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New start-up program launched to support entrepreneurs building circular economy
FINLAND (News release) -- On June 24, the U.S.-based nonprofit Food System 6 (FS6) announces the launch of a comprehensive startup program in partnership with global sustainable food packaging leader Huhtamaki. The Huhtamaki Circular Economy Startup Program by Food System 6 is designed to accelerate the development of young and promising companies working for a more sustainable future. It will focus on identifying and developing early-stage companies with innovative and promising sustainable solutions in areas such as waste diversion, sustainable packaging alternatives, new materials innovations, and regenerative production models.

"Our program is happening at a critical time. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities that already existed in our fragile food system," said Caesaré Assad, Chief Executive Officer of Food System 6. "We need solutions now that will support regeneration and circularity across agriculture, food distribution and production. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can rectify the problems that impact people and our planet to create a stronger, resilient, and equitable world."

The program will focus on fostering innovative solutions for the development of a circular economy across the food system value chain with the aim of increasing the long-term health and resilience of our planet. Through the partnership with Huhtamaki, FS6 is providing critical mentorship, advising and networking resources to give direct support to selected participants to help build on their ideas and work towards building to scale. In addition, up to $300,000 in equity-free grants will be disbursed to eight selected companies.

"At Huhtamaki we know we need to act today, educate for tomorrow and take bold innovative bets, if we are to deliver viable sustainable solutions for future generations. Creating a circular economy is one of the most important steps towards delivering a sustainable food system. We have partnered with Food System 6 to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions," said Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki. "Huhtamaki is committed to protecting people, food and the planet. Our partnership with Food System 6 is an important part of creating the future we believe is possible."

The Huhtamaki Circular Economy Startup Program by Food System 6 is open for applications. Diverse companies and entrepreneurs that have real solutions that can help create circular economy solutions are encouraged to apply. The submission deadline is August 15. Selected participants will be announced in the fall 2020. More information about the application process and guidelines can be found at www.foodsystem6.org/apply.

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