SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. - Apeel is using $30 million of new funding to help smallholder farmers in emerging markets, who suffer from some of the highest levels of food insecurity and waste, to extend crop shelf life and gain access to new markets.
"It's a misconception that people go hungry because we don't grow enough food. The issue is the intermittency of supply and an inability to convert perishable assets into economic value," said James Rogers, founder and chief executive officer of Apeel. "The harsh reality is that it is nearly impossible today for most smallholder farmers to get their produce to a marketplace that will pay for it before it spoils. Apeel was founded on the belief that we can improve food security around the world by using technology to create opportunities for those who have limited or no access to the global food system."
The new funding comes from the International Finance Corporation, Temasek and Astanor Ventures, and will lead to new programs in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, Central and South America and Southeast Asia.
Apeel's technology will also be used to improve domestic supply chains, reducing food loss without the use of refrigeration, while increasing access to nutrition and improving domestic economic opportunities for smallholder farmers, informal retailers and consumers within developing countries.