From Farmgate to Plate: Top Food & Ag Innovation Trends for 2021
Our predictions for new methods, ideas and processes that are creating more agile and sustainable food systems
The confluence of climate change and issues created by the pandemic, both economic and logistical, threaten the food security of millions around the world. COVID-19 proved that our food system is vulnerable – exposing weaknesses as it disrupted the supply chain at nearly every point. It’s now clear that our the ability to achieve collective sustainability goals – and long-term business growth – requires new ways of thinking and operating.
“The pandemic validated the need for real innovation and substantive investment to solve the challenges we’re facing,” said Anne Greven, global head of food and agribusiness innovation and the FoodBytes! platform at Rabobank. “Companies that are planning for the next 10 to 15 years are investing heavily in innovation, and they’re seeing those investments pay off much sooner than they imagined. They’re seeing the returns now.”
In the second half of 2020, Pitchbook figures show the aggregate amount of capital invested in the food and ag space increased, from $4.14 billion to $6.9 billion as food companies began to recover from the initial onset of COVID-19. This upward trend in F&A investment is also reflected in the FoodBytes! startup network: alumni raised $532M in 2020, more than doubling the $250M raised in 2019.
As we move into 2021 with a new recognition of the need for innovation, FoodBytes! shares predictions for the top innovation trends that will continue to drive sustainable change this year.