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Anterra Capital Launches by Investing in Food Freshness Technology

AMSTERDAM, OCTOBER 28, 2013—Anterra Capital (“Anterra”) is pleased to announce the launch of its new growth capital fund investing in innovative companies that will make the food and agriculture supply chain safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

Anterra has been formed following the spin-out of Rabobank’s proprietary venture capital investment team, Rabo Ventures. Rabobank will remain a cornerstone investor in Anterra alongside incoming investor Moonray Investors, the proprietary investment arm of FIL Limited, the parent company of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

As Rabo Ventures, the investment team has taken a leading role in financing the growth of innovative companies operating across the food and agriculture (F&A) supply chain. Working closely with Rabobank, they have developed deep F&A investment knowledge, as well as an investment model that leverages the resources and networks of the team and its partners. These resources and networks are used to strategically support the growth of its portfolio companies. Anterra will continue to follow and extend this investment approach with the backing of Moonray Investors and Rabobank.

Nicky McCabe, Chief Operating Officer of Moonray Investors, said: “Moonray is excited to be backing the team in launching Anterra. As a long-term investor, we believe in the importance and investment potential of changing the way we produce, move, and consume food. Anterra is taking a leading role in financing innovative F&A companies that are making this change happen. We look forward to putting our international network and resources behind Anterra, and the companies in which it invests.”

Lizette Sint, Managing Director of Rabo Private Equity Fund Investments, said: “The global food system needs to be transformed in order to secure the long-term food supply. We believe innovation is a key requirement to make this transformation happen. We look forward to working with Moonray and Anterra as we build on the team’s investment strategy of driving that change.”

Anterra is proud to announce its debut investment in Food Freshness Technology Holdings (FFT), a UK leader in food preservation. FFT’s technology, It’sFresh! is proven to be the world’s most effective way of adsorbing and locking away ethylene gas, the natural plant ripening hormone. By reducing ambient ethylene levels, It’sFresh! radically slows the ripening and decay of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers in the supply chain, reducing waste and assuring consumer product quality.

Available in the form of a simple pad, easily inserted into fresh produce packaging, It’sFresh! is the only ethylene reduction technology that can be used along the whole supply chain from grower to consumer. Existing retail client usage demonstrates that It’sFresh! typically reduces in-store, fresh produce waste by 50% and adds at least two days to product life.

Peter Sugarman, Chairman of FFT, said: “We are delighted Anterra Capital has chosen to invest in us. It’sFresh! technology has tremendous opportunities to reduce waste, improve food security and sustainability and provide consumers with fresher fruit in both the developed and developing worlds. For example if all UK supermarkets used It’sFresh! technology, we calculate they could avoid wasting over 13,500,000 packs of tomatoes and almost 19,500,000 punnets of strawberries every year. In each case that’s a saving of almost 7,000 metric tonnes, an equivalent mass to the Eiffel Tower—and in only two of the many fresh produce categories, in one country.”

Adam Anders, Managing Partner at Anterra, said: “The food industry is increasingly seeking out new technologies to solve its growing issues. FFT is a prime example of an innovative company that has the potential to transform the global food supply chain. Rabobank's F&A knowledge base and network, combined with the global investment experience of Moonray, give Anterra a unique perspective and edge in supporting the growth of companies like FFT. We are excited to be supporting FFT in the global commercialisation of It’sFresh and look forward to announcing additional investments soon.”

About Food Freshness Technology and It’sFresh!

It’sFresh Ltd and It’sFresh Inc, are part of Food Freshness Technology (FFT), a high tech innovations company focused on creating unique patented products, delivered by leading edge materials science, developed in partnership with world renowned research and technology organisations. To-date over £10m has been invested in FFT technologies.

It’sFresh! ethylene-removal technology is a unique, high-tech blend of minerals and clay, sealed into a discreet, food-grade pad that is easily inserted into bulk and retail fresh-produce packaging at the pack-house. It’sFresh! adsorbs (traps and locks away) the ethylene gas molecules that are fruit’s natural ripening hormone. Independent tests have shown It’sFresh! adsorbs ethylene 100 times more effectively than any other known technology on the market.

It’sFresh! prolongs freshness and quality, and enhances flavour, in a secure and sustainable way, helping the global fresh-produce supply chain maximise value from growing, transporting and retailing top-quality produce. Consumers can enjoy more, buy more and gain nutrition from fresh produce while ensuring they get full value for money. Retailers waste less and sell more, benefiting from a proven return on investment. Growers can reduce waste during transit, extend their season and ship more. This directly addresses the food industry’s challenges of food security and profitability, while also tackling the global issue of food waste.

Based on current commercial roll-out It’sFresh! typically saves around 50% of in-store waste and adds a minimum of two days’ product life. It’sFresh! is already used by M&S, Waitrose and others in the UK, by Cencosud in Chile and with wider EU, US and APAC commercialisation well underway.

The JRJ Group were the first external investors in FFTH. Peter Sugarman, a JRJ partner, acts as chairman of the Company’s board and advised on the hiring of Paul Moody, the former chief executive of Britvic plc.

About Moonray

Moonray Investors was formed in 2008 to manage the investment of FIL Limited’s balance sheet capital. Moonray manages a diverse portfolio of asset classes and investment strategies, targeting sectors outside of financial services and with an overall objective to deliver long-term growth in its portfolio’s net asset value.

