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Financing of €34.6 million to Naylor Nutrition for factory turning cabbage waste into protein

March 10, 2023

Family owned UK-based business, Naylor Nutrition, will be upscaling cabbage trimmings surplus from coleslaw production from their cabbage farm into something truly valuable: sustainable protein. With financing through Invest International, backed by an Atradius DSB export insurance, an eco-conscious factory is being built with extraction machinery developed by Dutch company Colubris. A major step toward reducing the amount of food that goes to waste and creating a more sustainable, plant-based food system. “We can’t wait to open the factory and see the healthy brassica power spread around the globe,” said Simon Naylor, CEO.

Naylor Farms is one of the leading coleslaw cabbage growers in the UK and Europe. The Naylor family now is taking a new step in their 110-year history by building the world’s first brassica plant-based protein extraction facility in Lincolnshire to produce protein ingredients made from cabbage.

“We are farmers and a farming family, and have been growing cabbages for decades," Naylor explained. "These are mainly brassicas with a focus on green cabbages for coleslaw production in the UK. The British are big coleslaw fans, but since customers prefer their coleslaw to be white, the green leaves are left out of the product. As a result of this, we end up with 500 tons of trimmings, a +30% amount of the cabbages are thrown away. For years I have been thinking what to do with this? Knowing that there is a growing need for sustainable plant-based food with less ecological footprint than for example soy. So, that’s how my discovery journey started.”

"It’s always been our ambition to utilize our whole cabbage crop and turn it into highly nutritious and sustainable food products," continued Naylor. "We have been working to develop and perfect a new gentle cold-extraction process which can be used to create a wide range of functional food ingredients.

"I am extremely proud to be the fourth generation of my family to take the helm. I am often asked what I put this longevity and success down to… The truth is, I have inherited a love and passion for caring for the soil and working with nature. This, together with the way our business has adapted and changed with the times has ensured we have established and maintained a reputation I am sure would have made my great grandfather proud."

Pea protein, which is used in plant-based foods such as burgers, is currently under threat with droughts and wet harvests impacting on both the global price and availability. The new eco-friendly factory has planning permission to build on Naylor Farms land at Low Fulney Farm Spalding. With a global shortage of pea protein and a consumer perception of soy protein as negative due to GM, sustainability and the environmental impact, food manufacturers and consumers are looking for the next plant-based protein/fiber delivered across multiple sectors. With a 28% growth of plant based menu mentions in 2020 and plant based products now sitting across all day parts, there is an ever-increasing volume requirement.

The opportunity is to revolutionize food production with a view to help solve the problems of increased population growth and producing enough food globally, helping to preserve the planet for future generations in the process.

As part of this investment in the future, Lincoln University will also be involved with the development and creation of an in-house learning and research center at the The Low Fulney Farm Facility, South Holland. South Lincolnshire is a natural food hub where growers, processors and logistics firms work together to create a more efficient supply chain which is complemented with a skilled workforce. This site will provide a variety of career opportunities for local people. The facility will be used as the main training centre for employees as-and-when future similar facilities (throughout the world) are built and brought online

"The world has a growing requirement and desire for quality, sustainable plant-based food and to deliver this we will need to utilize the whole brassica crop which has positive functional benefits without the negative environmental impact that soy, for example, has," Naylor said. "Brassicas are fully traceable from seed to consumer, sustainable to grow with high yield. This innovative facility is being built on our land so the food miles from field to processing are at a minimum."

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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