- The World Agri-Tech Innovation summit welcomed 1,000 participants, including agribusiness corporates, investors, policy-makers, and start-ups.
- UK Government pledges strong support for agri-tech innovation as a cornerstone for modern farming practices.
- Experts emphasize the need for practical solutions that address real-world farming problems.
- Concerns raised about the current methods of measuring carbon offsets in agriculture.
- Shift towards outcome reporting and impact measurement at the farm level discussed.
The 2023 World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, held in London, served as a melting pot for ideas, experiences, and partnerships in the agriculture technology sector. The event saw participation from over 1,000 agribusiness corporates, investors, policy-makers, and start-ups. The summit was abuzz with high-energy networking and compelling discussions on various topics, ranging from government policies to sustainable practices and technological innovations in agriculture.
UK Government’s Commitment to Agri-Tech
George Freeman, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, and Mark Spencer, Minister of State (Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries), both emphasized the UK Government’s commitment to agri-tech innovation. The government aims to shift the country from a service economy to a science, research, technology, and innovation economy. Agri-tech is seen as a cornerstone for modern farming practices, and the government is providing opportunities, funding, and a supportive ecosystem to drive innovation in the sector.
Addressing Practical Farming Issues
Diana Lenzi, Former President of the European Council of Young Farmers, stressed the need for innovations that address practical problems faced by farmers. She pointed out that many current solutions are not relevant to farmers and emphasized the need for a cohesive and effective approach that puts farmers at the center of the solution.
Carbon Offsets: A Challenge and Opportunity
Baroness Kathy Willis, Professor of Biodiversity and Co-Founder & Non-Executive Director at Oxford University, raised concerns about the current methods used to measure carbon offsets. She noted that the science behind some of these methods is not robust enough and called for more accurate ways to measure soil carbon offsets.
Shifting to Outcome Reporting
Dionys Forster, General Director at SAI Platform, and Stefania Avanzini, OP2B Director at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, discussed the shift from prescriptive standards to outcome reporting. They emphasized the need for impact measurement at the farm level and how it should be reported and disclosed at the corporate level.
Embracing Regenerative Agriculture
Martina Henry, Director of Agriculture Sustainability at Kraft Heinz, spoke about the importance of regenerative agriculture. She mentioned that it’s not just about meeting sustainability targets but also about ensuring the business’s ability to continue supplying food.
Image provided by World Agri-Tech