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Africa, Agriculture, Food & Nutrition, Prosperity, Planet, Asia Pacific

Five innovative companies that promote sustainable food systems

Responsible Business | Mar 06, 2019

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As the prime connection between people and the planet, sustainable food and agriculture have great potential to address many of our challenges, serving up affordable, nutritious food, strengthening livelihoods, revitalising rural and urban landscapes, delivering inclusive national growth and driving positive change. Every person involved in the food system—growers, food processors, distributors, retailers, consumers, and waste managers—can play a role in ensuring a sustainable agricultural system.

Re-designing our food production systems on the basis of the circular economy would guarantee that all people across the world have nourishing food, and that this is produced following environmentally-friendly sustainability guidelines. The double food and environmental pyramid developed by BCFN Foundation highlights the extremely close links between two aspects of every food: its nutritional value and the environmental impact it has through the stages of its production and consumption and can be found here.

Interesting facts about Food Systems:

  • 40% of today’s global population works in agriculture, making it the single largest employer in the world
  • Drought causes more than 80 percent of the total damage and losses in agriculture
  • Agriculture accounts for 70% of water use and generates unsustainable levels of pollution and waste
  • The livestock sector represents 14.5% of human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year
  • Growth in the agriculture sector is two to four times more effective in raising incomes among the poorest compared to other sectors

Below you will find 5 companies that can help us shift to more sustainable food systems:

1. Protix – Insect ingredient company

Photo credit: Pexels

Insects are more and more seen as a viable and low-impact protein alternative, because they can be reared on waste and are much more resource efficient versus other sources of protein. Protix is a data driven insect producer based in the Netherlands and aims to contribute to a sustainable food system by developing ingredients from insects. Through high-tech control systems, artificial intelligence, genetic improvement programs and robotics, Protix is able to produce consistently and at the right quality. The use of insects in our food supply can help create a circular food system and enable us to move from a resource depleting linear system of production.

2. SyeComp – Connecting farmers to tech

Photo credit: Unsplash

SyeComp pioneers the operational application of Optical and Radar Satellite monitoring and mapping systems for commercial agricultural activities in Ghana, land-use monitoring, and environmental and natural resource management. The opportunities in using open access satellite-based information products is a game-changer for smallholder farmers everywhere. It puts the information and solutions in the hands of farmers on a continual basis and allows them to incorporate the data into their farming decision-making processes.

3. Winnow Solutions – Tech to reduce food waste

Photo credit: Unsplash

British start-up Winnow has developed smart meters that analyse our trash with the aim of reducing food waste globally. An electronic scale records the weight and sends a message to the user, giving the cost of the food they’ve put in the bin. The meter is connected to cloud software which records and analyses the day’s waste. This gives chefs the information necessary to drive improvements in their production processes to cut food waste in half, saving money and reducing their environmental footprint at the same time.

4. Wakati – Sustainable storage

Photo credit: Pexels

Wakati developed the world’s first standalone solution for the preservation of fruits and vegetables without using cooling. Smallholder farmers can store their produce on their farms in a protective microclimate inside a tent with a storage of 200 -1000 kg, using one liter of water per week, and powered by a small solar panel. By allowing smallholder farmers in remote areas to preserve their produce and boost their income, this will help eliminate post-harvest food losses in the global food supply chain.

5. I-Grow – Invest in individual farmers

Photo credit: Pexels

iGrow is a marketplace that helps struggling farmers, under-utilized land, and investors to produce high-quality food and sustainable incomes with cloud-based agricultural management software. The company connects farmers, landowners, and backers to create food organic plantations. They do this by raising capital for seeds from urban people. Part of the fun is that they give an interactive experience to investors as you watch the seeds grow through their mobile app, so they not only can see their investments, but also they know they’re growing beautiful, nutritious food.

The 6th Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture will convene on 26 – 27 March 2019 featuring over 400 food, agriculture and nutrition decision makers from companies, governments, investors, NGOs and farmers, to discuss innovation in value chains for food and nutrition security.

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