More sustainable and nature-inclusive agricultural systems to serve the demands of present and future generations call for a variety of innovative solutions.
As an international market leader in Agri-Food, The Netherlands is well equipped to explore and co-design the solutions for the transition of the agricultural and food industry. Driven by the ability to combine productivity and innovation with highly efficient processing and logistics this transition offers tremendous business opportunities. We believe it’s our role to make the necessary investments feasible.
There is a wide range off emerging themes that show significant potential to address the core issues in Agri-Food. Some of them are state of the art high-tech, for instance in the fields of bio-nanotech, genetics or data driven production methods. Others have a more ‘boots on the ground’ character and focus on helping local communities to boost food production, reduce waste or create access to (larger) markets for local producers.
Innovations to close the water-, nutrient-, and carbon cycles within primary production systems are only one example of what is needed. Others include replacing fossil-products by bio-based ones, or using trees and vegetation to combat water erosion and improve crop-growing conditions (e.g. via temperature and humidity).
To feed the cities and secure food security the Agri-Food sector could provide a wide variety of solutions. High-tech innovations (e.g. AI, Robotics data platforms) can increase efficiency or resilience, aquatic protein sources or insects provide plant-based alternatives for traditional meat while for instance water-efficient cropping systems or climate resilient irrigation are highly relevant for dairy or horticulture.
“In the transition towards a more nature-inclusive and circular system we require scalable solutions.”
Besides food production a more balanced food distribution and the prevention of post-harvest food waste are important as well. Online platforms provide benefits to many. They allow traders to track all compliance and certificates for the fruit and vegetables they are buying, but at the same time they provide access to (larger) markets and buyers for local farmers.
By improving the standards throughout the entire value chain – from upstream to downstream – and including Agri-logistics (e.g. cooling, transportation and warehousing) significant sustainable impact can be created. To maximize this impact across multiple (emerging) markets a sector based approach can be highly effective.