Never let a good crisis go to waste
— Winston Churchill
These days make me wonder: how many people suddenly share even more with each other than we usually do... and do admit. Does it take a pandemic to bring people closer together (in mind and soul)?
It is difficult not to talk about Covid-19, yet when I look at my peers in business it seems that after the honest interest in each other's well-being and family's health, we quickly shift to business: "What can we do now, how can we work to keep/get things going?"
Although the effects are there, although in different stages of the supply chain we see the impact coming or already present, the drive to move forward and explore the solutions that put us in a better position for the future... That is the positive vibe in every conversation. I do not see people in shock and professionally paralyzed. Absorb, be flexible, adjust course. But most of all: everybody puts their employees first. Health and family. We are forced to go to the basics. The real essentials.
That collective drive, that shared situation that captures all of us... it really makes shift; we will be able to see a before and after. Mostly on the operational side, but over time also in mentality.
Just the number of people who are cooking, baking whole foods for an extended period now... their perspective on (local) food will be positively tainted and we will see it in the long tail.
Like many I see opportunities and my 2 hats (broker in the ingredients industry & business developer for food integrity on blockchain) are slowly merging into 1... the value of cross-industry expertise and network is even more relevant. The industry realizes more than ever that proven transparency is the way to consumer trust.
And in between business and home-schooling, I have high hopes. That both the consumer and the food supply chain see this forced-upon temporary status-quo as a needed School of the Hard Knocks.
We just need to adjust quickly to actually graduate... in order to share our learnings.
Be open to new opportunities and new learnings, while keeping your distance.
I am open for any discussion in this regard, just schedule a call.
Tortuga builds frontier technology and robotics to help growers provide healthy, sustainable fresh produce for everyone. Its robots perform a variety of labor-intensive tasks on the farm, with an emphasis on harvest. Tortuga's approach saves the grower money while helping them survive a global labor shortage and other existential challenges. While doing so, Tortuga captures never-before-possible plant-level data that turns into revolutionary information for growers.
JvI: IoT turns our food supply chain into a more optimized and more transparent chain. And while that is beautiful, the dependence on digital (internet) security increases every day. That asks for a lot from a traditional farmer. So the question is whether the cost savings from efficiency and extra data weigh up against the extra costs of all these "solutions as a service".
$100m ADIO investment brings four global AgTech pioneers to Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has partnered individually with AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and Responsive Drip Irrigation (RDI) to establish new R&D and production facilities in the emirate, turning sand into farmland, solving complex global agriculture challenges and expanding the profile of local food producers.
JvI: I know that the collateral information is of such nature that it is worth trying to turn the desert green. At the same time I struggle with the fact that with some investments the hurdle to take is so high, while that same money can scale a bigger potential where the hurdles are lower... But eventually it is about the coalition of the willing. Where can we steer mentality the quickest for paradigm shift?
Blinkist lets you read the key lessons from 3000+ nonfiction books in 15 min or fewer. Start your free trial today and find out how.
JvI: We all are scrambling for extra time and for certain literature a shortcut is a welcome solution. Blinkist services that perfectly.
This is a sponsored listing.
Cool Farm Tool
The Cool Farm Tool is an online greenhouse gas, water, and biodiversity calculator for farmers. It can quantify the effect of different farm management practices providing the user with an objective way to gain recognition or premium payments for using certain practices or to assess whether a new practice is worth scaling up farm-wide.
JvI: The use of apps like these is on the rise, in the developing countries even way more than in the developed agricultural world. Most important approach (that many are missing) should be an open source approach. The sharing of data and findings can speed up problem solving tremendously.
Reporting from the frontlines of the food revolution where foodtech startups, entrepreneurs, and venture capital investors are transforming the industry: AgFunder News.
JvI: Without a doubt the number one resource to keep up to date with what shapes the future of food. From soil to fork... all the new developments, startups and investments you'll find here.
Analogue and Off-line
Agraloop: Using Waste to Transform Wasteful Fashion
Agraloop, a trademarked regenerative process for creating natural fiber from food crop waste that can be scaled across the globe. The system could also serve as a template for local sourcing as global supply chains are threatened with disruption.
JvI: A good example of how to optimize multiple chains to the fullest in order to reach maximum sustainability. We've been playing around for long enough. Time to dive in.
Farm at home during COVID-19 crisis
With people sheltering in place and attempting to make fewer trips to the grocery store, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) has launched a “How to Start Your Own Home Garden” series to help families stay healthy and engaged.
JvI: One of the many initiatives where professional learning is re-targeted at the novice amateur at-home-farmer. For sure people will start to understand what goes on behind that produce, food and taste...
Over the Fence
5 practical reasons to embrace artificial intelligence
AI is about more than just robots. There are several reasons that people should accept artificial intelligence, including health care fighting the current coronavirus pandemic and empowering people with disabilities.
JvI: While everything is getting connected and linked, it is more than ever the time to look over the fence: How are other industries solving old problems with newly available tech and thinking?
TreeTracker provides you with accurate and smart automated tree information, so you can make better decisions for tree management.
JvI: Okay, this was completely unknown to me, but now that we start to understand the higher potential of trees in urban areas, it totally makes sense. This is Artificial Intelligence meets Treehugger meets Google Streetview... Fascinating.
🧠 Food for Thought
The coronavirus and the future of food
Perhaps it's time to recognize the high price of cheap food. To acknowledge the failure of economic integration. To recognize that when it comes to the crunch, we have to look to our neighbors, our local community, and our own backyards. To build and support that local supply chain to move local and seasonal food from farm to fork. — We are learning a lot from this virus.
JvI: The above end quote hits the nail on the head.
Kimbal Musk Has Seen A Lot. But Never Anything Like COVID-19
His brother had run into production issues again at Tesla and then at SpaceX, problems that trickled down to him as a board member and major stockholder in both companies.
The only things going well were his restaurants: Within five years, he opened eight establishments, all of which were based on the locally sourced philosophy. Big Green came online in 2011, followed by Square Roots five years later, which garnered national coverage for its use of shipping containers, hydroponics, and hyper-specific LED lighting to grow the equivalent of two acres of produce within a 200-square-foot container.
JvI: The Musk brothers intrigue me. Whether you agree with their approach or not, their scale of impact-thinking is something to respect. And eventually, we need people like them to create the shift in the established systems. This background story is an interesting look into the mindset of Kimbal Musk.
It’s the new world order, folks. Farmers can take the punches, or they can farm smarter. More data, more AI, and more chemical-spraying robots.
— WIRED 2016
If you made it this far and you're all warm and fuzzy... be the cool kid and tell your friends. Even The Fonz would be proud of you!
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