Eight Australian start-ups are among 45 global food system innovators shortlisted for the food and agri discovery program: FoodBytes! Pitch 2021.
Recognised for outstanding innovation in the fields of sustainable supply chains, improved resource management and the next frontier of nutrition, the Australian cohort represent 18 per cent of this year’s FoodBytes! Pitch top 45, and includes five female- founded and led entrepreneurial businesses.
The top 45 start-ups globally will now vie for selection in FoodBytes! Pitch 2021’s top 15, and the opportunity to participate in FoodBytes!’ live streamed public pitch competition on 8-10 November. The ultimate winner will be chosen in each of three sectors: FoodTech, AgTech and CPG.
The shortlisted Australian innovators are:
- Fable – plant-based meat alternative
- Ulu Hye – plant-based milks
- Your Food Collective – locally grown, ethically sourced groceries
- Great Wrap – plant-based, compostable stretch wraps
- AgriDigital – digitised platform streamlining the grain supply chain
- AgUnity – technologists integrating remote farming communities with global supply chains
- ThinkBio – biological products enabling growers to minimise synthetic fertilisers, and optimise yields
- TranspiratiONal-SBM – biodegradable polymer membrane maximising yields and minimising negative environmental impacts.
Australian start-up, Perth-based Swan Systems, took out last year’s global Agtech Award, in FoodBytes! Pitch 2020 for its precision irrigation and fertiliser platform. This platform helps growers schedule, monitor and optimise management of water, nutrients and crop health to improve economic and environmental outcomes.
From 45 shortlisted companies this year, 31 companies directly address areas of food and agriculture that have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19.
“Australian entrepreneurs have shown tremendous resilience and have continued to innovate during the global pandemic,” Rabobank head of Innovation Chamidu Karunathilake said.
“To have eight Australian companies featured in the global top 45 is a testament to the entrepreneurship in this country.”
FoodBytes! is committed to leading innovation in food and agriculture and to future-proofing our member businesses in competitive and challenging market conditions.
“We have strengthened our rigorous process for vetting and selecting entrepreneurs who participate in the FoodBytes! program, focusing this year on those with validated business models, a track record of commercial viability, collaborative mindsets and a robust and diverse team to drive meaningful change,” Karunathilake said.
Corporate members play a pivotal role in the FoodBytes! by Rabobank platform – assisting with scouting criteria, scoring applicants, providing mentorship and fostering connections.
With continued interest from participants to implement real-world solutions within their respective industries to drive change, FoodBytes! has seen a 120 per cent increase in corporate membership globally since 2020. Additionally, since 2017, participating corporate members have gone on to directly invest nearly $216 million in the program’s alumni.
Membership enrolment for 2022 is already underway. If you’re a corporate or an investor interested in learning how innovation can boost your bottom line, email FoodBytes@rabobank.com.