Food sector innovation is 'too cautious', says Rabobank
The report ‘Unleashing the Potential of Global F&A’ said the sector was struggling due to ‘slow growth, soft demand and ample supply’.
However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations predicts a 60% increase in food demand by 2050. Rabobank said the industry should prepare for that growth by investing in innovation.
“Doing things like we used to do is no longer a great option. I do think there is a need to do things differently,” said Justin Sherrard, global strategist in Rabobank's food and agribusiness research.
"I know we don’t work with technology, but who is the ‘Apple’ in F&A? This isn’t a very innovative sector. The biggest potential barrier is that we don’t embrace a need for change. People are too cautious,” Sherrard told Food Navigator.
The suggested innovations should be focused in two areas: research and development and business models, according to the report.
“It’s not all about new technologies and new discoveries. In many cases it’s about growing on technologies that are already available. About how companies work together to pursue opportunities that do exist,” he added.
Rabobank listed ten ideas which could boost food availability and improve access to food over the next decade:
“It’s a summary of what we think is possible if people start embracing change. These are the things that could happen not necessarily things that are going to happen,” said Sherrard.
"All of these ideas can bring change but if I was to choose one thing that could bring the most significant change I would say changing the way buyers and suppliers work together. We are all in this together; there shouldn’t be an ‘us versus them’ approach,” he added.
You can see the full report here.