Food and agriculture trends predicted in report

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Rabobank has named three fields as being ripe for innovation opportunities for food and agriculture businesses this year.

Sustainable supply chains, improved resource management and the next frontier of nutrition have been identified in a Rabobank report as this year's three predicted innovation trends for the food and agriculture sectors.

The report, part of the agri-bank's global FoodBytes! program, also highlighted two Australian companies – Swan Systems and ProAgni - as startups to watch in 2021.

COVID-19's impact on global food supply was a wake-up call, the report said, with upcycled products, improved animal health and traceable technology such as blockchain being key areas to ensure supply chains become more sustainable.

"While the food chain adapted fairly quickly, it did expose an opportunity for greater readiness and responsiveness ahead of the next crisis the food industry may face," the report said.

In terms of resource management, the four areas predicted by FoodBytes! to gain traction in 2021 were carbon sequestration, water and waste reduction and sustainable packaging.

Lavington startup ProAgni was a finalist in Rabobank's Pitch! awards and has been named as a 'startup to watch' in 2021.

Increased use of food biotechnology, a growing demand for foods that offer aging support, and further leveraging of plant-based foods to provide more than just protein, were aspects to watch in food and nutrition development.

More than 25 companies from around the world working in the report's three fields of predicted innovation were named in the report as 'startups to watch' in 2021.

Swan Systems, a Perth-based company that uses a cloud-based platform to help growers with water and resource management, had also previously been named in December as the global AgTech category winner at the FoodBytes! Pitch awards for startups.

Lavington-based ProAgni, which manufactures nutrition products for sheep and cattle that are free of antibiotics and ionophores, was a global finalist in the same category.

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