Food System 6 and Huhtamaki announce circular economy start-up program participants


Food System 6 and Huhtamaki announce circular economy start-up program participants

Eight start-ups have been selected to receive mentorship and up to $300,000 in grants to develop innovative circular economy solutions

The impact-focused startup accelerator, Food System 6 (FS6), is today announcing the eight early-stage companies from around the world selected to participate in their new Circular Economy program, launched in partnership with global sustainable packaging solutions leader Huhtamaki. The purpose of the Huhtamaki Circular Economy Start-up Program by Food System 6 is to accelerate the development of young and promising companies working to deliver innovative sustainable solutions in areas such as waste management, sustainable packaging alternatives, new materials innovation, and regenerative production models.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these entrepreneurs leading change in the world,” said Caesaré Assad, CEO of Food System 6. “They are helping to solve some of the most urgent issues within circularity in our world today—from materials innovation to waste management solutions and community resiliency projects. These leaders are showcasing the depth and breadth of a systems-driven circular economy."

Through the partnership with Huhtamaki, FS6 is committing critical mentorship, advising and networking resources to provide direct support and help the selected participants build their efforts to scale. The eight cohort members were selected for their unique and timely innovations across the impact areas of: circularity, healthy people, vibrant farms, sustainable ecosystems, and justice & fairness.

The cohort includes the following eight innovations:

  1. Aheza Iwacu - Transforming household waste into a valuable resource through collection, composting, upcycling, and education in Burundi.
  2. Andes Ag, Inc. - Harnessing the power of microbes to increase the crop yield, nitrogen capture, and carbon sequestration of plants.
  3. Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) - Reenvisioning & rebuilding food and land cooperative ecosystems through the transformational leadership of QTBIPOC young folx.
  4. Matriark Foods - Upcycling vegetable surplus to feed people and protect nature.
  5. mobius - Converting organic waste into renewable chemicals and biodegradable materials.
  6. Nafici Group Limited - EcoPulping turns agricultural waste into raw material for low-carbon, non-plastic packaging and paper.
  7. Rhizoform - Harnessing the power of fungi to "grow" a bio-based alternative to plastic thermal food coolers, foodservice packaging, and more.
  8. SoluBlue - Creating biodegradable seaweed-based packaging that extends shelf-life of fresh food and reduces plastic waste.

“In addition to adopting identified solutions more widely, we need to invest in developing the next generation of initiatives to tackle challenges and build a circular economy that takes us to the future,” says Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki. “Through the Huhtamaki Circular Economy Start-up Program and our partnership with Food System 6 we can help discover, develop and deliver such innovative solutions. I am excited to learn more about the eight finalists and I am proud that Huhtamaki can play a part in speeding up the commercialization of their innovative solutions.”

This cohort of emerging leaders will receive mentorship, advising, and up to $300,000 in equity-free grants to accelerate their implementation of sustainable and regenerative solutions. The Program will host interactive online sessions with participants October through November 2020, culminating with a week of immersive virtual programming.

For further information, please contact:
Katariina Hietaranta, Head of Media relations, Huhtamäki Oyj, tel. +358 10 686 7863
Nicholas Turton,, tel. +1-213-343-5264

Global Communications

About Food System 6
Food System 6 (FS6) is a non-profit based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose mission is to support impact driven entrepreneurs as they transform how we grow, produce, and distribute food. The organization runs a comprehensive accelerator program that mentors entrepreneurs by coaching them through a wide range of business and organizational needs. FS6 also works to educate stakeholders on the unique capital needs as related to redefining the food system.

The FS6 program prioritizes working with entrepreneurs who are building a food system that focuses on health, sustainability, and justice - whether through food-tech, supply chain, or access-focused solutions. Learn more at

Huhtamaki is a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, enabling wellbeing and convenience. Our innovative products protect on-the-go and on-the-shelf food and beverages, ensuring hygiene and safety, and help prevent food waste. We embed sustainability in everything we do. We are committed to achieving carbon neutral production and designing all our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.

We are a participant in the UN Global Compact and as of 2020, we received an MSCI ESG Rating of A, on a scale of AAA CCC. To play our part in managing climate change, we have committed to set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative. Huhtamaki has been awarded the Silver medal by EcoVadis for performance in sustainability.

With 100 years of history and a strong Nordic heritage we operate in 35 countries and 81 sites around the world. Our values Care Dare Deliver guide our decisions and help our team of 18,800 employees make a difference where it matters. Our 2019 net sales totaled EUR 3.4 billion. Huhtamaki Group is headquartered in Espoo, Finland and our parent company, Huhtamäki Oyj, is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. Find out more about how we are protecting food, people and the planet on