With more and more people living in the urban environment and a growing trend for local food, which food trends along with vertical farming might become prominent?
I see three potential trends here:
- Tech-centric solutions like aquaponics and hydroponics;
- Circular economy-centric solutions — food surplus turned intro nutritional products or packaging made of plant-based by-products;
- Ancient-centric practices like last mile food delivery and burnt grains. The latter is an ltalian tradition which comes from the times when farmers used to burn the fields to prepare the land for sowing. Poor people used to harvest the burnt grain and make pasta and bread. Burning gives the flour a hint of coffee or popcorn.
Almost a year ago, you launched a new project – Global FoodTech Map. Can you tell more about it?
At some point, I struggled to make sense of the global FoodTech ecosystem. We knew that there are companies working in the direction of food innovation and clean eating, but had no idea how are they called, where are they based and which solutions do they offer.
We came up with an idea of a Global FoodTech Map to aggregate the world’s most innovative AgTech and FoodTech companies into one easily accessible digital database.
Our initial data was mainly US-related, with only a few companies originating from other regions.
To expand our database, we started reaching out to international partners who had their ecosystems in other parts of the world mapped. We are currently cooperating with Australian consulting firm AgThentic, Italian Andrea Tolu Content Marketing, Spanish Food Republik, Sweden FoodTech, Portuguese Inovisa, Chinese BitsxBites, Britain's Food Talk Show by Breakthrough Funding, Israeli Incubator The Kitchen FoodTech Hub and Rebelbio, a life science accelerator based in the UK and Ireland.
How large is your database now and how do you keep it up to date?
The Global FoodTech Map currently lists more than 1,700+ startups across 5 continents divided in eight categories:
- Consumer Apps and Services
- Food Delivery
- Next-Gen Food and Drinks
- Smart Appliances and Kitchen Machines
- Surplus and Waste Management
- Food Processing
- Food Safety and Traceability.
You can read more about these categories in our whitepaper.