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UK food waste solution geared for global impact, seeks investment partners

UK tech startup, OSY Group is tackling food waste across the supply chain with its innovative shelf-life extension solution, and is now seeking investment to drive international growth, following its United Kingdom (UK) rollout. After attending AgriFutures evokeAG. 2024 as part of the Innovate UK delegation, OSY Group has garnered positive engagement with key collaborators in the APAC region.   

Innovate UK delegation group at evokeᴬᴳ⋅ 2024.

Around one-third of food produced globally is wasted, contributing up to 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year, leading to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. 
Manchester-based food waste tech startup, OSY Group is determined to tackle this challenge to drive positive change for the global food system.  
“Our mission is to be a key driver in the reduction of global food waste, through the application of our antimicrobial coating on food packaging to make food last longer, and therefore increase shelf life,” explained Marc Braterman, CEO and Founder of OSY Group.  
The startup is well-positioned to drive significant value across the supply chain from the reduction of food waste, not only for grocers, but producers and consumers too. 
The antimicrobial coating is manufactured by a specialised partner in New Zealand (NZ), with local blending capabilities in key markets including the UK, NZ and the United States of America (USA) – eliminating the need to ship large volumes of diluted product, which further supports its global deployment strategy.  
“The product is effectively two active ingredients: 99% water and 1% of the proprietary blend of active components. The concentrate is the propriety piece that's made in NZ and will remain there to protect it,” Marc said.  
In addition to reducing food waste, the solution will also support grocers in achieving their sustainability targets and enable producers to potentially access premium export markets.  

Pictured: Marc Braterman, CEO and Founder of OSY Group at evokeᴬᴳ⋅ 2024.

Road-tested formula proves effective

OSY Group’s strength of technology, durability and diversity of application for multiple food and packaging types sets it apart from industry competitors.  

Founded in 2007, the product is in its ninth evolution, and while the technology is not new, the application in food packaging to extend shelf life is ground-breaking, explained Marc. “That’s the real beauty of the product.” For example, in strawberry packaging, OSY coats both the base and exterior packaging. “This approach leaves microscopic pins on the surface that mechanically puncture and kill microbes, as opposed to a traditional chemical dehydration product,” Marc said.  
“The uniqueness of the coating is its bond to the surface. Once it’s applied it stays there – that’s proven to withstand vibrations, pressure, heat and impact during transit.”

“We’re treating the packaging, not the food, which makes our product applicable to a whole range of food types, including fresh fruit and veg – a key issue in food waste – along with meats, fish, poultry and breads,” explained Marc.  

Related: Fostering international collaborations to drive agritech innovations.
OSY has conducted several produce trials, including with a premium UK grocer, and leading soft fruit producers and large European packaging companies. It’s proven its application extends shelf life by up to 50% on fresh produce, lasts for at least 12-months after application with the same levels, and meets safe and compliant food contact regulations.  
“Extending shelf life in soft fruits [earmarked as high-wastage product] by one day is game changing, at a grocer and producer level,” Marc explained. 
“OSY regularly achieves a two to four day extension, that goes well beyond a product’s typical life cycle of seven to eight days.” With OSY Group’s total available market (TAM) value exceeding £500 million (approximately AUD $964m) per year, the opportunity is substantial, and serves to address an interconnected and escalating challenge around the world. 
In Australia alone, food waste costs the economy a staggering $36.6 billion and attributes 3% of annual GHG emissions, highlighting the urgent need for solutions in this sector. 

Scale up investment to drive global impact

Following its imminent commercial launch in the UK with a leading premium grocer in Q2 2024, OSY Group is now seeking investment, and research and development (R&D) and commercial partners in target markets, including Australia and the APAC region – with recent involvement in the Innovate UK delegation to evokeAG. 2024 bearing fruitful opportunities.  
“We’re looking for investors for our scale up investment round who can add value, not just money, as we’ve already raised three quarters of what we require for our private Series A investment,” said Marc.  
            - Interested in learning more about OSY Group’s scale-up investment round? Visit the AgriFutures growAG. platform here.  
Strategic partners extend to grocers, food producers across fruit, veg, bakery, meats and poultry, laboratories, universities and other testing facilities.  
The investment will also help scale OSY Group’s international operational and business development team, with "localised market knowledge” a key component for success.    

Pictured: Marc Braterman, CEO and Founder of OSY Group connecting with another delegate Paul Savan at evokeᴬᴳ⋅ 2024.

growᴬᴳ⋅ concierge ‘exceeds expectations’ for delegate

“The experience at evokeAG. 2024 and the growAG. concierge service has genuinely exceeded my expectations,” Marc said.

“Being part of the Innovate UK delegation provided a platform with credibility and the network with the counterparts here in Australia – rather than just being a startup on your own. 

“Clearly Australia is the key reason for being here, but we've met with people from Singapore, and Southeast Asia too so it's really helping open up conversations.  
“Often at these types of events you get one or two conversations and that’s positive. We’ve had five or six really positive meetings at evokeAG. 2024 across a spectrum of categories speaking with grocers, food producers, and universities who want to help us collaborate in terms of R&D and other pieces of the project, and they'll bring in partners they work with too which is key to us.” 
With clear value gained from visiting Australia in February 2024, OSY Group has already locked in a return trip in early June with four confirmed meetings with businesses and universities.  
“It's been a very positive experience, working in parallel with Innovate UK and the AgriFutures growAG. team. You can appreciate the work that’s going on in the background with growAG.’s concierge service,” Marc said. 
“Using the growAG. platform has led to various expressions of interest and key introductions that have been so helpful.” 

Innovate UK stand at evokeᴬᴳ⋅ 2024.

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