16 Dec. 2020. The year 2020 ends on a high note for NAFICI Environmental Research having been awarded $100k in equity-free grant funding by Huhtamaki, as well as a year of mentorship from the Californian based circular economy accelerator Food System 6 organisation.
Throughout October and November NAFICI participated in the Huhtamaki Circular Economy Programme by Food System 6 which involved online mentorship, advising and networking, culminating in a week of immersive virtual programming after being selected as one of eight global businesses to receive a grant and mentorship. This was based on their commitment to sustainable solutions in areas such as waste management, sustainable packaging alternatives, new materials innovation and regenerative production modules. The program was sponsored by the Finnish company Huhtamaki to celebrate their centenary as global food packaging specialists.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these entrepreneurs leading change in the world,” said Caesaré Assad, CEO of Food System 6. “They are helping to solve some of the most urgent issues within circularity in our world today—from materials innovation to waste management solutions and community resiliency projects. These leaders are showcasing the depth and breadth of a systems-driven circular economy.”
NAFICI was recognised for developing innovative ways to transform waste agricultural straw into paper pulp. They’re now producing wheat straw or other agri-waste pulps in a small pilot-scale mill in the UK, and a new semi-commercial plant in China. The unbleached pulp can be used in packaging or paper or for other applications. A commercial scale plant is under construction in China.
For NAFICI it is an exciting time for the year ahead to carrying this experience forward to cultivate a more regenerative and circular future alongside the other cohort members.
Background / more information
Food System 6 (FS6) is a non-profit based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose mission is to support impact driven entrepreneurs as they transform how we grow, produce, and distribute food. The organization runs a comprehensive accelerator program that mentors entrepreneurs by coaching them through a wide range of business and organizational needs. FS6 also works to educate stakeholders on the unique capital needs as related to redefining the food system.
The FS6 program prioritizes working with entrepreneurs who are building a food system that focuses on health, sustainability, and justice – whether through food-tech, supply chain, or access-focused solutions.
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