Food Production

Leveraging Digital Tech

Companies

Blockchain-Based App Helps Atlanta Businesses Reduce Food Waste

A technology that allows distribution – but not copying – of digital information, blockchain was originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin. Now a food waste management company in the Atlanta, Ga., area is using a blockchain-based app to connect businesses with local charities to ease deliveries of leftover food. The idea behind the Goodr app is to reduce food waste by providing data about what types of surplus food app users are producing. The Goodr app keeps a data ledger for clients showing how much food is wasted, and where they might be losing money. Data indicate what food gets wasted the most, what the community connections are, and how the environment is affected. Goodr hopes to expand to Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco by the end of 2019.

South Indian State Kerala To Improve Food Supply And Distribution Through Blockchain

South Indian state Kerala is working on a blockchain-based system for food supply and distribution. Led by the Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), it will use blockchain and the network technology to track the harvest and circulation of fish, vegetable, and dairy products. To ensure that each product will be monitored from its source and through its distribution, every section of the supply chain will have an ID number. In addition to improving the supply chain, the state hopes to be able to leverage the technology to make its crop insurance scheme more robust and more efficient, with greater clarity about reasons for crop loss and less need for third-party intermediaries.

FoodLogiQ Plans Blockchain Pilot To Increase Transparency In Food Supply Chains

Working with a series of partners, FoodLogiQ plans to explore ways blockchain can be used to boost supply chain transparency and food traceability. FoodLogiQ CTO, Charles Irizarry, says that blockchain in the food supply chain is still in its “infantile stage” and argues that companies need to better understand the business issues they face before implementing solutions. FoodLogiQ, which recently raised $19.5 million in funding, plans to test its software-as-a-service solution with a range of partners, including AgBiome Innovations, Subway/Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Testo, and Tyson Foods. Its pilot is expected to start in Q3 2018 and the company is seeking additional partners to work with.

Innovations

Alibaba Cloud Creates System For Raising Better Hogs

Alibaba Cloud has developed ET Agricultural Brain, an artificial intelligence-enabled platform for helping agricultural enterprises, including hog farmers, in China. Proprietary in design, the system is aimed at helping farmers to improve their livestock raising and crop production through innovations. With a special focus on hog farming, ET Agricultural Brain uses algorithm-based models to develop an “exercise regimen” for pigs to improve their health, as well as their piglet yields. China is the world’s largest producer of pork, according to data from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. It also accounts for half of the world’s pork consumption, data from Singapore-based DBS showed.

Research & Insights

High-Tech Indoor Farms Promise Improved, Better-Tasting Produce

Business startups, including Bowery farming, AeroFarms, and Lettuce Networks, are using data and artificial intelligence to operate indoor food farms more efficiently than conventional farms. Also, these companies keep their farms small-scale and locate them near population centers. Described by some experts as distributed farming, these indoor food farms are designed to provide food for more people, while keeping their environmental impact less than those of traditional, large-scale farms. Compared with conventional farms, these “unscaled farms” offer better produce, with food grown and harvested near urban centers. Investors believe indoor farms are the future of farming, with about $2 billion invested in hundreds of farming technology startups since 2013.
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