VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle has partnered with St. Louis-based specialized venture capital fund Yield Lab Latam, which invests in transforming Latin America’s food sector.
The investments consist of technology-based startups that operate in the agri-food industry to bring about innovative technology solutions, ranging from food production to agricultural methods. Yield Lab Latam also connects investors, startups, corporates, farmers, and public sector and research communities to develop a sustainable transformation of the industry.
“The relationship with Nestle reflects the common vision of committing ourselves and the food production ecosystem to jointly help address the challenges of the industry,” said Santiago Murtagh, managing director of the Yield Lab Latam. “We are leveraging our proximity to local entrepreneurial talent and the reach of our network of innovation centers. From this local position and the regional experience of having invested in seven Latin American countries, we can act as a bridge between investors in the food industry and innovative solutions for the sustainable production of healthy, nutritious, safe and accessible food for the next generations.”
Nestle said it has invested in the Yield Lab Latam through its sustainability fund, which invests in startups and organizations that specialize in two key areas: promoting packaging solutions and recycling infrastructure that help circular economies; and advancing the food sector towards regenerative agriculture.
“The investment from Nestle and the partnership with The Yield Lab Latam will help us progress on finding sustainable solutions for the food industry,” said Maxence de Royer, vice president of strategy, business development and ESG for the Latin America region of Nestle. “Investing in technological innovation in the agri-food sector and drawing on the energy and creativity of startups can help meet common goals such as reducing emissions and increasing biodiversity. This complements our own research work in the area, for example, through our new Institute of Agricultural Sciences.”
Nestle also said it is committed to reducing its carbon footprint in the Latin America region throughout its supply chain and operations. One area of focus that the company has been implementing is regenerative agriculture practices, especially in the dairy supply chain. Nestle already has launched more than 80 regenerative agriculture projects across 11 countries, and said these projects can potentially help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while supporting communities and preserving and restoring natural resources.