If you’re like us, you might have heard the term “Food Tech” (short for Food Technology) being thrown around a lot today. If you’re confused about what Food Tech actually is all about, keep reading below.
Food Tech - What Is It?
Food Technology is the future of food: companies, universities, and other research institutions are all exploring how we can continue to innovate in how we grow, transport, consume, and market food. The food industry, known for being slow to change, is beginning to use technology in all walks of life: from Big Data, to lab-grown meat and even farming on rooftops - technology in the food industry is here to stay.
But what is it actually? Forward Fooding, the global Food Tech institution, defines it as:
‘the emerging sector exploring how technology can be leveraged to create efficiency and sustainability in designing, producing, choosing, delivering and enjoying food.’
This definition is wide - Forward Fooding has split it into a further 8 macro-categories, which encompass more than 150 technologies!
Why the hype around Food Technology?
Food Tech is interesting because it pushes the boundaries of how we produce, consume, market, and transport food. As the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, our food systems will need to feed more mouths on an increasingly hotter, dryer, and more hostile planet. That’s why we need to think innovatively about how we use our planet's resources and water. Additionally, in Australia, only 24% of farmers are below 35 years of age. To keep up with our growing planet, we need to capitalize on technology to help sustain ourselves.
But Food Technology isn’t just about growing and harvesting food. Food delivery apps, like UberEats and Deliveroo, are some of the most exciting examples of Food Tech, and how our lifestyles have changed around food in the last decade. And these start-ups are catching on! According to Forward Fooding, more than 3,500 Agri-FoodTech start-ups have been mapped around the world with $17 billion invested in 2018 alone.
Which Australian Food Tech companies should we be keeping an eye on?
The Food Tech scene in Australia is ever-expanding!
Mr. Yum is an online menu software that restaurants use instead of physical menus. Scan a QR code on your table, place and pay for your order all by using your phone. Your food will be delivered to your table without you having to speak with anyone!
FarmWall grows micro-greens in alternative spaces - think vertical farms, rooftops, and urban gardens. They take advantage of the small spaces in cities like Melbourne. They also create educational programs for families and children, teaching them about farming and while still keeping it simple, natural, and fun.
Yume is the first food tech marketplace for the sale of surplus food in Australia. Only one of two similar companies worldwide, Yume has already diverted more than 2,300,000 kilos of food from going to waste. The surplus food is listed by HACCP certified food suppliers like Mondelez, Kelloggs, and Western Plains Pork and purchased by large food companies like Accor Hotels and Sodexo. Try Yume today for free.