Categories
Food Processing Fruits Sustainability

Frutco has made it a mission to be 100% sustainable by 2030

Switzerland-based Frutco AG, founded in 1992, as a sales partner for banana puree in Europe for Paradise Ingredients and Mexifrutas in Costa Rica, has made it a mission to be 100% sustainable by 2030. We see sustainability as an opportunity to combine economic, ecological and social aims to ensure long-term success. We, therefore wholeheartedly support all efforts to promote sustainability and best practices throughout the whole value creation chain.

We are just about to open our own Banana processing Plant – FruBaTec – in Colombia where our partner has the Bananas which supports a totally transparent and sustainable supply chain. Frutco AG is a supplier and global seller of processed tropical fruits with a clear focus on banana, pineapple, passionfruit, mango, lime, lemon, guava and papaya. Our products are produced in accordance with the AIJN Code of Practice.

As a member of the CSR platform and the Sustainable Juice Covenant, we are obliged to ensure sustainability for our stakeholders. The progress regarding the Sustainable Juice Covenant is reviewed annually by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), and we are already 84% sustainable. All of our products are gently processed and fulfil international standards in terms of sustainability, ethics, fairness and food safety.

As a family company, we think in the long term. It’s important to us that we don’t leave future generations to foot our bills. We see sustainability as an opportunity to combine economic, ecological and social aims to ensure long-term success.

Frutco AG

We focusses on the following aspects, which are fundamental to sustainability:

  1. New technology to reduce energy consumption and water consumption in agriculture as well as in our factories.
  2. R&D to increase yield and reduce waste, to ensure that 100% of fruit makes it to the food chain.
  3. Ensuring social standards in the relevant countries throughout the whole value creation chain.
  4. Great importance on food safety and quality.
  5. Promoting employees’ education, health and gender equality
  6. Promoting business models that involve local farmers and guarantee income through a link to the international market.

The Frutco® strategy is aimed at backwards integration to ensure raw ingredient sources for its customers. In doing so, we concentrate on a huge range of banana, pineapple, mango, guava, passionfruit and citrus products as its core fruits as well as a wide selection of other processed fruits. We do everything to sustainably ensure access to the best natural raw ingredients.

Frutco AG consists of various companies within farming, farm management, processing, logistics, marketing and sales. This means we can guarantee traceability and food safety. For more details, please write to us at Claudia.Lauener@frutco.ch or visit our website at https://frutco.ch/en_gb/.

Categories
AgTech Digital Solutions

The Microsoft for Agritech Startups program

In its efforts to bolster the India’s startup ecosystem, Microsoft announced the launch of the program, “The Microsoft for Agritech Startups” on June 3, 2020. The program is intended to help startups build industry-specific solutions, scale, and grow with access to deep technology, business, and marketing resources.

This program offers the best-in-class tech and business enablement resources to help agritech startups in India that are committed to driving transformation in agriculture. Startups can get access to Azure FarmBeats, which can help them focus on core value-adds instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data engineering.

There are about 450 active agri-startups in India. They have received a venture capital funding of $545 million since 2014. This boom in the agri-startups space is creating a much needed ecosystem to bring digitisation and automation to millions of small and marginal farmers, who are suffering because of the inefficiencies of the old and bureaucratic system.

“Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production. The Microsoft for Agritech Startups program is among the early steps in our journey towards empowering these startups in India and transforming global agricultural practices.”

Sangeeta Bavi, Director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India

Spread across three tiers, the program offers a range of benefits, including tech enablement and business resources:

  1. All startups: Qualified Seed to Series C startups can boost their businesses with Azure benefits (including free credits), unlimited technical support and help with Azure Marketplace onboarding.
  2. Co-sell startups: Startups with enterprise-ready solutions can scale quickly with joint go-to-market strategies, technical support and new sales opportunities with Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.
  3. Co-create solutions: Startups that are looking to create digital agriculture solutions have the opportunity to co-build customized solutions with Azure FarmBeats without investing in deep data engineering resources. Using Azure FarmBeats, startups can acquire, aggregate and process agricultural data and rapidly develop their own AI/ML models.

Read more about the program at Microsoft News

Categories
AgTech Webinar

AgTech Webinar: Innovation and technology in food and farming

Globally we are fast-moving more toward a technologized society as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown in medicine, education and the way we work. Agriculture too is at the forefront of this revolution with a fledgling sector called agtech. Farmers challenged by climate change, labor shortage, water and land supply shortage and the depletion of arable land, have already been steadily turning to innovation and technology such as blockchain, automation and robotics.

