By HEATHER LEAH SMITH
DRINKS and snacks maker The Wonderful Company has a biomass problem — and it’s offering a massive payday to the team that can solve it.
Los Angeles-based POM Wonderful is one of the holding company’s brands, specialising in pomegranates: whole fruit, snacks and juice. The juicing process creates a hefty waste stream, around 50,000 tons of pomegranate husks — or pomace — each year. The pomace has traditionally been sold as livestock feed, specifically for dairy cows, but the company believes an alternative outlet could deliver more value for the business and the planet.
Put on your thinking caps and start brainstorming, BV readers, because the Wonderful Company is awarding up to $1m in funding for the most creative and sustainable solutions to its biomass challenge.
This is a search for solutions with data-backed economics and structured scalability for positive environmental and social impacts — and claims must be supported by evidence. Teams with solid reputations and strong stakeholder relationships are encouraged to apply. Winners must be willing and able to pilot the solution at POM Wonderful facilities.
The competition will be judged by a panel of experts in agriculture, food waste and sustainability, including the husband-and-wife owners of The Wonderful Company, Stewart and Lynda Resnick.
Interested innovators can sign up for a virtual information session here to join a live online Q&A on Monday, October 19. Letters of intent are due the first week of December and full proposals due by January 29, 2021. Winners will be notified and contracts negotiated in April 2021.