Building a safe food supply chain from farm to table–that consumers also trust–is a challenge that startups are taking on.
Experts told Crunchbase News that a sustainable food supply chain begins with the farmers, who are utilizing technologies, innovated by startups, to ensure their crops have a good start.
That can include planting the right seeds, using the right field, improving growing conditions, and harvesting and post-harvest practices. Then there is the trip to the grocery store or to the manufacturing plant where the crops become something else.
Among the factors affecting the food supply chain is manufacturers’ dependence on it, said Adam Wolf, co-founder of Arable. The San Francisco-based agricultural business intelligence tool performs in-field measurements and, as part of its offerings, tells farmers when crops are in need of water or nutrients.
He points to the example of Swedish oat milk-maker Oatly running out of supply in 2018.
“At one point, you couldn’t buy oats because they ran out,” Wolf said. “Manufacturers in niche areas like this are super small, but profitable. Where it goes wrong is when you want to double in size, but you have suddenly outstripped the supply chain. That, in turn, pushes things to farmers.”