Come join a special panel moderated by Amy Wu that will feature women entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to help farmers succeed. The panel and discussion will address questions including achieving a balance between technology and human labor, how innovation can solve food supply chain issues, and the ways technology is creating a potential paradigm shift in agriculture.

Presenters:

Pamela (Pam) Marrone spent her career focused on biologically based products for pest management; for the last 30 years in Davis CA, where she started and led three biological crop protection companies. She started Marrone Bio Innovations in 2006 to discover and develop bio-based products for pest management and plant health. The company was listed on NASDAQ in 2013 (MBII), has commercialized 10 products, and is growing rapidly. Pam received the “Sustie” Award from EcoFarm in 2019.

Martha Montoya is CEO and founder of AgTools, which she founded in 2017 as a food supply SaaS platform that provides real-time intelligence to farmers and buyers with the goal of reducing food waste globally. The platform takes into consideration over 75 different market variables from weather to transportation on over 500 different commodities to help growers better plan their crops. The company has 14 employees throughout five offices in the U.S., Mexico and Colombia.

Penelope Nagel is a 9th generation farmer, COO and co-founder of Persistence Data Mining Inc. (PDMI). PDMI is a private company that uses hyperspectral imaging for timely collection of soil data related to spatial variability of soil texture. PDMI has developed algorithms accurately estimating nutrient availability based on hyperspectral data, key to determining where and how much nutrients need to be applied.

Moderator:

Amy Wu is an award-winning writer for the women’s ag and agtech movement. She is the Founder & Chief Content Director of from Farms to Incubators, a multimedia platform that uses documentary, video, photography and the written word to tell the stories of women leaders and innovators in agtech. It has a mission of expanding the profiles of women in food, farming, and tech. The documentary and stories have been screened and presented at SXSW, Techonomy, the Forbes AgTech Summit, EcoFarm and The New Food Economy. Prior to starting From Farms to Incubators, Amy spent over two decades as an investigative reporter at media outfits including the USA Today Network, Time magazine, and she has contributed to The New York Times, HuffPost and Wall Street Journal. She reported on agriculture and agtech for The Salinas Californian in Salinas, Calif. She sits on the Diversity Advisory Committee of EcoFarm.

Categories
AgTech Blockchain

Blockchain for Food and Agriculture

Blockchain is an emerging technology allowing universal transactions among distributed parties, without the need of intermediaries. Blockchain is not a single technology but uses a combination of technologies that have a considerable history in computer science and in commercial applications like public/private key cryptography, cryptographic hash functions, database technologies especially distributed databases, consensus algorithms, and decentralised processing. Blockchain could pave way for a transparent supply chain of food, by facilitating the sharing of data between disparate actors in a food value chain.

Despite huge positives of the technology and the great interest it has received from public and private parties in general, some critical questions like accessibility, governance, technical aspects, policies, data ownership and regulatory frameworks need to be addressesed for its mass adoption.

Some common ways in which blockchain is applied in food and agriculture value chains are

Supply Chain Traceability: It enables companies to quickly track unsafe products back to their source and see where else they have been distributed. This can prevent illness and save lives, as well as reducing the cost of product recalls.

Example: Aglive – An Australian livestock tracking platform, has completed a pilot that monitored shipments of beef to China using blockchain. The pilot saw cattle tracked from Macka’s cattle farm in regional New South Wales to an abattoir located in the same state. From there, frozen beef products were tracked across the supply chain as the meat was transported by land freight interstate to Queensland, and then shipped to Shanghai — ensuring that the products were stored under safe conditions throughout transit. The products were then distributed to grocery stores in Shanghai.

Agricultural Commodities Trade: Commodities management involves deal documents, contracts, letters of credit, supply chain finance, traceability and government certifications. Blockchain is enabling these data management challenges and payment time lags.

Example: AgriDigital – A blockchain-based and integrated commodity management solution for the global grains industry.

Digital Marketplace: Digital marketplaces allow buyers and growers to connect directly, increasing the amount of profits that go to the farmers, and investors to invest directly into farms producing commodities and then trade on that investment.

Example: Twiga Foods Ltd – The company, buys fresh produce from 17,000 farmers and processed food from manufacturers and then delivers it to 8,000 vendors, most of whom are women.

