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International summit on innovation in food & agriculture to be held in Australia

An international summit focused on future innovation in the food and agricultural industries is to be held in Australia in November.

The Farm2Fork Summit will bring together agribusiness industry leaders, local and international farmers, food and agri start-ups, technology innovators, investors and other sector stakeholders in a one-day event, to be staged at Sydney’s Cockatoo Island on November 3.

Following on from the landmark inaugural F20 (Food) Summit – convened by global agribusiness bank Rabobank to examine the challenges of global food security in the lead-up to the G20 in Australia in 2014 – the Farm2Fork Summit will focus on innovation and the food and agri trends of the future.

Rabobank Group executive board member Berry Marttin said the Farm2Fork (F2F) Summit was part of the cooperative Rabobank’s commitment to taking a leadership role in helping facilitate a sustainable future for global food and agribusiness production and supply. 

“It is extremely important that the world – and in particular those of us involved in food and agriculture – continue to work towards meeting the critical challenge of achieving sustainable food production to feed an ever-increasing global population,” he said.

“Innovation is one of the most powerful enablers that will help achieve this goal, and this will be the focus of the Farm2Fork Summit.  The summit will immerse participants in tomorrow’s food and agri environment, sharing ground-breaking visions and innovations and examining disruptive technologies that will re-shape supply chains, solve waste problems, improve business profitability and make industries more future proof.”

An invitation-only event, comprising up to 1000 participants, the Farm2Fork Summit program will feature leading global speakers from the areas of food, technology and innovation, trend watching and government; as well as exhibits from food start-ups and ag innovation.

“The concept of the summit is as a marketplace for industry experts and agri business people to learn, network and make a difference,” Mr Marttin said.

The Farm2Fork Summit will also feature FoodBytes!, a program designed to showcase innovative and ground-breaking concepts in food and agriculture to potential investors.

Originally launched in the United States in 2015, this will be the first FoodBytes! held in Australia and will be open to applicants from across the globe. 

FoodBytes! is calling for companies or individuals with innovative concepts in the food and agricultural industries which could be brought to market, or further developed, to apply to be showcased to potential investors and industry stakeholders at the F2F Summit.

Rabobank Australia CEO Peter Knoblanche said the summit would also coincide with the start of the fourth Global Farmers Master Class, which would begin in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region on October 31 before moving on to Canterbury, New Zealand for completion of the program.

The Global Farmers Master Class will see approximately 50 leading farmers from around the world – including North America, The Netherlands, Ireland, South America and Africa – gather together for a nine-day-long program to share information and ideas on the future of farming.

Approximately seven leading Australian farmers will be among the Master Class participants.

Mr Knoblanche said the Master Class program would include a mix of farm visits, educational opportunities, best-practice demonstrations and unique Australian and New Zealand experiences, with a “focus on innovation and inspiration to share the best farming practices in the world”.

“Themes that will be on the agenda of the Master Class will include global supply chain trends, succession planning, consumer confidence in the food system, water security and efficiency, the evolving model of family farms and asset-light farming,” he said.

Mr Knoblanche said the Farm2Fork Summit would also coincide with the visit to Australia by a Dutch trade mission to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog’s landing on Australia’s west coast.

“This visit will see more than 100 Dutch companies travel to Australia and New Zealand to identify and develop business opportunities in this part of the world, with a large component of these from the innovative Dutch food and agribusiness industries,” he said.

“We also look forward to welcoming visitors from the Dutch trade mission at the F2F Summit to engage in inspirational dialogue with Australian and New Zealand farmers and agribusiness operators.”

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 115 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525 

Skye Ward
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
Phone: 02 4855 1111 or 0418 216 103