Eight Australian food and agri startups shortlisted
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Rabobank
 

Eight Australian food and agri startups shortlisted for international FoodBytes! pitch program

FoodBytes! Pitch attracts hundreds of applicants from around the world, each driving innovation and change within global food systems.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Eight change-making Australian startups are among 45 global food system innovators shortlisted for prestigious food and agri discovery program: FoodBytes! Pitch 2021.

Recognised for outstanding innovation in the fields of sustainable supply chains, improved resource management and the next frontier of nutrition, the Australian cohort represent 18% of this year's FoodBytes! Pitch top 45, and includes five female founded and/or led entrepreneurial businesses.

The top 45 startups globally will now vie for selection in FoodBytes! Pitch 2021's top 15, and the opportunity to participate in FoodBytes!' livestreamed public pitch competition, 8-10 November, which will decide the ultimate winner in each of three sectors: FoodTech, AgTech and CPG.

The shortlisted Australian innovators are:

  • Fable: (Australia) Plant-based meat alternative.
  • Ulu Hye: (Australia) Plant-based milks.
  • Your Food Collective: (Australia) Locally grown, ethically sourced groceries.
  • Great Wrap: (Australia) Plant-based, compostable stretch wraps.
  • AgriDigital: (Australia) Digitised platform streamlining the grain supply chain.
  • AgUnity: (Australia) Technologists integrating remote farming communities with global supply chains.
  • ThinkBio: (Australia) Biological products enabling growers to minimise synthetic fertilisers, and optimise yields.
  • TranspiratiONal-SBM: (Australia) Biodegradable polymer membrane maximising yields and minimising negative environmental impacts.

Australian startup, Perth-based Swan Systems, took out last year's global Agtech Award, in FoodBytes! Pitch 2020, for its precision irrigation and fertiliser platform, that helps growers schedule, monitor and optimise management of water, nutrients and crop health to improve economic and environmental outcomes.

Chamidu Karunathilake, Head of Innovation, Rabobank, says it's significant that 31 of this year's 45 shortlisted companies directly address areas of food and agriculture that have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19.

"Australian entrepreneurs have shown tremendous resilience and have continued to innovate during the global pandemic," said Karunathilake. "To have eight Australian companies featured in the global top 45 is a testament to the entrepreneurship in this country."

Mr Karunathilake said FoodBytes! is committed to leading innovation in food and agriculture, and to "future-proofing our member businesses in competitive and challenging market conditions.

"We have strengthened our rigorous process for vetting and selecting entrepreneurs who participate in the FoodBytes! program, focusing this year on those with validated business models, a track record of commercial viability, collaborative mindsets, and a robust and diverse team to drive meaningful change," he said.

Corporate members play a pivotal role in the FoodBytes! by Rabobank platform - assisting with scouting criteria, scoring applicants, providing mentorship, and fostering connections. With continued interest from participants to implement real-world solutions within their respective industries to drive change, FoodBytes! has seen a 120% increase in corporate membership globally since 2020. Additionally, since 2017, participating corporate members have gone on to directly invest nearly $216 million in the program's alumni.

Membership enrolment for 2022 is already underway. If you're a corporate or an investor interested in learning how innovation can boost your bottom line, please email FoodBytes@rabobank.com today to start a conversation.

About Rabobank F&A Innovation

Rabobank is a leading global food and agriculture bank providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Rabobank's F&A Innovation team supports the bank's global mission of Growing a Better World Together - helping to turn today's promising ideas into impactful solutions for a sustainable food supply. Through the FoodBytes! food and agriculture innovation platform, Rabobank has built one of the most valuable networks for corporates, investors and  startups pioneering sustainable ways to feed the planet.

FoodBytes! drives collaboration between startups, large food and ag companies and investors through two complementary programs: FoodBytes! Pitch and FoodBytes! Pilot. Our approach to industry change: discovering and supporting startup innovation; and helping large food and ag companies embed and drive innovation across their organizations. To learn more, visit foodbytesworld.com or follow FoodBytes! on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.



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