Technology is enabling any producer to become a ‘local’ food supplier to the world. Consumers in the future will demand highly-personalised diets to address their health concerns. Animal proteins are grown without the environmental and ethical concerns of growing the whole animal through cultured farmer.
This edition of KPMG's Agribusiness Agenda identifies and explores a number of emerging, disruptive trends that are re-shaping the global agri-food industry.
Farms are changing faster today than at any point in history, driven by the need to produce significantly more food to supply a growing and increasingly hungry global population. The challenge is not just producing more, but doing it in a sustainable and ethical way.
The potential for disruptive change is best illustrated by the increase in investment in agribusiness technologies over the last 10 years. In 2005, it was estimated that agtech investments amounted to around US$100 million. This figure had grown to US$4.2 billion for the 2015 year.
With forces shaping the global agri-food systems – including the practical implications of climate change, natural resource constraints, growing health concerns, new technologies, and the evolution of fashion and lifestyle trends – producers will need new strategies that allow them to remain relevant and prosperous.
The emergence of highly informed consumers will continue to drive innovation in how food, fibre and timber products are processed, to ensure that products meet their expectations and fit within their lifestyles. We expect that how a product is processed will become as important to its overall story as the way it is grown and distributed.
When it comes to distribution, the primary tool that will drive disruption is the smart mobile device that billions of us now carry around. It offers the ability to create completely new distribution models for food products that can connect a consumer more directly to the producer and, as a consequence, shift where margin is captured along the value chain.
To cope with modern life we constantly seek out tools that enable us to manage the volumes of data we are expected to process on a daily basis (wearable technologies, artificial intelligence and computer learning tools, self-driving vehicles, personalised operating systems). Tools that can also help us ensure that we do not forget about the basic necessities of life; the food, sleep and human interactions we need to function optimally.
Global population growth is predominately occurring in some of the poorest, most water-stressed, food-constrained regions of the world. The system is not delivering today; and yet it is expected to deliver more each and every day. This raises issues that will need to be analysed and addressed by communities around the world, if we are to produce the food the world wants in a sustainable way in the long term.
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