Alternative protein producer Farmless plans expand production, maintain protein production efficiency

The Netherlands-based fermentation startup, which produces ‘carbon negative’ protein​, plans to use its €4.8m seed round, which was co-led by World Fund and Vorwerk Ventures with participation from investment firm Revent, to build a pilot plant in its native Amsterdam. It will also use the funding to continue striving for regulatory approval. 

Here we’ll scale up our fermentation process​,” Pepijn Vloemans, Head of Communications at Farmless, told FoodNavigator.

We’re also setting up a substantial kitchen within the same facility. This space will be our creative playground, where we will play with, ferment and try out new food products — all under one roof.

With the funds we also carefully hire a few extra people and continue the process of regulatory approval. The pilot protein brewery will also enable us to produce a steady stream of samples for product co-development with partners​.”

Efficiency is progress

According to Farmless, the production of its protein uses up to 5000 times less land than beef farming. In the process of upscaling, Farmless plans to maintain this level of efficiency.

The crux is that we’re skipping the very inefficient chain of photosynthesis and animal agriculture​,” Vloemans told us.

From a physics perspective, turning sunlight into beef is as wasteful as it gets. In contrast, our fermentation process relies on an alcohol which can be made with renewable energy. The amount of land that’s needed for this renewable energy only takes up a fraction of the land surface that’s needed to create legacy proteins​.”