As part of its broad portfolio, Moonray invests in a number of proprietary venture capital and private equity funds, run by Fidelity groups and affiliates. Moonray has dedicated venture capital teams in Europe, China, Hong Kong and India. Alongside US affiliates, Moonray invests in a global biosciences fund, run by Fidelity Biosciences. Moonray also holds significant, long term positions in operating companies in the Healthcare and Energy sectors; for example, as part of Moonray’s Optegra business, Moonray operates 23 ophthalmic surgical hospitals across Europe. Moonray has a strong interest in investments in the Food and Agriculture sector, to complement its investments in Healthcare and Energy.

A key enabler of Moonray’s approach is its ability to leverage both the European and Asian expertise of its investment teams, and the network formed by the wide portfolio of companies in which it invests. By offering access to its network and resources, Moonray is a proven and powerful partner for new companies entering the market, as well as those in their next phase of growth.

About Rabobank Group

Rabobank Group is a Netherlands based, international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles with a predominant focus on providing all finance services in the domestic market. Internationally the Group's focus is on food and agriculture. In line with its cooperative roots, Rabobank Group is a cooperative bank, comprised of independent local Rabobanks, plus their central organisation Rabobank Nederland and its (international) subsidiaries. The organisation has approximately 59,500 employees (fte) worldwide and operates in 42 countries.

Rabobank Group has high credit ratings, awarded by international rating agencies Standard & Poor's,Moody's, Fitch and DBRS. In terms of Tier I capital, the organisation is among the top 30 largest financial institutions in the world.

Internationally, the Rabobank Group operates specialised entities including De Lage Landen (leasing and vendor financing) and Rabo Real Estate Group (real estate management).

For more information about the Rabobank Group go to

Food Sector's Efficiency Drive has Promise

The following editorial piece was published on the Financial Times website,, in December 2013. For the original article please follow this link.

Recently, Tesco publicly acknowledged that 28,500 tonnes of food went to waste in its stores and distribution centres in the first six months of 2013. It was a revealing but welcome statement highlighting the fact that the food supply chain is broken.

Tesco’s troubles are part of a bigger story. The food supply chain is riddled with inefficiencies: between production and consumption 40 per cent of food ends up in the bin, according to a recent study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. At the same time, demand for commodities is projected to rise by 70 per cent between 2005 and 2050.

This demand cannot be satisfied simply by an increase in production: the world is running out of fertile land, water and nutrients, and average rates of improvement in global crop yield are steadily declining.

But Tesco’s frankness on waste points to a dramatic shift in attitude in the food and agriculture industry, from a focus on production to targeting efficiency.

Traditionally, the sector has been all about farming more land and adding more chemicals to improve crop yields. This led to an abundance of cheap food and indifference to waste.

But now the sector is starting to realise that increasing efficiency is the only way forward in the face of unsustainable fundamentals. However, to achieve the necessary gains in efficiency, the sector will need to introduce a host of new technologies.

Some of these will need to be developed from scratch, while many others already exist but are not yet being applied to the food and agriculture value chain. Nevertheless, the opening up of the food market to new products and services will create significant investment opportunities for a variety of asset managers.

So why are more investors not entering this emerging asset class? The truth is that, although the potential financial returns are substantial, there are a number of aspects that make food and agriculture a challenging sector to invest in confidently. For example, many of the key players are rather conservative and thus slow to embrace innovation, while unpredictable weather or regulation can bring unpleasant surprises.

Still, with a bit of patience and careful navigation, few sectors will offer better opportunities.

We have identified three key themes that we think are important for successful investing in food and agriculture.

Stay in the comfort zone of key technology buyers:

The average company in food and agriculture exists in a tough environment: razor-thin margins, regulatory regimes in flux and the ever-present threat of hostile weather or disease wiping out entire crops or livestock. Unsurprisingly key players, such as farmers, input providers, food processors and food retailers, are reluctant to take on additional risk.

Investors should bear this conservative outlook in mind. Do not invest in a hot start-up with a disruptive efficiency solution if you are in a hurry. Key players in the sector typically like to take it slow and gravitate towards proven technologies they understand.

An alternative approach is to look at the food and agriculture industry as a substantial new market for existing technologies and products from other sectors, like human health, life sciences or even software, that have a proven record in situations similar to those food and agricultural companies are now facing.

For example, the advanced product track-and-trace software solutions used in the pharmaceutical value chain can be applied to the fresh food chain.

Don’t do it alone:

It is not difficult to enter the food and agriculture market and gain a few clients. But as the thousands of small and largely stagnant companies in the sector show, it is much harder to achieve scale.

Many factors conspire to hamper the growth of new entrants: buyers are powerful and conservative; tastes, customs and regulations are often very local and can make it hard to repeat success across borders.

In our view, successful investment in food and agriculture requires knowledge of the sector, a focus on simple, easy to communicate value propositions and strong partners to help with international expansion. So investors should surround themselves with dedicated food and agriculture experts and innovative companies should engage with end customers early and consider partnerships as they grow.

Go forth and diversify:

As a food and agriculture investor you may not know when, where or how hard a natural disaster or food scandal will hit one of your portfolio companies, but you can rest assured that it will happen at some point.

So diversify your exposure across regions, customers, commodities and suppliers, or invest in a service that will remain in use throughout any cycle. The Tesco story suggests the rollout of new waste-reduction technology would be such a service. Investors who skip diversification do so at their peril.