A Week In Review in AgriFoodTech 3-9 July, 2021

Stay up to date with what's happening in agtech, food tech and sustainability.

This week's latests on trends, news, programs and partnerships in the industry.




News & Trends:



The world’s food supply is increasingly being put under strain from climate change, with a quarter of harvests at risk by the end of this century. In the new study, scientists say that global crop yields are likely to be reduced by 10% by 2050, highlighting the urgent task at hand for agriculture to adapt to climate change.

A new breed of hydroponic farm, huge and high-tech, is popping up in indoor spaces all over America, drawing celebrity investors and critics. One of the most important and rising startups concerning this new trend is AppHarvest, the nation’s largest hydroponic greenhouse, opened in January in Morehead, Ky. — one in a new breed of huge indoor produce farms that use technology to fine-tune flavor, texture and other attributes.


Supported by Microsoft, Agrimetrics, an agro-food digital marketplace, has launched Fields of the World, an open-access dataset containing digital twins of fields around the world.

Despite being relatively new in China, community-led seedbanks are a valuable resource in conserving agricultural biodiversity. For the first time, researchers have provided a comprehensive summary of the services performed by 27 seedbanks across the country.

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A Spanish start-up Novameat creating 3D-printed plant-based steaks is eyeing an expansion onto the mass market. It follows a successful launch last year, and the company has plans to produce 500kg of the vegan meat products per hour.

Israeli food-tech company MeaTech 3D Ltd. (Nasdaq: MITC and TASE: MITC) announced Tuesday that it has expanded R&D activities focusing on cell lines and technologies for potential future mass production of cultivated pork.

Biotech company Microphyt plans to construct what it claims will be the world’s first fully-integrated microalgae biorefinery at its headquarters in France. The facility will enable the production of microalgae-based ingredients for the nutrition, food and beverage, personal care and wellness industries on an industrial scale.


Beyond Meat is reintroducing a breaded chicken tender product today at hundreds of food service outlets nationwide. The new formulation is the result of more than a decade of R&D work, and uses fava bean protein as its main plant-based ingredient.

Dutch start-up Time-Travelling Milkman (TTM) is scaling up its plant-based fat ingredient for creamier, healthier dairy alternatives following new funding from Oost NL and SHIFT Invest. The TTM’s unsaturated fat ingredients are made through technology that extracts fat droplets from seeds, such as sunflower seeds, for sustainable production of fat that is texturally similar to milk.

Starting today, the United Kingdom’s number one CBD social tonic is now available with THC in California as Green Monké, a happy new low-dose, cannabis-infused line of sodas that celebrate people who love to laugh and make every moment memorable.

Plant-Based Strong Roots closes distribution deal with Kroger and adds its products to 1000 supermarkets in the next few weeks. They entered the US market last year during the pandemic and are currently sold in 9000 stores operated by retailers including Whole Foods and Walmart.


Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are said to have identified ingredients for snack foods that have been formulated to change the gut microbiome in ways that could improve long-term health.


Beyond Chicken is officially back. Beyond Meat is reintroducing a breaded chicken tender product at hundreds of foodservice outlets nationwide. The new formulation is the result of more than a decade of R&D work, and uses fava bean protein as its main plant-based ingredient.


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A food-tech company in Mumbai, S4S Technologies , is converting farm food waste into preserved produce using dehydration technology. Dehydrating goods such as vegetables and meat keeps nutrients at peak level and boosts food security for local communities. Solar-powered food preservation could prove vital in tackling global food waste, with 931 million tonnes going to landfill each year. S4S Technologies is a member of The Circulars Accelerator Cohort 2021 on UpLink.

Alongside Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé and PepsiCo, Unilever has launched The Flexible Plastic Fund, a new £1mn fund to boost the recycling of flexible plastics in the UK. Led by Ecosurety and supported by Hubbub, the new fund is an industry first for the UK.

Starbucks has promised to reduce waste in its Japan operations through reuse and recycling activities as part of its Planet-Positive Agenda. It will start a coffee grounds recycling initiative that will provide customers with new menu alternatives while also helping local growers. It’s also promoting a reusable cup initiative to help reduce trash.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution has ushered in a new era of industrial growth across the world. In particular, the increased focus on digitisation – driven by disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, cloud computing and the Internet of Things – is shaking up production processes, supply chain operations and interactions between human and machines. Unido has consolidated its resources, expertise, partnership and convening capacity in pursuit of an inclusive and sustainable Fourth Industrial Revolution.

McDonald is replacing human drive-through with AI. The pilot project is in 10 stores and is 85% accurate


After overtaking Alibaba, ag marketplace Pinduoduo is focusing on foodtech to hit profitability.

Yandex Self-Driving Group, a unit of Yandex, the publicly-traded Russian tech giant, has announced a partnership with food delivery service GrubHub to be its multi-year robotic delivery provider across American college campuses. Yandex hopes to reach over 250 campuses over the course of this partnership, beginning with dozens of robots in the fall, according to a statement from Yandex Self-Driving CEO Dmitry Polishchuk.

Pazzi announced earlier this week that it has opened its first official robotic pizza restaurant in Beaubourg in Paris, France. This is the second robot pizza restaurant for the company, following a pilot facility it opened in a Parisian suburb in 2019.



Innovation Labs, Accelerator Programs & Awards:


The Western Fair District in London will host a new business incubator for startups working in synthetic biology, Forest City SynBio. Synthetic biology is described as "biotech on steroids," by co-founder and CEO Samir Hamadache, right, with co-founder and chief operating officer Shea Tough.

Researchers from UC Santa Cruz’s ecological aquaculture lab won a three-year, $1 million grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This funding will support collaborative research to develop, test, and evaluate new low-polluting fish feed formulas for farm-raised rainbow trout.

Rabobank is seeking nominations for its annual North America Leadership Awards, which recognize North American Food & Agribusiness (F&A) companies that excel in industry stewardship, sustainability and innovation. The awards are unlike any other in the F&A industry, showcasing those companies – from large corporates to fast-growing young businesses – that are making a pivotal impact on the market and revolutionizing their sectors. The awards also recognize companies' continued response to the pandemic and contain a set of social responsibility criteria focused on employee and community efforts, as well as the promotion of social equality.

A new accelerator for start-ups in the bakery sector launches in Spain. The 6 month program - initiated by Europastry’s Cereal, focuses on sustainability, quality, and innovation to ‘build the future of bakery’


Five early-stage indoor agriculture companies will participate in the ninth cohort of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), which works with cleantech companies and entrepreneurs across food and housing sectors. Chosen participants for this cohort will focus on tools and processes that can make indoor farming more environmentally and financially sustainable. The companies are: Atlas Sensor Technologies GrowFlux , Motorleaf, New West Genetics and SunPath