Straight to content

Leon co-founder sets up £50m firm to boost food production and security

Published: 28 February 2024

Bramble Partners, a new venture capital firm co-founded by Henry Dimbleby, a British food campaigner and co-founder of the natural fast food chain Leon, aims to make food production more sustainable.

Wheat harvesting
The new fund will invest across sectors including agricultural and fishing technologies, alternative production systems, health and nutrition | Henry Arden on iStock

Henry Dimbleby, managing partner and co-founder of Bramble Partners, believes that it is time to focus on improving food systems.

Backed by a £50m (€43m) fund, his new firm will invest in new agricultural and fishing technologies, alternative production systems – both regenerative and intensive – health and nutrition, reporting and data technology and the circular economy/waste reduction.

Following stints as a chef at the Michelin-starred Four Seasons Inn on the Park in London, a journalist at The Daily Telegraph and as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, Dimbleby co-founded natural fast-food chain Leon in 2004, a business that was sold to EG Group in 2021.

He was the lead non-executive board member at the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) between 2018 and 2023, during which he carried out an independent review of England’s food system. He is also a co-founder and chair of Chefs in Schools, which aims to improve food in UK schools.

Henry Dimbleby, Bramble Partners | Bramble Partners

“Our food system is in crisis,” Dimbleby told Impact Investor.  In March 2023, Dimbleby announced his resignation as a government adviser, talking publicly about how the government had “pulled back” on promises to curb advertising for junk food.

“I have been trying to improve the food system for the last 20-odd years,” he said. “The biggest push was during the National Food Strategy, published in 2021 during my time in government. Now, through Bramble, we want to invest in the food system entrepreneurs of the future and accelerate change in the private sector.”

Areas of focus

Bramble Partners will focus on companies that increase healthy life-span, limit the damage the food system does to the environment, improve food security in the face of climate change, and deliver superior economic returns for investors, Dimbleby said.

“There is a huge opportunity in the private sector to take capital and invest in companies that are trying to make the food system for the better – across health, the environment and food security. We believe that there is a capital gap.”

Portfolio companies will be able to work with “a world-class team combining deep expertise in food production with commerce, technology, politics, talent and finance”.

“We believe that our combined networks in the sector (with private companies, government, and non-governmental organisations), our regulatory insight, our expertise in talent strategy and performance culture, and our entrepreneurial backgrounds, give us an investment advantage,” Dimbleby said.

Share on social media

Latest articles