The food industry is as old as our sedentary lifestyle. Its importance is vital at all times, but in times of complex, as those currently crossed, It is well evident that the sector is crucial for society. Despite what you might think at first, there are many innovations that food production professionals have not yet integrated into their mode of operation.
Business historically associated with this market have been based on traditional principles, but all that is changing now. We are immersed in a revolution in the food industry, and the transformation that this is based is undergoing major way technology and scientific innovation.
So much so that conventions are held, conferences and other meetings that deal with strategic course being taken by the industry. Among these conferences is the Forbes AgTech Summit, held in the city of Indianapolis (Indiana, OF. UU.). There the five most important points that are affecting the food industry right now is revealed.
The sustainability is in vogue, but in the coming years, They will harden as adverse weather conditions and consequences of anthropogenic climate descontrol, that concept, sometimes vague, It will become a requirement of the consumer. According to recent surveys of Deliveroo Y TheFork, the food boom affects around a quarter of the clientele in the hospitality industry. For this reason the primary sector hastens to explore new agricultural methodologies, as may be the regenerative crops.
The regenerative crops are based on soil conservation so that crops are sustainable in the long term. For this purpose, they rotate crops, preference is given to cereals, the existence of Ruderal vegetation beneficial allowed, and chemical fertilizers are discarded after those obtained locally on farms, as may be manure from organic farms. All this is done with one goal in mind, conserve soil to avoid depleting resources, but also, change the production style allows fight against climate change; We can not forget that the agricultural industry emits a 33% gas emissions of total greenhouse.
Of particular importance is crop rotation, a practice deeply rooted in areas where traditionally practiced subsistence smallholdings, but that seemed to have been forgotten by lovers of monoculture latifundia. Crop rotation favors the microbiota remains diverse edaphological, which helps plants to fix most efficient way existing nutrients in the soil, also they will be plentiful at all times because each plant has different nutritional requirements, and thus deplete minerals and organic compounds of the floor is less likely.
This brings us to another of the innovations that are being made in the world of agriculture. It is improved strains of bacteria that inhabit the rooted plant. A lot of these beneficial bacteria have a symbiotic relationship with plants, facilitating the growth and good health of these. This, at the same time, has a clear effect on the performance of agri-food businesses: harvests are more abundant with a microbiota in good condition.
Among the lines of work that are being investigated on this front are genetic modification through bioengineering to achieve bacteria that can secrete more nutrients, antifungals or protective coatings against natural predators. There are large-scale companies investing in this sector, a noteworthy case is that of the giant Bayer. Apart from these, a whole plethora of little start-ups struggle to gain a foothold in this interesting niche.
Another segment that has been growing rapidly in recent years is that of products of plant origin that replace animal derivatives; Or what is the same, the vegan substitutes. This market is forecast to continue to grow in the short and medium term, not only because of the greater interest than the protection of animal rights and their welfare arouses among the population, but also because vegan options have a lower environmental impact on our already withered planet.
The vegan movement will continue to rise over the next few years and along with it the entire industry that supplies it. Some startups are leading the market. In 2019 Impossible Foods showed signs of its robustness having to face a demand that exceeded its production, and other related companies such as Beyond Meat follow his trail closely.
Vegan options have not only reached select vegan restaurants, now grocery stores, often in their diet section, They have numerous products suitable to follow the vegan philosophy, and many of them are produced by companies like Kraft Foods, Smithfield, JBS, Nestlé ... In fact, It is estimated that half of the food giants have made million-dollar investments in this direction in the past 2020.
But that veganism is on the rise does not mean that livestock, poultry farms, rabbit farming and other activities based on raising animals for meat will disappear completely, it seems that he flexitarianism is more likely to be instilled in the most reluctant population to abandon old habits. Because, other advances in the food industry have to do with, justly, with animal welfare.
Making animals sick is the nightmare of any self-respecting farmer, that's why the promise of better monitoring and performance thanks to technology generates a lot of interest in this guild. New sensors that warn of harmful behaviors among animals or automatic diagnostic tests allow minimizing deaths on farms, making facilities more humane, but also more efficient from a purely economic point of view.
Finally, and how we progressed in the introduction, the agri-food sector has always been characterized by traditional work. That needs to change, and therefore one of the innovations with the greatest disruptive power in this sector is the staff training dedicated to these activities.
This training focuses on learning to drive new technologies, understand the processes that take place on farms in a deeper way and help the youngest to integrate into a sector whose demographics are unbalanced towards later ages. Over the next few years we will see how these five innovation vehicles completely change the landscape of our livestock farms and crops.