Explore foodtech and the food transition during a learning expedition

Climate change, a rise in chronic diseases and more recently the covid-19 crisis are highlighting a pressing need for a transformation of the food industry.  

There are tons of opportunities to reinvent the food industry, especially to make the food supply chain more resilient, transparent and connected, to grow food locally and vertically, to avoid waste or to accelerate a movement towards organic and plant-based food consumption.  That’s what innovators have started to do with urban farms, waste management solutions, food delivery services, traceability systems or cell-grown meat.

Foodtech has attracted massive investment in 2018 with a record fundraising of $16.9 billion according to AgFunder. Startups are even reimagining meat itself to give more sustainable alternatives, like Impossible Foods which is valued at $2 billion (2019).

We organize learning expeditions to help food industry leaders travel to the future of food for a few days and meet the innovators who are shaping the way we will eat tomorrow.

You want to:

– Get inspired by innovative and sustainable solutions to the main challenges faced by the food industry

-Enrich your vision on the future of food and what’s next in terms of food production and customer experience

– Visit urban farms, kitchens, food manufacturers and food stores that integrate the latest technologies such as visual recognition and robotics

– Identify how to improve operational efficiency in the food sector, from marketing to delivery

– Inspire your teams to innovate and think creatively

– Align your management/teams on strategic topics to prioritise

– Improve the cohesiveness of your team for more effectiveness

– Embark your key stakeholders into your new vision of the world by offering them to participate in a learning experience designed to deliver on your messages

Where to go to get a glimpse of the future of food?

Initiatives are burgeoning everywhere, but we recommend Shanghai, Singapore, Tel-Aviv (Israël) and Lagos (Nigeria) for a learning expedition about the food transition.

Shanghai : transforming every step of the food supply chain

China has been a pioneer in O2O and has a booming food delivery apps market. All the Millennials in China are now ordering food online, whether it’s prepared meals or groceries. The Chinese tech giant Alibaba has entered the sector with its own supermarket chain HEMA in 2016, which merges online and offline, and is supporting other food retailers such as Starbucks to better leverage on digital to improve the customer experience. Its competitor Tencent, the owner of WeChat, has also entered the space by offering digital solutions to other retailers such as Carrefour.

China is also a step ahead when it comes to food traceability. Due to many food scandals, consumers are very careful about where their food comes from. All fresh products sold in HEMA can be scanned with the HEMA app to track exactly where it comes from, how and when it has been transported, etc.

After a surge of demand for western style diets, including processed food imports and animal protein, the Chinese population has been recently shifting to healthier diets. Official nutritional advice from the government recommends eating less red meat, poultry and seafood. Organic food sales grew about 18-20% in 2017 in China, and Euromonitor recorded an increase of 4% of consumption in fruits and vegetables in 2016. Between 2015 and 2020, China is projected to be the fastest growing market for vegan products at a rate of 17.2%, according to South China Morning Post. The Chinese government has therefore signed a trade agreement with Israel worth $300 million to import lab-grown meat produced by 3 main startups in the field.

Shanghai is hosting China’s first food-centric accelerator, Bits&Bites, launched in 2016, which is also a venture capital fund that invests in startups tackling global food system challenges. Among the accelerated companies, one startup called Bugsolutely Bella Pupa, is producing pasta containing 20% cricket flour and mainly sold in Thailand, as well as a snack based on silkworm powder, sold in China.

Urban farming is also starting to grow in Shanghai. Hydra Biotech started in 2016 by building containers with independant climate controlled modules that can be equipped with hydroponics and aquaponics towers. San Francisco-based startup Plenty, backed by Jeff Bezos and Softbank Vision Fund, is now planning to enter China and build at least 300 indoor farms.

Singapore: pioneer in urban farming

About 90% of Singapore’s food currently comes from overseas. Innovations have emerged to grow food locally, including in urban areas as the Singapore Food Agency announced last year a plan to have 30% of the country’s food produced locally by 2030. In April 2019, a S$30 million grant was announced to help boost local food production. Singapore is planning to open an 18ha Agri-Food Innovation Park next year dedicated to high-tech farming as well as research and development in the sector.

One example of company is Sustenir, an agritech startup that produces foreign crops in lab-controlled vertical farms powered by artificial intelligence and LED lighting.

