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Perfect Day, the makers of animal-free real dairy proteins, has announced the formation of a new Sustainability & Health Advisory Council comprising a star-studded list of founding members including Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former UNICEF executive director Ann Veneman. The food tech also revealed the results of the independent life-cycle assessment conducted on its precision fermentation whey proteins, which produces up to 97% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional dairy.
Berkeley, California-based food tech Perfect Day has welcomed eight founding members to its brand new Sustainability & Health Advisory Council, which has been set up to guide the startup on health, environment and wellness matters. Among the new council members are Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, former USDA secretary and UNICEF executive director Ann Veneman and Professor Dariush Mozaffarian, an expert on nutrition and cardiology.
Other members include Okezue Bell, sustainable changemaker and CEO of credit card startup Fidutam & Co., former strategic initiative director at PATH Katharine Kreis, and president of Food Tank Danielle Nierenberg. Pediatric immunologist Dr. David Stukus and former head of Harvard Business School agribusiness program Mary Shelman will also join the council.
“We began Perfect Day with a mission to create a kinder, greener tomorrow. Our mission is urgent, and the direction of this group will help us maximise our impact,” commented Perfect Day co-founder and CEO Ryan Pandya. “Leonardo DiCaprio and our other Council members share our passion and hunger to combat the climate crisis and foster a global food system that prioritises nutrition equity.”
Since its founding in 2014, Perfect Day has made headlines for pioneering the development of animal-free dairy proteins that are molecularly identical to its conventional counterparts. The firm uses precision fermentation of the Trichoderma fungi in bioreactors to produce whey proteins, which eliminates the need to extract the protein from bovine milk.
Leonardo DiCaprio and our other Council members share our passion and hunger to combat the climate crisis and foster a global food system that prioritises nutrition equity.Ryan Pandya, Co-Founder & CEO, Perfect Day
According to the latest third-party life cycle analysis that Perfect Day revealed in the same announcement, its fermentation animal-free whey protein production process is at least 85% and up to 97% less carbon-intensive than conventional dairy farming.
Perfect Day currently stands as the most well-funded fermentation protein company after its record-breaking US$300 million Series C round last year, and its dairy proteins have already been incorporated into a number of consumer-facing products, including Brave Robot ice creams in the U.S. and Ice Age! ice creams in Hong Kong.
A full-fledged response to climate change must bring innovation to all aspects of our daily lives – including to the foods we consume.Leonardo DiCaprio
Among some of the specific roles that the new council members will play include advising Perfect Day on its sustainability roadmap, providing diverse and inclusive perspectives on intersectional issues, and holding the food tech to account when it comes to balancing profit and impact.
“I’m pleased to be part of their advisory council and work together to support our shared urgent environmental mission,” said DiCaprio.
“A full-fledged response to climate change must bring innovation to all aspects of our daily lives – including to the foods we consume. Perfect Day’s forward-looking vision offers a new model for reducing the impact that our diets have on the planet,” added The Wolf of Wall Street star.
Armed with its new advisory committee, who will stand next to its similarly star-studded board of directors – among them Disney chairman Robert Iger – Perfect Day says that it plans to incorporate its dairy proteins into new product categories, starting with cheese.
“Innovations in the cheese category and beyond are slated for this year,” said Perfect Day in a press statement, making clear its intentions to join the handful of fermentation startups set on creating novel cheese analogues, among them British firm Better Dairy, U.S.-Australian startup Change Foods and Israeli company Remilk.
Lead image courtesy of Perfect Day / Getty Images.