We will consume over 50m calories in our lives, secure food sources are crucial for a thriving nations.
Our attitude towards food has radically changed in recent years, as generations used to scarcity and food insecurity have been replaced by generations that have grown up with 24 hour fast food and supermarkets. Our expectations on these industries – standardisation, low cost, abundance – have led to a lack of transparency in our food chain, and increasing reliance on international suppliers, with just one portion of our five-a-day produced or picked in Britain by Brits. And for those farmers that continue on, the average age has increased every decade. In the UK, we now have 12 farmers aged over 65 for every one under the age of 35.
Creating more sustainable food supply chains, increasing profitability, market opportunities or efficiency in farming to attract people into the industry, are big opportunities for innovation that could deliver significant social impact.
SafetyNet technologies create unique LED systems to attract and repel specific species in industrial fishing. It is estimated that over 10% of each catch is discarded, which has a significant ecological and financial impact. This start-up aims to save 27m tons of fish EACH year, which could lead to around $1bn in annual savings.
At Whole Foods and Ocado, you can order produce from Growing Underground, a farm located under Clapham, London. Based in a WWII bomb shelter, the project demonstrates that good food can be grown without soil and in an industrial environment.
GrowUp Urban Farms
GrowUp is showing how a single storage container can create over 580kg of food per year, creating an ecosystem that creates a nutritious and protein filled diet.