March 5, 2019 at 11:40 am #28860
- Topic 973
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#News(AgriTech) [ via IoTForIndiaGroup ]
Kraft Heinz recently became the latest food giant to launch a venture fund dedicated to investing in emerging technology that could transform how food is grown and transported from farm to table. Named Evolv Ventures, the fund has yet to make an investment, but Kraft Heinz committed up to $100 million to it in October.
Sustainability is not on the list of priorities, although Kraft Heinz Corporate Affairs Officer Lynne Galia said that the investment opportunities evaluated by the fund “will include entrepreneurs who are tackling challenges in the sustainability arena.”
Other food venture funds, such as Tyson Ventures, Campbell Soups’ Acre Venture Partners and Danone Ventures, have a far more explicit sustainability focus, although even these funds fall short of spurring the systemic change that’s needed, noted Bruce Kahn, portfolio manager at Sustainable Insight Capital Management, an investment management firm.
“Is all this attention to innovation about product, marketing and packaging — or is it really about best management practices? What they need are agricultural productions systems that are more sustainably managed,” Kahn said. “Big food companies are trying to save themselves with a sustainable green bean but that’s not moving the needle.”
What Kahn is getting to is that food companies are aiming to stay profitable amid profound shifts in consumer preferences, the economic landscape and the planet itself through these venture capital arms. But the massive sustainability challenges that food companies face in their agricultural supply chains — poverty, food insecurity, water stress, resource depletion and climate change — must be addressed to ensure that a growing world population has enough to eat.
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