German startup Signature Products lands €800K from local authority for hemp protein value chain

Signature Products has landed a funding commitment of approx. €800K in funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany for the development of a regional hemp protein value chain.

Founded in 2019, Signature Products is one of the largest ‘Made-in-Germany’ hemp suppliers in Europe, focusing on the complete value chain in the field of hemp. Among other things, Signature offers the trade of hemp raw materials such as hemp seeds, hemp protein, extracts and the extraction of cannabinoids. It has already launched over 40 private label customers in Germany and is currently expanding to Spain, France and other EU countries with the service it offers. Additionally, its own brand BUDDY serves as a market research brand to better understand the customers and their needs. The 20-member team has employees in Germany and abroad but focuses completely on the production of ‘Made-in-Germany’ products. 

According to Florian Pichlmaier, Managing Director of Signature Products, the idea behind the project is that the growing world population, urbanization and rising income levels are leading to an increasing global demand for meat and animal foods. However, current dietary habits are considered unhealthy and production patterns unsustainable. A global change in diet with an increase in the intake of plant foods instead of animal foods is described by Florian Pichlmaier as key to improving human as well as planetary health. 

Their overall objective of the project is to develop innovative processes, technologies and recipes for the production of protein-rich foods such as tofu, pasta, etc. from regionally grown hemp. Within the framework of the project, various foods based on hemp protein are being developed in cooperation with farmers, regional processors, representatives of the gastronomy sector and the food retail trade in Baden-Württemberg and made available to the end consumer as regional products in the retail trade. 

The project therefore contributes to meeting the strong demand for high-quality, protein-based, regionally produced food, to increasing the self-sufficiency of the population in Germany and to creating sustainable jobs in the field of agriculture and food production along the value chain in various sectors.

Signature Products already cooperates closely with the University of Hohenheim (Institute for Crop Sciences) and is supported by the university in the area of research. The startup, together with the University of Hohenheim, submitted an application to the state of Baden-Württemberg for the BIPL-Innovation funding programme and has now received a commitment for a higher 6-digit sum.

Florian Pichlmaier describes the commitment of the state of Baden-Württemberg as the right signal towards sustainable, plant-based and regional products and especially towards the very versatile hemp plant: “We are already looking forward to job creation, joint development and research with the University of Hohenheim, as well as the delicious regional consumer products, which we hope will soon be found in food retailers.”