Global Leaders to Discuss the Future of Food in Asia at Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week in Singapore

  • More than 600 leaders and participants from global agribusinesses, indoor farms, food brands, ingredient developers, start-ups and investors will come together to exchange ideas on how technology can be applied to the challenges facing the agri-food value chain in Asia
  • Key partners include Temasek, Ferrero Innovation Center, Wilmar International, EDB Singapore and the Singapore Food Agency, amongst others

With a shared vision to accelerate technology and investment across Asia’s agri-food value chain, the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week is delighted to have global investment company Temasek as its headline partner for a full week of activities culminating in a summit in Singapore on November 20-22.

As awareness and activism grows around planetary health in the face of climate change, governments and consumers are adding urgency to the agri-food industry’s hunger for technologies that will optimise and future-proof production and distribution channels from seed to fork.

With a huge, growing population, Asia is particularly vulnerable to food security concerns if new technologies and business models are not embraced at all stages of the agri-food supply chain.

Jennie Moss, managing director of Rethink Events, the summit’s UK-based organiser, says: “Investment and innovation are urgently needed in new technologies tailored to the Asian agri-food value chain, to support the region’s food producers and distributors who otherwise face an impossible task ahead as populations grow and climate change continues. Singapore is poised to become a global agri-food tech innovation hub, and the partnerships and technologies catalysed here will benefit the rest of the world in tackling the global food security challenge”.

Traditional farming methods which have persevered for centuries are no longer sustainable against extreme weather events, which are pushing crop growth and harvest cycles to their limits. At the summit, global agriculture leaders including Olam, Syngenta, Mars, Bayer, BASF, and Yara will discuss the latest advances in remote sensing, AI, gene editing and biological crop protection, and the potential for these solutions to enable farmers to become more resilient, and to grow more with less.

Cities, too, are striving to become more resilient and food-secure, and to increase the availability of fresh produce for their growing populations. Future-focused administrations like Singapore are looking to new sustainable food production systems, such as indoor farming, aquaculture and cell-based proteins, with Singapore challenging itself to achieve 30% self-sufficiency by 2030. At the summit, international indoor farming operators including Bowery, Spread and Sustenir will share insight into how technological breakthroughs in automation, lighting and plant science are enabling this exciting industry to scale. New sources of protein will also be explored in depth, from sustainable fishmeal from AgriProtein, Innovafeed and Calysta, to cell-based proteins under development by Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms and Shiok Meats.

Asia is in the midst of a well-documented crisis of diabetes and obesity, which exist alongside widespread malnutrition and hidden hunger. The race is on to develop sugar replacements which create healthier food products which retain their delicious flavour and texture.  New functional ingredients can also improve the nutritional profile of staple foods in the Asian diet, and can even target specific challenges such as cognitive health in an aging population. Global food brands including Mondelez, Ferrero, The Kellogg Company and Tate & Lyle will join the summit to discuss how they are driving innovation throughout their product portfolios, and how they are looking to collaborate with start-ups to introduce new, healthy brands into the market.

With a wealth of global corporates, a strong R&D base and an active investor community, Singapore is well positioned to become Asia’s agri-food innovation hub and a gateway to Asia for the rest of the world.

The Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week will bring together over 600 senior agri-food business leaders, innovators and investors from around the world to share expertise, build new partnerships and discover new opportunities for collaboration in Singapore’s growing agri-food ecosystem.