Categories
AgTech FoodTech

AgriFood Category Definitions

  1. Ag Biotechnology: On-farm inputs for crop & animal ag including genetics, microbiome, breeding, animal health.
  2. Agribusiness Marketplaces: Commodities trading platforms, online input procurement, equipment leasing.
  3. Bioenergy & Biomaterials: Non-food extraction & processing, feedstock technology, cannabis pharmaceuticals.
  4. Farm Management Software, Sensing & IoT: Ag data capturing devices, decision support software, big data analytics
  5. Farm Robotics, Mechanization & Equipment: On-farm machinery, automation, drone manufacturers, grow equipment.
  6. Midstream Technologies: Food safety & traceability tech, logistics & transport, processing tech.
  7. Novel Farming Systems: Indoor farms, aquaculture, insect, & algae production.
  8. Innovative Food: Cultured meat, novel ingredients, plant-based proteins.
  9. In-Store Retail & Restaurant Tech: Shelf-stacking robots, 3D food printers, POS systems, food waste monitoring IoT.
  10. Restaurant Marketplaces: Online tech platforms delivering food from a wide range of vendors.
  11. eGrocery: Online stores and marketplaces for sale & delivery of processed & un-processed ag products to consumer.
  12. Home & Cooking Tech: Smart kitchen appliances, nutrition technologies, food testing devices.
  13. Online Restaurants & Meal Kits: Startups offering culinary meals and sending pre-portioned ingredients to cook at home.
  14. Cloud Retail Infrastructure: On-demand enabling tech, ghost kitchens, last mile delivery robots & services
  15. Miscellaneous eg. fintech for farmers

Source: AgFunder AgriFood Funding Report

Categories
AgTech FoodTech

Top AgTech and FoodTech Startups

AgTech and FoodTech are on the cusp of next era of productivity and environmental conservation while reducing food waste, improving carbon sequestration, improving water quality, and increasing renewable energy. Below is the glimpse of exceptional companies who are pushing the boundaries of innovation and technology.

These 100 innovative AgTech and FoodTech companies are categorised in 10 broad categories on the basis of specific problems addressed by them.

  1. Crop Nutrition, Health & Protection: AgBiome, Benson Hill Biosystems, BioConsortia, Biome Makers, Ginkgo Bioworks, Inari, Pivot Bio, Trace Genomics, ZeaKal, NewLeaf Symbiotics, Plant Response, Provivi, Semios, Terramera, Vestaron, Zymergen, Indigo Agriculture, Fieldin, Biotalys, Taranis, and TerViva.
  2. Farm Management & Forecasting: Arable Labs, Agrosmart, CropX, Growers Edge, PrecisionHawk, Resson, Solinftec, The Yield, Agworld, Bushel, CropIn, Farmer’s Business Network, Farmobile, Orbital Insight, Prospera Technologies and AgriWebb.
  3. Environmental Impact & Waste: MagGrow, Bowery, BrightFarms, Infarm, AeroFarms, Gotham Greens, Plenty, Enterra, Afresh, FoodMaven, Full Harvest, Lactips, TIPA, AgriProtein, Winnow, and WISErg.
  4. Labor: FarmWise, ecoRobotix, Robotics Plus, Bossa Nova Robotics, and Soft Robotics.
  5. Animal Nutrition & Health: Advanced Animal Diagnostics, and Stellapps.
  6. Food Quality & Safety: Ancera, Hazel Technologies, CMS Technology, Label Insight, Tastewise, Apeel Sciences, and Clear Labs.
  7. Storage, Transportation & Distribution: BluWrap, TeleSense, and Farmer’s Fridge.
  8. Traceability: FoodLogiQ, ICIX, IdentiGEN, and SafeTraces.
  9. Trade: Ninjacart, ProducePay, Brightloom, and Crowd Cow.
  10. Novel Foods & Ingredients: Good Catch, Imperfect Foods, Impossible Foods, JUST, Miyoko’s, Ripple Foods, Soylent, Sunfed meats, Clara Foods, DouxMatok, Epogee, Future Meat Technologies, Geltor, Hinoman, Innovopro, Manus Bio, Memphis Meats, MycoTechnology, Noblegen, Nuritas, Perfect Day, and Protifarm.

Source: SVG Ventures THRIVE Platform

Categories
Uncategorized

Accredited ‘safe’ vegetables help Vietnamese farmers earn more

Farmers in Northwest Vietnam are accessing a new path to market for their vegetables—via an accreditation program—to help them sell into high-value modern retail markets in Hanoi. The region’s favourable climate and soil conditions are suitable for growing tropical, subtropical and some temperate vegetables. Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) provides guidelines on how to grow crops and manage them postharvest to ensure food safety and improve product quality and traceability while supporting the health of producers, consumers and the environment.

With the development of supermarkets and food service market channels in Hanoi and other big cities, customers are now demanding high quality agricultural products—especially ones from mountainous areas like Son La province—because customers believe they taste better and are more nutritious. Furthermore, customers want ‘safe’ vegetables which are grown using good agricultural production techniques and are managed to ensure the food is free of food-borne diseases and pathogens.

Read more at ACIAR