Smart Agrifood Málaga organised last 27th of January a webinar on the Agrifood Trends 2021. Several international speakers approached the fundamental transformation that the food industry is undergoing in a context in which the amount of money invested in agri-food technology has more than sixfold since 2012: from $ 3 billion to almost $ 18 billion.
According to Begoña Pérez Villarreal, from EIT, the sector has advanced two years in digitalization. Producers feel the need for innovation and it will be even more relevant in the immediate future. On the other hand, due to the pressures on the supply chain, traceability has become an absolutely essential issue, together with sustainability which is on top of the agenda of large agri-food corporations.
Complementarily, in a moment in which remote working has become the new normal, talent is more available and this is also an advantage that the sector has to take into account
The two aspects that the pandemics will accelerate, in terms of innovation, will be health and nutrition according to the experts participating in this session. Ethics and social aspects will also be reinforced in large companies.
In relation with the investors, they are showing an increasing interest in the agri-food industry and its start-ups. John Harnett, CEO of SVG VENTURES (Silicon Valley) presented the current five top technologies by investments: biotechnology, next generation food, data analytics & IOT, robotics and automation and controlled environment in agriculture. M. Harnett pointed out that a greater focus on the supply chain is expected in 2021. And because “home” is the place where we currently eat, work and live, new market places are expected to be developed in relation with home deliveries.