Today, more than ever, our food system is undergoing rapid transformation. New technologies, business models, infrastructure and perspectives have created a food landscape with diversity and complexities, numerous drivers and an interconnection of systems that creates a highly efficient, global food value chain. Simultaneously, shifting consumer preferences (think, millennials) are putting pressure on the existing business models and approaches of food companies and brands. As Fortune magazine summarizes, “Big food is under attack from startup granola.”
Emerging FoodTech and AgTech industries are capitalizing on these changes and the dropping costs of digital technologies, and working to revolutionize our food and agriculture systems through entrepreneurship and innovation. But it’s not just startups: key stakeholders across the global food system, from corporate food companies to governments, investors, non-profits, and academics, are reshaping how we produce, supply, deliver and consume foods around the globe.
This evolution today has spawned unique food concepts such as farmtech, home delivery meal kits, bioenergy, insect farms, plant-based meats, e-grocery commerce and much more.
The large ‘Big Food’ corporations that once provided frozen TV dinners, processed meats and microwavable meals have been under attack and now adapting to consumer demands for healthy, minimally-processed ingredients, transparent supply chains and hormone-free animal protein. Not to mention, these corporations have built arms to support, accelerate and fund the growth of budding, innovative food concepts and tools. Big companies such as Tyson, Danone, Nestle, Kellogs and Cargil are helping entrepreneurs produce, pilot, bring to market and scale their budding businesses, as well as offer exits through acquisition.
Funding these ventures come from beyond the corporations as this dynamic FoodTechAgTech movement has attracted major investments throughout the globe. According to Agfunder, AgriFood Tech startups, innovating from farm-to-fork, raised $10.1 billion in 2017, a 29% year-over-year increase.
So why is FoodTech proving so attractive?
There’s more to the fascination of lab-grown meat, 3D printed food, indoor hydroponic farms and digital, checkout-free grocery stores. Food is and will forever remain a basic human need and now, more than ever we face the increasing demands and challenges of feeding a growing population with dwindling natural resources. By now, it’s become clear to all companies in this industry that continuing to innovate within our food system is a must.
Innovators, passionate foodies and forward thinkers from all over the world are working to develop and implement technologies to improve and reshape how food is produced, distributed, and stored with improvements and efficiencies throughout the food value chain. Groundbreaking products and services such as farm management software and robotics, retail technologies, consumer apps, waste management and health safety tech tools are offering solutions to challenges faced by food producers, distributors and consumers. The work these pioneers are doing is crucial in shaping our future food system and solving the issues that future generations will have to confront otherwise.
These innovations have dramatically altered our food system across all sectors and industries from the producer to the consumer. With many emerging resources, business models and various forms of capital to fund and accelerate the growth and impact of these startups, what still remains a challenge is navigating and interconnecting our diverse and evolving food landscape so it may serve its maximum potential for global impact and continue to grow as needed.
A common database to connect and promote rising enterprises in the food tech sector did not exist until now. That’s why have partnered up with a selected group of leading organizations around the world, including AgThentic (Australia), Andrea Tolu Content Marketing (Italy), Food Republik (Spain), Inovisa (Portugal), The Food Talk Show (UK), The Kitchen Hub (Israel) and Rebelbio (Ireland/UK) to mention a few, to launch the Global Food Tech Map, highlighting the key players in this fast-evolving sector and serving as an interactive tool that aggregates the worlds most innovative FoodTech and AgTech startups in one place. With the food tech industry developing at such a rapid pace, The Global Food Tech Map helps users explore this ever expanding and evolving sector.
With many folks and industry players passionate about our evolving and dynamic food system, there’s a need to make greater sense of this ‘new space’ so that greater reach can be made and as a result of it, greater impact can be created.
Our broader aim with The Global Food Tech Map is to also raise awareness of the sector with the general public while keeping in mind that the end goal of feeding a growing global population of 10 billion by 2050 in an increasingly volatile global food system. We need connection, collaboration and innovation now more than ever to face these inevitable challenges. Our future depends on it and it is our hope that this new wave of innovation coming out of this space can make its global impact. We are still just beginning, let’s continue to together.