As the calendar turns to 2024, MBOLD is celebrating our progress over the past year and looking eagerly to the year ahead. We do so with gratitude for the many food and agriculture leaders and organizations who are working with us and with each other to create positive change.
In 2023, the urgency of the climate crisis was clearer than ever as farmers and the world’s food system were challenged by rising temperatures, extreme weather, and constrained access to water and other essential resources. Our global population has now topped 8 billion, punctuating the need to more effectively meet rising demand for food within planetary boundaries.
These realities make collaboration all the more critical to our collective future. MBOLD’s experience is showing that we can get farther faster with tackling tough challenges when we do it together.
Late in 2023, we reached a major milestone in our effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut plastic waste by creating a new circular approach for flexible plastic film. The new Myplas USA film recycling plant opened its doors just outside Minneapolis a few weeks ago. This development will change the landscape for recycling across the Upper Midwest, making it possible to recycle film close to home and upcycle it into a wide range of new products. Check out our new video about the Myplas plant to learn more.
In 2023, we also celebrated the successes of smaller Minnesota food companies like So Good So You and Bizzy Cold Brew — home-grown businesses that grew exponentially on a national scale with mentorship from MBOLD’s Bold Growth program. A dozen major companies have shown how Minnesota helps entrepreneurs thrive by dedicating their experts to help these rising stars. This videotells the story.
And MBOLD’s work remains firmly rooted in agriculture and empowering farmers to adopt practices that capture carbon and improve farm productivity. More and more farmers are embracing regenerative agriculture practices that improve soil and water while making their farmland more resilient to a changing climate. Along with our farm partners, MBOLD is gaining insight into how to make those practices a compelling, profitable, and workable choice for farmers.
As we made headway on these signature initiatives, MBOLD also began crafting our next area of impact. Working with regional allies and leading countries around the world, we have begun designing a new initiative to make Minnesota a global hub for innovation in the sustainability of proteins. Improving the environmental footprint of existing proteins and scaling up plant proteins and other new options are keys to our climate future and to food security around the world. Given Minnesota’s historic strength in this sector and penchant for innovation, we are poised to lead.
What’s on deck for 2024?
As we look ahead, we take inspiration from our partners across the business world as well as scientists, consumers, the farm community, and disruptive entrepreneurs.
In 2024, MBOLD’s reach will expand internationally as we collaborate regionally and with other countries that lead the world in protein innovation. We will deepen efforts to take regenerative agriculture to scale and help Minnesota make progress toward our state’s climate goals. We will work with a wide array of companies to include recycled plastic resin in new products, a critical component of a true circular economy. And we will support the success of our next round of entrepreneurial superstars.
We are deeply grateful to all our partners and allies in these efforts. There is much work to be done given the array of challenges — and opportunities — facing our industries, our state, and the world at large. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with our existing partners and those we have yet to discover as we move forward into 2024.