SK Inc., SK Group’s investment arm, announced that it injected more than $100 million into promising global food technology developers. According to the company, the strategic investments align with SK Group’s company-wide strategy to uphold ESG-related principles.
Besides supporting corporate values, SK Inc.’s expanding partnerships with food tech companies demonstrate its commitment to sustainability. What’s more, SK Inc. actively seeks to discover and foster future growth engines, strengthening its long-term global competitiveness.
Investing in Future Growth Engines
Moreover, SK Inc. expects its extensive investment portfolio to advance the development of new, sustainable food sources. Aside from introducing greener food production processes, these up-and-coming food sources aim to make healthy food options more accessible to consumers worldwide.
Over the past year, SK Inc. has invested in various food tech innovators based in the UK and US. In addition to selling ingredients and food products, the companies specialize in developing meat-free or plant-based food alternatives.
The companies also include Meatless Farm, Nature’s Fynd, and Perfect Day. SK Inc. plans to collaborate with them as an investor and partner on their respective international expansion plans. The SK Group affiliate would also establish growth opportunities for these companies across Asian markets.
Offering Sustainable Food Innovations
At present, SK Inc. seeks to invest in Meatless Farm as part of its alternative food investment portfolio diversification. Meatless Farm is a protein company that offers a variety of meat-free products, including burgers, breakfast patties, hotdogs, and nuggets.
The company also invested $25 million in Nature’s Fynd, a newly established company that develops proteins using microbes. Earlier, SK Inc. teamed up with various investors, including SoftBank, to accelerate the food startup’s meat and dairy substitute development.
Last year, SK Inc. marked its food innovation market entry with an investment in Perfect Day, another food tech developer. Perfect Day utilizes fermentation to develop plant-based dairy protein for diverse product uses, including butter, cheese, ice cream, and milk.
The global alternative food investment scene also blew up to $2.2 billion in 2020, climbing 20-fold from its 2016 records. On a similar note, Shinsegae recently launched Better Meat, its new meat analog brand, entering the fast-growing alternative food market.
Aligning Operations with ESG
Furthermore, SK Inc.’s intensive investments in food tech growth engines align with SK Group’s ESG business principles. In particular, SK affiliates have been investing in green solutions, including renewable energy, resource conservation, and sustainable packaging.
Similarly, SK Inc.’s partnership with food innovators enhances food production, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from food and livestock refrigeration. The three companies have also organized environmental life cycle studies, ensuring that their food production delivers positive impacts.
“Our investments in new food companies are a natural evolution of SK’s long-term commitment to the double-bottom line philosophy and ESG principles,” said Kim Moo-Hwan, Executive VP of SK Inc.’s Green Investment Center.
“New food is a fast-growing industry area that can provide tangible economic and social benefits through innovations,” continued Kim. The SK official also noted that these innovations hold the potential to deliver more efficient and environmentally friendly food production methods.
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