Innovation, entrepreneurship, and environmentalism all intersect at Beyond Food Inc., a start-up company that has a creative and nutritional approach to solving Canada’s food waste dilemma.
The green tech company officially opened its new production facility in Dartmouth, N.S., on Tuesday.
The company will use clean tech solutions to take fruit and vegetables from grocery stores that are destined for landfills and turn that food into raw powders for nutritional supplements.
“Beyond Food was created to take a sliver, a bit of a dent out of the food waste issues and turn those late in life fruit and vegetables and turn them into high value, nutrient dense raw materials and use those in supplements,” said co-founder of Beyond Food Inc., CEO Darren Burke.
Sports Nutrition is the brand name under which the nutritional products are being marketed, and that includes plant-based protein powders, multi-vitamins, and other supplements, with the plan to bring the manufacturing, which is currently being done by a third-party in the US, to its new processing facility in Dartmouth.
“We literally just finished putting this production line together in the last month, and we’ve run a few tests through it and were just getting ready to start processing and powdering and running our packing line,” said Burke.
Beyond Food currently employ 12 people and they expect in six months time, they’ll be able to grow the facility and the business to nearly double its size, said Burke.
At this point they already have some of their products in stores in Canada, including Popeye’s Supplements and GNC – General Nutrition Centres, while the company has plans to expand into Sport Check locations.
Former NHLer TJ Galiardi is a vegan and co-founder of Beyond Foods and says plant-based diets are becoming more common in pro-sports as athletes are discovering the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet.
“I used to have to plug my nose and chug things down,” said Galiardi. “But you can tell if you get the chance to try our stuff you can really have this high-quality plant-based protein and still get all the benefits.”
Beyond Food is founded on the sustainable idea of solving the food waste dilemma.
“Taking food waste and turning it into something that has incredible value not only to the people that are going to use it but also the planet is a big undertaking,” said Burke.
“And the logistical challenges that we have been facing since we started this, again it’s no surprise that no one has figured this out.”
Beyond Food received a pair of repayable loans from the federal government, which awarded the plant-based startup $425,000 to produce and package its supplements, and another $500,000 to market and grow its brand worldwide.
Beyond Food says they are in partnership-talks with a national grocery chain, to take their food waste and hope to make an announcement regarding the agreement soon.