Thought For Food and Food Lab Accelerator at Google (FLAG) Launch the Inaugural Circular Economy of Food Challenge

Next-generation innovators called on to design circular food system solutions that eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems

Basel, Switzerland December 4, 2019 — Thought For Food, the world’s leading organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of impact-focused food and agriculture innovators and entrepreneurs, is partnering with the Food Lab Accelerator at Google (FLAG) to launch the TFF x FLAG Circular Economy of Food Challenge.

The TFF x FLAG Circular Economy of Food Challenge represents a special prize category in the 2019 TFF Challenge. It invites participants from around the world to incorporate Circular Economy principles into the technological innovations and social enterprises that they develop to address prevailing food and agricultural challenges across the value chain. Specifically, solutions should focus on reducing and reusing waste, using products and materials for as long as possible, and recycling end-of-life products back into the economy.

Participants can sign up for the TFF Challenge at, where they can opt-in to join the TFF x FLAG Circular Economy of Food Challenge and gain access to the TFF Digital Labs, a startup acceleration and collaboration platform that provides access to a range of practical resources, including circular economy toolkits, mentorship, and special perks that will support participants on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Some of the Circular Economy of Food resources that teams can access on the Digital Labs include:

  • How-to guides for embedding circular economy principles into innovations
  • Case studies of circular economy solutions from within the food and agricultural sector, as well as other industries
  • Metrics to evaluate impact across lifecycles

Over the course of the 12-week TFF Challenge, teams can dive into the rich and diverse resources that the Digital Labs offers, as well as learn from and collaborate with expert mentors, practitioners and peer innovators from around the world.

By January 24, 2020, they are asked to submit their business concepts onto the Digital Labs platform, where they can opt-in to be considered for the Circular Economy of Food Prize. One team will be selected that best meets the category’s evaluation criteria, and they will win:

  • Participation in the TFF Academy and TFF Summit events in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
  • 3-month incubation by MISTA, the San Francisco-based innovation platform for the food industry;
  • One-on-one mentorship from experts from Danone, Mars, and Givaudan;
  • Participation at the Google Food Lab event, hosted by Google in California

Submissions will be evaluated by a luminary panel of industry and policy experts that includes:

  • Merijn Dols, Head of Open Innovation at Danone
  • Chavanne Hanson, Global Food Team at Google
  • Emma Chow, Lead of the Food initiative at Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Ethan Soloviev, Chief Innovation Officer at How Good
  • Marc Oshima, CEO of AeroFarms
  • Jennifer Hebets, External Innovation at Mars Incorporated
  • Scott May, Head of MISTA at Givaudan
  • Wesley Wilson, Head of Agriculture, Food and Beverage at World Economic Forum
  • Douglas Gayeton, Founder and CEO of The Lexicon of Food
  • Gina Asoudegan, VP of Mission & Regenerative Agriculture at Applegate

According to Emma Chow, who leads the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food initiative, “Changing our food systems is one of the most impactful things we can do to address climate change and rebuild biodiversity. In order to transition global food systems from linear to circular, we need to design food products based on circular economy thinking. By doing so, we can support widespread shift to regenerative growing practices, promote agrobiodiversity, and design out the concept of waste altogether. Designing food products with the system in mind is critical for accelerating the transition to a circular economy of food. This is the goal of the TFF x FLAG Circular Economy of Food challenge – to create iconic solutions that inspire a new approach to innovation.”

Christine Gould, Founder and CEO of the Thought For Food Foundation states, “The next generation of innovators represent a profound opportunity to move us towards a circular economy of food. As the largest, most diverse, well-educated, globally-connected and environmentally-and socially-conscious generations the world has ever seen, Millennials and GenZs have sustainability and circularity top of mind in all that they do as entrepreneurs and as consumers. We are thrilled to tap into their creative power to create a rich pipeline of innovation and investment opportunities that shape regenerative and inclusive food systems.”


Circular Economy of Food Challenge

Take part and develop a circular solution to address prevailing food and agricultural challenges across the value chain.