Saturday, April 20, 2024

Fonterra pushes into nutrition science ventures

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Shareholding in US bio-tech company just the start.
Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the strength of its balance sheet means we remain in a strong position to weather uncertainty and market volatility.
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Fonterra is to formalise investment in nutrition science with a new standalone company called Nutrition Science Solutions, with its own board and executive group.

The first investment is a minority shareholding in San Francisco-based Pendulum bio-tech company for US$10 million ($16m) for an undisclosed stake.

Nutrition Science Solutions (NSS) will make direct investments, enter into partnerships and incubate products and ventures, Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell said.

He declined to say how much money NSS would have available.

“When we released our long-term strategy in September 2021, we identified nutrition science solutions as an area with future growth potential.

“Nutrition science is a segment of the global health and wellness category that goes beyond everyday lifestyle and wellness products.

“Given our expertise in dairy science, we committed to exploring the potential for Fonterra to play more boldly in this space.”

Hurrell made the announcement in conjunction with his senior executive team member Komal Mistry-Mehta, chief innovation and brand officer.

She has oversight of the fast-growing active living and health and wellness products and opportunities and will be one of the NSS board members.

The CEO has not yet been appointed but Hurrell expects an announcement of that person and other board members in short order.

Hurrell said NSS will seek out, partner with and invest in global start-ups who will benefit from access to Fonterra’s dairy science expertise and understanding of the global market.

Fonterra will benefit from access to emerging technologies, advancements in science, and novel channels to market.

“This is a new way of working for Fonterra, but one in which we see a lot of potential,” he said.

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