The Wonderful Co. offers $1 million for pomegranate waste solution
The process to make Pom Wonderful juices generated 50,000 tons of pomegranate rinds, pith and seeds each year. (Courtesy The Wonderful Co.)
The Wonderful Co., Los Angeles, is offering up to $1 million for a solution to the 50,000 tons of pomegranate husks generated each year for the production of Pom Wonderful juice.
ReFED, a nonprofit working to end food loss and waste, is an advisor and managing partner for the challenge, according to a news release. Dubbed the Wonderful Innovation Challenge, the program offers up to $1 million in funding and development resources for environmentally friendly solutions to the rind, pith and seeds left from the juicing process.
“The Wonderful Innovation Challenge was born out of our mission to continually push the boundaries of sustainability by embracing bold, innovative ideas,” Steve Swartz, vice president of strategy at The Wonderful Co., said in the release. “This competition will provide a select group of winners the resources they need to grow their business, make a positive impact, and help us fulfill our environmental mission.”
Registration is open through Dec. 7 to apply for the program, which has four review stages:
• Submission of a short application with a proposal;
• Qualified applicants will submit a detailed plan;
• Semi-finalists will participate in a virtual interview; and
• Finalists will pitch their solutions virtually to judges.
The finalist will compete for the $1 million award pool and request the amount needed for their proposal, according to the news release.
The competition will generate ideas for the company to help it solve other sustainability issues, according to the release.
“Innovation can play a critical role in driving efficiency and value, as well as in addressing environmental challenges,” Alexandria Coari, director of capital and innovation at ReFED, said in the release. “The Wonderful Innovation Challenge is a call for inventive solutions that can create value from this byproduct.”
The Wonderful Co. has invested more than $1 billion in environmental sustainability and climate change projects, including $400 million in water-efficient irrigation, cutting energy use and $60 million in solar energy projects.
A year ago, The Wonderful Co. owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick pledged $750 million to Caltech to support its environmental sustainability research