Around 10 percent of strawberry production goes to waste as it doesn’t meet the quality standards required for retail. To address this, biotechnology company MycoNourish has gained £150k of funding to develop its first two products that harnesses the power of beneficial microbes.
MycoNourish, a spin-out of the James Hutton Institute, has announced the completion of a £150K funding round led by Techstart Ventures which, together with a recent £125K Higgs Award from Scottish EDGE, will allow the company to grow the business and release its first two products targeted at enhancing yield and quality in strawberry and tomato crops.
MycoNourish founder Dr Peter Orrell says: “We are delighted to have recently completed this investment round, which will enable us to bring our first two products to market. We found the pragmatic approach of our investors to align well with our company, and we look forward to working with them to commercialise this exciting opportunity.”
Sustainable improvement of quality and yields
MycoNourish aims to sustainably improve crop production by taking advantage of microbes that work in symbiosis with crops. This is done with the assistance of beneficial fungi, known as ‘mycorrhizae’, which act as a secondary root system for plants, and work with crops to enhance yields.
Growers are facing increasing pressures, ranging from changes in regulations and plant protection products no longer being available to labour shortages, it is vital for growers to maximise the amount of their produce that meets the highest grade. Use of these beneficial organisms can add value for growers, increasing their margins and supporting them to be globally competitive.
€143B is lost by growers to wastage each year across Europe, and technology such as that provided by MycoNourish will form an important part of a toolset of sustainable improvements to tackle food wastage at the primary production stage, and increase food security.
MycoNourish will launch its first line of products later in the year.