From farm to table, some restaurants and hotels have already started to grow crops on their rooftops, using their own food waste as compost. For example, 20% of the produce used by the One Farrer Hotel comes from its own farm. One of the key players in the foodtech ecosystem is Singapore is Edible Garden City, which is building a community around urban farming and has desgined and built 200 food gardens in Singapore over the last 7 years.

Singapore also invests in technology to advance research in plant-based and clean meat, dairy and eggs ($144 million designated to the Singapore Food Story R&D Programme) and hosts the APAC headquarter of the Good Food Institute, an institution focused on working to make plant-based and clean meat, dairy, and eggs more tasty, price-competitive, and convenient.

Israël: reinventing agriculture with genetics and food distribution with AI

More than half of the land area in Israel is desert, and the climate and lack of water resources do not favor farming. Only 20% of the land area is naturally arable. Its geopolitical situation has forced the country to invest a lot in the latest innovations in agriculture to produce its own food. This endeavor led to the creation of many agritech startups, including startups leveraging on the latest biotechnologies.

For example, PlantArcBio works on the genes of plants to allow them to resist arid desert lands and hot weather. Three of the main startups working on cell-grown meat, also called “clean meat” are in Israël: Aleph Farms, Future Meat Technologies and SuperMeat. Another startup, Jet Eat claims to have duplicated the texture of meat using plant-based formulations and 3D printers.

The Israeli government also opened a food technology incubator in which it plans to invest more than 28 billion US dollars over the next 8 years.

Israël is also at the cutting edge of AI-powered technologies. In the food retail sector, computer vision can help identify customers’ shopping items and create a seamless checkout process. That’s what the startup Trigo Vision is trying to do. The startup partnered with a local supermarket chain to begin installing its platform in over 272 cashier-less stores in November 2018. AI will also transform delivery, through autonomous vehicles and delivery drones. For example, Flytrex is an Israeli startup that raised 11 million dollars to deliver packages through the air.

Nigeria: connecting small farm holders

As agriculture still counts for 20% of the GDP and more than 72 % of Nigeria’s smallholders live below the poverty line of USD 1.9 a day, many entrepreneurs are trying to help farm holders through technology, including helping them to get the capital investment (agro crowdfunding), improving their productivity, and connecting them to local markets.

To name just a few:

  • Chowberry is an application that offers local groups the possibility to identify food that is close to its expiration date at nearby grocery stores. They can purchase this food for a reduced price which allows non-governmental organizations to distribute them to needy people.
  • Farmcrowdy is digital agriculture platform focused on connecting farm investors with farmers.
  • Hello Tractor is a company that enables farmers to request affordable tractor services, while providing enhanced security to tractor owners through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring. The startup aims to increase farmers’ access to mechanisation services and youth employment opportunities.

LET'S DISCUSS YOUR OBJECTIVES TOGETHER!

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING OUR OPEN LEARNING EXPEDITION?

NETWORK OF EXPERTS IN ASIA

We connect you to inspiring innovators who matter for you and are ready to share their experience and best practices – from disruptive startups to innovative corporates, digital experts and vibrant communities.

STRATEGIC FACILITATION

We provide a complete experience with workshops and reflection sessions to share insights, foster new thinking and stimulate new ideas. The project team suggests and validates the facilitation preferences for each part of the tour, according to the learning objectives of the group. Our facilitators create a safe environment and organize sharing moments to build cohesion and alignment.

RESULTS ORIENTED

We create results-oriented, 100% tailored and out of the box learning formats – from Learning expeditions to transformation workshops, innovation events or advisory boards. We build the trip together. We advise you according to your budget and needs.

HOW DOES A LEARNING EXPEDITION WORK?

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EXPERIENTIAL VISITS & MEETINGS

We engage in open discussions with
innovators to get fresh ideas and learn from their experience, we test out the
latest prototypes

TAILORED PROGRAM

Our innovators are specially curated for you to glean rich insights for your learning objectives

PARTICIPANTS GUIDES & MEETINGS WRAP-UPS

We prepare all meetings with the speakers, provide you with well documented guides and send you a wrap-up of the tour once the learning expedition is over

FACILITATION

We organize workshops and reflection sessions to share insights from the visits, foster new thinking and stimulate new ideas

Discover our Digital Learning Expeditions !

Inspire and align your teams or leads in an engaging way ! Whether it is for your yearly seminar, a key clients program, your team offsite, your innovation workshop or your Executive Committee inspiration session, our Digital Learning Expeditions can help you reach your objectives. 

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