In our informal weekly podcast we cover all the interesting news that catches our eye in food, agtech, vertical farming, sustainability and New York hospitality. We interview guests who have a connection to the food system, who push for a better food world, and who we find to be interesting folks!
Want to hear our thoughts about the direction of the vertical farming industry? On this week’s Farm.One podcast, Rob and Michael sit in The Industry Corner and talk about global impact investing in food and ag tech, more entrants into the plant-based food sector, land ownership, and farming.
Astanor Ventures announced a new $325M Global Impact Fund that will focus on new venture investments in food and ag tech across Europe and North America. This adds to investments Astanor has been making since 2017 in more than 20 European and U.S. startups that are working to accelerate regenerative agriculture, innovate food production techniques and farming, as well as promote food culture and the enjoyment of food. We talk about what this means for innovation in the sector, why there’s so much interest from venture investors, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Driven by sustainability goals, IKEA announced that the company has set a target to make 50 percent of its restaurant meals plant-based by 2025 as part of a new set of sustainability commitments. The Swedish furniture company also plans to transition 80 percent of its packaged meals to be plant-based to give its 680M customers more sustainable options.
Meanwhile, British retailer M&S (Marks & Spencer) will be opening an Innovation Hub to house its new “specialist team” focused on developing food solutions, including plant-based proteins and plastic-free packaging materials.
Rob and Michael dig into initiatives from large retailers that are driven by sustainability goals and the potential impact on consumers and why M&S’s innovation hub that sits outside of their existing business is a good idea for large companies.
Finally, Rob and Michael close the podcast with the Guardian’s article, “1% of farms operate 70% of world's farmland,” which is based on a study by the International Land Coalition about land ownership and farming. We talk about the rise of monoculture agriculture, inequality, environmental degradation and opportunities to address this through innovation.
To read more about some of the topics discussed on this week’s podcast, check out the links below: