Companies across all sectors have begun reconsidering their processes to reduce the environmental impact of their operations as global warming becomes even more visible. Therefore, sustainable agriculture represents the best approach for producers to decrease their carbon footprint.
Over the last few years, the concept of sustainability has gained special relevance for the business environment, particularly as consumers nowadays prefer interacting with sustainable brands.
Under these circumstances, high-impact companies are taking a leading role in the market, innovating with excellent solutions for the Agtech and Foodtech sectors.
What are high-impact companies?
These companies aim to positively impact their social and environmental surroundings, which is why their profitability is deeply linked to the sustainability concept.
Although they seek to generate profits, these organizations focus on finding a market solution to a social or environmental problem.
It is worthwhile to outline a few main characteristics of high-impact companies to understand the term better:
- They have multidisciplinary teams.
- They solve problems effectively.
- Leverage technology to innovate.
- Seek global impact.
- They are profitable, scalable, and sustainable.
- They generate social impact.
These companies are revolutionizing the markets and the society
High-impact companies, like all businesses, have their own challenges, such as overcoming the false belief of not being profitable.
The development of solutions addressing cross-cutting societal issues often helps these companies to achieve effective market positioning through investor support, allowing them to expand their operations or improve their technologies.
The following are examples of successful, high-impact ventures in the Agtech and Foodtech sectors:
1. Plant-based food
It is a North American company that produces several plant-based meat products, such as hamburgers, pork, and chicken nuggets, providing consumers with sustainable alternatives for high-demand foods.
Through biotechnology, they replace animal products with plant-based ingredients, seeking to recreate the food’s original taste, texture, and appearance.
2. Sustainable agriculture
If we discuss sustainable agriculture, it is inevitable to highlight ventures that work to reduce water consumption. This is the case of Kilimo, a startup that created a platform for smart irrigation management in the agricultural industry.
Working with Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning developed an efficient solution to manage water in agricultural processes. Since 2018, the platform has saved 70 million liters of water, a figure that could increase with the company’s expansion plan.
The relevance of bees for life is well-known. However, their population has been reduced in recent years, affecting farmers because of the lack of pollinators.
Beeflow designed an intelligent pollination system to solve this problem. Employing scientific knowledge and technology, this Agtech increased crop yields and quality by enhancing the bees’ health.
The novel solution allows farmers to obtain higher returns on their investments (raising the yield of specific crops by 90%) and contributes to the planet since Beeflow can reduce the bees’ mortality rate to 70%.
3. Food waste
According to the World Economic Forum data, 931 million tons of food are wasted worldwide every year, revealing the severity of the problem and the huge industry’s carbon footprint.
However, today high-impact ventures aim to solve this problem, such as PolyNatural. This Chilean company developed Shel-Life®, a coating made from natural extracts, lipids, and vegetable polymers applied to fruits and vegetables to extend their lifespan.
It is an innovation with great value for the agricultural industry because, while traditional natural coatings contain petroleum derivatives, Shel-Life® is 100% natural, reduces fruit waste, and fulfills consumer preferences.
By January 2022, Shel-Life® had saved 880.750 m³ of water, and avoided the waste of 840 tons of fruit, demonstrating its potential to promote sustainability in agricultural processes.
A digital platform that works with IoT sensors to monitor the status of grain stored in silo bags, reducing food waste. It also relies on Blockchain to ensure traceability and data transparency.
Its implementation allows farmers to know the status of grain storage in real-time, evaluating parameters such as humidity, temperature, and CO₂; everything with high accuracy. Moreover, they can access the platform from any device with an internet connection.
High-impact ventures: success in numbers
Whilst the success of any business depends on multiple variables, high-impact companies stand out for their tremendous growth potential.
Impossible Foods, for example, has raised investments close to US$ 2000 billion since its founding. Furthermore, in its latest round of financing, the company managed to reach US$ 500 million, with the special presence of Mirae Asset Global Investments.
In addition, the company’s retail sales increased by 85% in 2021, and its products are estimated to be available at 20,000 stores and 40,000 restaurants worldwide.
Another success case is Kilimo, which obtained US$ 850 thousand in venture capital funding. Meanwhile, Beeflow closed a Series A investment round of US$ 8,3 million in 2021.
PolyNatural raised US$ 800,000 in funding, led by ChileGlobal Venture (venture capital), showing the enormous potential of Shel-Life®, a product that is changing the quality standards in the natural coatings market.
High-impact companies are generating constructive solutions to vast problems and needs, attracting the investors’ attention who seek ventures of great value to society.
PolyNatural belongs to this select group thanks to Shel-Life®, an emulsion that reduces fruit waste naturally, improving the product’s positioning in international markets, a decisive factor in promoting exports.