How Planted makes meat from plants with Microsoft’s support

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The Swiss startup Planted produces vegan meat from peas – and is currently expanding on a grand scale. Microsoft technology is part of it, supporting the company in its sustainable mission.

It all started in a test production facility at ETH Zurich. The Swiss startup Planted Foods began producing a vegan meat substitute product there. «Sustainability is above everything we do,» says Pascal Bieri, co-founder of Planted. Industrial animal agriculture takes up nearly half of the world’s land. It also accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes 25% of the world’s drinking water. «We produce meat that requires just a fraction of that land, water and energy to continue to provide people with the nutrition they love,» Bieri says.

The vegan chicken quickly met with an appetite in the Swiss market. In the meantime, the company has moved into its own factory facility in Kemptthal, increased production volume almost tenfold and expanded its product range. Consumers in Germany and Austria are also hungry for Planted products. Their goods can be purchased in over 3,000 stores, including Coop, Migros, Spar and Edeka – or simply via the web store. With France, another country is also in the expansion planning stage.

Sustainable growth on the Azure Cloud

Such rapid growth also requires scalable and secure IT infrastructure. «Since data security is our top priority, we chose Microsoft as our partner,» Bieri explains. «The fact that our mission in terms of sustainability is in line with Microsoft’s view is a big advantage here.» Meanwhile, Planted’s entire value chain runs through Microsoft Dynamics 365 – from production to sales and distribution. Their data is stored in Microsoft’s cloud.

Planted’s approach is data-driven throughout. «We use data to create transparency in order to make the right and sustainable decisions,» Bieri emphasizes. This is the only way, for example, to increase efficiency in production by reducing waste or to recycle waste heat. Here, too, all data points run through Microsoft’s software and are brought together on the Azure Cloud. In the future, these analytics capabilities will be expanded even further.

Planted is receiving support as part of Microsoft’s Startup Program – with infrastructure and expertise. «We are excited to be working with Planted. Only if we all pull together and implement sustainability in all areas of life can we protect our future,» says Andrew Reid, head of the «Microsoft for Startups» program in Switzerland. Microsoft wants to make a positive impact through its technology in this regard. Reid emphasizes, «With more efficient processes through Dynamics and through adoption of cloud technologies, are we able to realize this ambition.»

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