic diversity and the role of seed keepers in ensuring our future food supply. 

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The Kogi on merging indigenous wisdom with modern science and tech

The Kogis escaped colonization by retreating high up into the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia. This is nothing short of a miracle. Their ancient, indigenous culture has been preserved since pre-Colombian times giving us a glimpse of what life would have been like when the Incans, Mayans, and Aztecs ruled and we interacted with the world in another way. They recently started traveling and connecting with us – The Little Brothers as they like to call us – to raise awareness about climate change, biodiversity loss, and the need for us to come together and create a new, third world that brings together indigenous wisdom with modern science and technology. In today’s episode, I speak with Lucas Buchholz who has written a book for the Kogi and traveled the world with them as their translator. We discuss the Kogi’s message and what a food system that supports life looks like from their point of view.

A big thank you to Mac Krol for sponsoring this episode.

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Posted in: Denmark Sweden

Fiskerikajen's Jesper Hansen on modern day fishmongering

Jesper Hansen started his career as a Michelin chef before getting into fish. He was the Sous Chef of Søllerød Kro in Denmark helping the famous fine dining restaurant get its first star in 2006.  Then his career took a turn. Today, Jesper is the Executive Managing Director of Fiskerikajen, a modern-day fishmonger that has been selling sustainably sourced fish to many of the best and most famous restaurants in the world since 1999/

Episode Transcript

Posted in: Denmark
Kaffee Bueno Founders

Kaffe Bueno on unleashing coffee's full potential

Coffee is a filled with bioactive compounds that beneficial for our health and well being, but when you or I brew a cup we tap less than 1% of the plant’s full potential. The rest we throw away in the coffee grounds. That’s where Kaffe Bueno comes in. They are a bioscience company upcycling coffee grounds into ingredients for the cosmetic, nutraceutical, and functional food and beverage industry. Today, I speak with Alejandro Franco, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Kaffe Bueno. We talk about their startup journey, how we can unlock food waste to create high value products, and what it means to design a circular business model.

Episode Transcript

3 mistakes to avoid when pitching foreign investors

As a startup you have to pitch all of the time. As your company grows and takes on new markets and foreign investors, you have to adapt your pitch to speak to them. This means some cultural adjustments in how you do business.  I just wrapped up doing the pitch coaching for the Nordic US Food Summit and noticed 3 common mistakes that almost all startups made when approaching the US market. In this minisode, I share what they are and how you can avoid them when pitching any VC, potential partner, or customer located outside of your home operating market. nLike the show? Consider becoming a patron on Substack.  You’ll get access to exclusive content like Analisa’s travel notes and  episode transcripts. Most importantly, your contribution directly  enables the creation of more content like this. Contributions start at  $5.  Sign up here.  nnWebsite: nInstagram: @nordicfoodtech nShow Host: Analisa Winther

Marine Stewardship Council on the future of fisheries

The Marine Stewardship Council is kind of a big deal in the world of fish. They are the organization that sets the standards for sustainable fisheries worldwide. If a fishery meets MSC’s standards, their products are awarded with a blue ecolabel. Many global organizations like IKEA and McDonald’s exclusively purchase MSC certified fish. For them, its a standard that denotes quality and sustainability. This also means that who and what gets certified matters a lot in the global market. 

Episode Transcript