Agrifoodtech in Asia-Pacific continued to gain momentum, and is pegged to attract venture and growth investment in 2020, despite headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic highlighted supply chain vulnerabilities and prompted the need to rethink what food resilience means, it also accelerated trends in the region that saw consumers become more concerned with environmental sustainability and healthy lifestyles.
Over the past four years, Future Food Asia (FFA) has empowered over 40 early-stage start-ups from Asia-Pacific by providing them the stage to present their innovations and distributed over US$1 million in awards. As a voice of agrifood innovation in Asia-Pacific, its annual Conference brings decision makes from agriculture and food corporations, investors, rising innovators and other key ecosystem players together.
Supported by Singapore Economic Development Board since its inception, this year’s edition welcomes Cargill as its Title Partner, which will also join the Jury, as well as partners from Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore’s public research agency; Dole Asia Holdings, a producer of packaged and fresh fruit; and Bühler, a technology supplier to the food processing industry.
Marcel Smits, chairman of Cargill Asia-Pacific and global head of corporate strategy, commented: “We are delighted to partner with FFA on its 2021 edition to drive innovation in the agrifood sector. Together, we hope to bring new technologies and new ideas to life, which will eventually benefit customers and consumers not only in Asia, but around the world.”
Other new partners also include Thai Wah, a Thai producer for starch, vermicelli and noodles; and HaoShi Foundation, a non-profit organisation which focuses on fostering agrifood start-ups growth through innovative approaches with international perspective.
The FFA 2021 Conference will be held in Singapore and multiple satellite cities in in June and virtually. 10 finalists selected by the FFA jury will showcase their innovations and compete for the $100,000 grand prize.
Isabelle Decitre, founder and CEO of ID Capital, concluded: “In many respects this 2021 edition is a turning point for FFA. To start with, we are delighted to see regional leaders stepping in and joining global companies in this journey. Also, as the agrifoodtech sector matures, the big promise of sustainability is about to move from a state of theory to assessment. And finally talents from all walks of life start to come to agrifoodtech. All this is conducive to new approaches to building the future of food, and we will share more about it with our community in the coming months.”