Maersk's VC arm on tackling food waste

Maersk Growth is the venture arm of A. P. Moller – Maersk, one of the largest shipping and logitics companies in the world. 1/3 of all food is wasted or lost as it moves from the farm to our tables. Fixing inefficenices along the supply chain is key for cutting down on waste. To discuss how Maersk is thinking about food, my guest today is Peter Jorgensen, a Partner at Maersk Growth focused on their FoodTrack. 

A small note, that this was one of the first podcast episodes I recorded back in 2019. I re-read the transcript the other day and it felt more relevant than ever, so I wanted to share it with you again. 

Episode Transcript

Related Links 

Too Good To Go on building a startup that tackles foood waste

Matt Homewood on stopping supermarket food waste

Amass on creating a zero-waste restaurant

Electrolux on using appliances to curb consumer food waste

How companies like Coffee Collective figure out shipping when starting up

More interviews with corporations investing in food solutions

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Puris's CEO Tyler Lorenzen on the power of peas

Based in Minnesota, Puris is the largest producer of pea protein in North America supplying the likes of Beyond Meat. Fast Company named them the most innovative food company in 2021 for their end-to-end solution to food production. To speak about the company’s philosophy, history, business model, and future, my guest today is CEO Tyler Lorenzen who runs the company alongside his sister Nicole Atchinson.

Episode transcript

Lakrids by Bülow's Founder on creating an iconic brand

If you’ve been to the Nordics, odds are you’ve tried licorice. In today’s episode, we dive into the story of the luxury licorice and chocolate company Lakrids by Bülow. Johan Bülow started cooking licorice in his mom’s kitchen on the Danish island of Bornholm in 2007. Fast forward to today and they’ve become an iconic brand with sales in 35 countries and counting. Their mission: to make the world love licorice. This episode traces the evolution of the company, diving into valuable lessons around food entrepreneurship, branding, and sales.

Episode Transcript

The Miracle of Hemp on the Island of Bornholm

Signe Anker is the Co-Founder of Bornholmerhampen. She and her partner were some of the first people in Denmark to start growing hemp again. Today, they hand harvest it to produce teas, flours, oils, and cosmetics on the beautiful Danish island of Bornholm. In this episode, we explore why it’s considered a miracle crop, how it’s making a comeback, and the roots of its bad reputation.

As a listener of the podcast, get 20% off all Bornholmerhampen products using the code NORDICFOODTECH at checkout.

Episode Transcript

This episode was first published on October 16, 2020

The Story of Denmark's Billion Kroner Investment Into Plant-based

In October 2021, the Danish government announced that it was allocating 1 billion kroner or 168 million euro to ramp up plant-based food production. This is one of the largest investments into plant-based by any country to date. Join me and Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, the Secretary General of The Vegetarian Society of Denmark, as we discuss the details of the agreement and what it means for the future. It’s not just about politics, it’s also about culture, history, and relationships.

  • 9:30 The history and cultural significance of vegetarianism 
  • 19:00 How the Vegetarian Society of Denmark got started
  • 42:00 Details of the agreement
  • 56:00 Tips for other countries looking to do something similar

Chromologics' CEO Gerit Tolberg on natural vs artificial food colorants

There is a big trend in the food and cosmetic industry to move away from artificial colors and flavors, replacing them with natural ingredients. Gerit Tolborg is the CEO of Chromologics. Gerit describes herself as an accidental entrepreneur. Through her research at the Danish Technical University, she stumbled upon a way to naturally produce a red colorant using fungi and fermentation. Listen in as we discuss the business of artificial and natural ingredients, what it takes to build an R&D heavy startup, and the journey of becoming an entrepreneur when you never thought that was in the cards.

  • 2:09 Why companies are moving away from artificial colors
  • 9:40 Producing colors through precision fermentation
  • 16:00 How Chromologics started
  • 23:00 Building an R&D heavy startup 
  • 41:00 Challenges of being a female CEO

Full episode transcript. For more conversations, join our community on Instagram Like what you hear? This is a listener-supported podcast. Show your love by subscribing for a few dollars every month. 

Chromologics' CEO Gerit Tolborg on natural vs artificial food colorants

There is a big trend in the food and cosmetic industry to move away from artificial colors and flavors, replacing them with natural ingredients. My guest today is Gerit Tolborg, the CEO of Chromologics. Gerit describes herself as an accidental entrepreneur. Through her research at the Danish Technical University, she stumbled upon a way to naturally produce a red colorant using fungi and fermentation. Listen in as we discuss the business of artificial and natural ingredients, what it takes to build an R&D heavy startup, and the journey of becoming an entrepreneur when you never thought that was in the cards.

  • 2:09 Why companies are moving away from artificial colors
  • 9:40 Producing colors through precision fermentation
  • 16:00 How Chromologics started
  • 23:00 Building an R&D heavy startup 
  • 41:00 Challenges of being a female CEO

Episode Transcript 

Related Links

Interview with Chromologic’s investor Nordic FoodTech VC

Is artificial really bad? An investigation with artist Alexandra Genis

How DTU helps startups spin out

Hey Planet makes burgers from insects

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram

Like what you hear? This is a listener-supported podcast. Show your love by subscribing for a few dollars every month. 

Artist Alexandra Genis on 3D printing flavor molecules

Listen again. Artist and food designer Alexandra Genis is set on challenging your notion of artificiality and what sustainability means in the context of food production. Are natural and wild foods really better? We explore her work and how artificial foods, technology, and art can help us reimagine a better food system.

  • 1:50 The Atoma project, turning individual molecules into spices
  • 2:48 The complexity of flavor and the limits of what we can taste
  • 10:45 The importance of artificial foods in a post-agricultural age 
  • 22:00 Other projects Alexandra’s worked on 
  • 24:00 Vision for the future food system

Full episode transcript. Subscribe to the podcast newsletter here.

Dr. Mikelis Grivins on foraging and the black market for wild foods

Listen again. Foraging exists in a delicate balanace with nature. If we take too much, it can lead to environmental degradation. At the same time, it survives as a cultural tradition and a key way families put food on the table. My guest today is Dr. Mikelis Grivins a researcher at the Baltic Studies Center. In this episode, we discuss the four kinds of foragers commonly seen in Europe, the ethics of foraging, and the black market that exists around wild foods.

  • 4:00 Overview of alternative food systems are important
  • 17:00 4 types of foragers across Europe
  • 20:20 Exploitation, transparency & regulation in the wild food market
  • 25:00 Wild washing

Episode Transcript

Links

Artist Alexandra Genis on why all foods are artificial

Using blockchain to trace food from farm to fork 

The chef preserving Iceland’s food traditions

The Importance of Microbes in the Greenlandic Diet

Regenerative agriculture and our connection with nature

This episode was first released in February 2020 with the support of the Nordic Council of Minister’s Office in Latvia.

Like the show? Support more stories like this by contributing a few dollars a month. You can do so here.

Dr. Mikelis Grivins on foraging and the blackmarket for wild foods

Listen again. Foraging exists in a delicate balanace with nature. If we take too much, it can lead to environmental degradation. At the same time, it survives as a cultural tradition and a key way families put food on the table. My guest today is Dr. Mikelis Grivins a researcher at the Baltic Studies Center. In this episode, we discuss the four kinds of foragers commonly seen in Europe, the ethics of foraging, and the black market that exists around wild foods.

  • 4:00 Overview of alternative food systems are important
  • 17:00 4 types of foragers across Europe
  • 20:20 Exploitation, transparency & regulation in the wild food market
  • 25:00 Wild washing