Dole Asia pineapple Dole Sunshine Company Businessman_farmer_holding_tablet-RGB cropped

Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) has announced it has partnered with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) for its new corporate venture, Dole Specialty Ingredients (DSI), with an initial co-investment of S$10m.

The core proposition of DSI, headquartered out of Singapore, will be to convert fruit side streams into specialty ingredients that can be used in the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, food & beverage, and other industries. The motivation behind the creation of the business is to combat the 20 per cent of fruits and vegetables produced globally that are lost in the supply chain before they reach consumers.

The new entity plans to repurpose 1m tonnes of banana and pineapple waste from Dole’s plantations based out of the Philippines.The business will be led by managing director, Weitze Ooi.

“We will transform all fruit losses and unutilised fruit side-streams into high-value, natural products for highly profitable, less volatile product categories through innovation,” said Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president, food and beverages group, DSC.

“This way, fruit losses are upcycled instead of being left behind or sent to landfills. Singapore, being Dole Sunshine Company’s global headquarters, could not be a better place to anchor our new Speciality Ingredients business, and we are privileged to have EDB’s support as well as the partnership with A*Star, on this journey,” added Sigismondi.

EDB New Ventures, the corporate venture building arm of EDB, is co-investing in DSI alongside DSC. The investment will co-share the risks undertaken by DSC to enter into new growth areas beyond its core business.

Choo Heng Tong, executive vice president, New Ventures and Innovation, EDB, said: “We are pleased to partner with Dole Specialty Ingredients, which will leverage the supply chain advantages that Dole Sunshine Company brings to capture the market opportunity for sustainably-sourced natural ingredients with distinct functionalities.

“We will continue working with DSI to tap on Singapore’s industry and R&D ecosystem, as well as our connectivity to the region, to support Dole Sunshine Company’s efforts to build an entirely new business from Singapore,” added Heng Tong.

The Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*Star) also contributed to the launch of DSI, by embedding five scientists from the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (Sifbi) and the Institute for Chemical and Engineering Sciences (Ices) alongside the EDB venture building team, bringing their technology capabilities and expertise to the venture.

Peter Nagler, chief innovation officer of A*Star, said, he was happy to see A*STAR’s broad competences enabling new research and business opportunities. “We hope to deepen this relationship further. Such a joint co-innovation approach is aligned with A*Star’s mission to advance science and develop innovative technologies to further economic growth.”