Pnina Sverdlov (left) and Shay Cohen.

FoodTech 2023
"Global food security depends on the development of alternative proteins"

FoodTech 2023, a competition sponsored by Calcalist and Tnuva Ventures, seeks game-changing developments for the food industry

The climate crisis and conflicts between countries harm our food security and affect the ongoing production and supply of food around the world and in Israel. The heat wave that hit Europe, the enormous challenges that the global supply chain has been facing since the outbreak of the pandemic, and other macroeconomic changes increase the relevance of the continued development of the foodtech industry.
The fires across the world, the shortage of eggs, the war between Ukraine and Russia, which led to a shortage of wheat and fodder for cattle, and disruptions in the supply of soy and corn due to the trade conflicts between China and the United States are examples that illustrate that the problem is worsening year by year.
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שי כהן מנהל החדשנות וקרן ההשקעות של הקבוצה ו פנינה סברדלוב מנהלת המו"פ של קבוצת תנובה
שי כהן מנהל החדשנות וקרן ההשקעות של הקבוצה ו פנינה סברדלוב מנהלת המו"פ של קבוצת תנובה
Pnina Sverdlov (left) and Shay Cohen.
(Photo: Remi Zerenger)
According to the forecasts, in about a decade the global market share of milk, chicken and meat substitutes will be about $140 billion, and meat substitutes are expected to make up about half of this market. The global trend will not pass over Israel, where the market for animal protein substitutes is expected to be about 15% of the meat and chicken market. By 2050, Israel's population is expected to grow significantly, a trend that requires us to act today to find sustainable solutions, and to take steps that will provide us with food security in the future as well.
The term food security describes a reality too grim to ignore. Food security means that all people, wherever they are, will be physically, economically and socially entitled to nutritious, healthy and satisfying food. However, we as a society fail in this attempt. Food security is becoming one of the main challenges of the 21st century. Between February and May 2023, food price inflation continued to soar around the world, disproportionately affecting low to high-income countries. In 80.1% of 166 countries, food inflation exceeded overall inflation. The FAO report for 2023 shows that global hunger and food insecurity have not significantly improved since the Coronavirus. Almost 9.2% of the world's population faced hunger in 2022.
These data, together with the trend of the public to consume healthier and more sustainable food, led Calcalist, in cooperation with Tnuva Ventures, Tnuva's investment arm in the foodtech sector, for the sixth year, to look for the next innovative move in the food industry. Startups and entities with technological innovation who believe they can change the rules of the game and have a creative and unique impact on the food market are invited to submit their nominations and win media exposure and a prize package of up to $100,000 for the commercial implementation of the technology in the Tnuva group or for investment in the company and 50,000 shekels for advertising in Calcalist’s digital outlets.
If you meet the requirements and operate in areas such as cultured meat and alternative protein, reducing food waste, packaging solutions, functional food, climate tech, supply chain management and optimization or maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste, now is the time to register.
"One of the most promising avenues for increasing the stability of the global food system and food security is the alternative protein revolution," says Shay Cohen, Chief Innovation Officer & Managing Director of Tnuva Ventures. "These protein sources, such as protein substitutes from innovative sources or with innovative production methods, have the potential to satisfy the growing demand for protein and also greatly reduce the existing dependence on imports and traditional agriculture. Tnuva is proud to stand on this front and lead the State of Israel forward. We invest tens of millions of shekels a year in investments and strategic partnerships with innovative startups along with continuing to build the group's R&D and production capabilities in the field. The opportunity to carry economic value in the combination of Tnuva's power multipliers and the groundbreaking technologies of the startup companies is dramatic, and we invite everyone to take part in this extraordinary journey in this extraordinary time where we are dealing with several extreme scenarios at the same time."
Pnina Sverdlov, Chief R&D Officer, Tnuva Group, added: "Tnuva has been leading the protein substitute revolution in Israel for years. We intend to build the field of meat, chicken and fish substitutes as we built the field of milk substitutes. The strategy for building categories in these areas is based on the integration of technologies from different disciplines and unequaled raw materials. Hybridity is the name of the game when you want to shorten the time to market and break the cost barrier, and we at Tnuva know how to integrate this and bring the consumer a nutritional, quality and environmental line. By continuing technological, product and manufacturing innovation in these categories, we aim to provide a variety of alternatives that will help traditional agriculture, thereby reducing the pressure on our agricultural systems."
Tnuva emphasizes that the future holds promise, and they have the tools to successfully navigate these challenges through technological food innovations such as alternative proteins, plant-based substitutes, cultured meat, energy-efficient methods and disease prediction. By adopting these solutions, we can expect a safer and more sustainable global food supply, even in times of need.
The judges for this year's competition are: Haim Gavrieli, Chairman of Tnuva; Yoel Esteron, Publisher of Calcalist; Noga Sela-Shalev, CEO of Fresh Start Foodtech Incubator; Haggai Schreiber, Chief Investment Officer, The Phoenix Holdings; Nir Goldstein, CEO of GFI Israel; Liat Hazut, Head of Private Debt and Alternative Investments at Clal Insurance; Ronit Eshel, Director of Strategy in the Innovation Authority's Advanced Manufacturing Division; Tomer Goldberg, Head:Alternative Investments Harel Insurance Inv & Fin Srvc.; Pnina Sverdlov, Chief R&D Officer at Tnuva; Beni Nofech, Founder and Managing Partner at Milk & Honey Ventures
For more details and to register for the competition, go to "Conferences" on the "Calcalist" website.