Technology drives innovation in food supply

When we talk about adding value to the supply chain we don’t just mean the state-of-the-art procurement systems and processes we use.

As one of the largest food procurement businesses in the world, Foodbuy is always looking toward the future. Seeking out sustainable innovations that we and our suppliers can use to meet the challenges of food provision both now, and for future generations in the years ahead.

In the here and now we are seeking out food tech solutions and initiatives that continue to drive efficiencies in professional kitchens.

For instance, we work with Winnow, a company set up exclusively to tackle the problem of global food waste. Kitchens using Winnow technology know exactly what they’re putting in their bins and all of the info is recorded and can be analysed over time. Also in 2017, our parent company, Compass Group launched Stop Food Waste Day. This is an annual event which aims to raise awareness of food wastage and encourages steps to reduce it. The next Stop Food Waste Day is on Wednesday, 24 April.

We also support the concepts of farm walls and rooftop farms, which showcase how food can be produced in cities whilst also offering exceptional provenance for local restaurants and consumers alike.

However, looking into the future, we as a group are seeking to face the big challenges that confront us all as we move through the 21st century. As Dominic Blakemore, Chief Executive of Compass Group PLC, pointed out in his article in the Daily Telegraph this week; ‘By 2050, the global population will have ballooned to more than 9bn people. Demand for protein globally will have increased 80pc from today’s levels.’ This, of course, has a direct impact on both how we source food and how it is consumed. Our challenge is to meet demand for this burgeoning population in a way that is responsible, safe and sustainable.

Technology can help do this whilst also making urban farming more efficient. Iron Ox is a Californian start-up that recently opened its first fully autonomous farm, which combines hydroponics with robotics to grow 30 times as much produce per acre as a traditional farm, using 90% less water. As a farming approach, it also offers additional levels of food security because it doesn’t have a reliance on the climate.

We see more food tech start-ups than ever before, not only driving innovation but in many cases looking to disrupt supply chains. At Foodbuy we are tracking these closely and learning how they might help us, and our partners to meet future challenges and operate more sustainably.

Memphis Meat is a start-up developing beef, chicken and duck grown directly from animal cells, and Edenworks uses waste to grow vegetables that are 40pc more nutrient dense than standard produce. 3D printing will also infiltrate food; if it can be puréed, it can be printed.

This might seem like science fiction but it’s live and happening now, and Foodbuy’s position as a part of Compass Group, put us at the cutting edge of global sourcing.

When food service businesses partner with Foodbuy it’s for a number of good reasons; we’ll save you money, provide the right quality products and ensure the integrity of your supply chain, but clients also partner with us for the long term because we are a business that is a thought leader and opinion former in the world of global food procurement.

You can read Dominic Blakemore’s full article here.

To gain a broader understanding of how Foodbuy leverages the latest technology to drive value and innovation through the supply chain call Richard Acey on 01895 554 319

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