Rabobank Launches Food Loss Challenge Asia for start-ups

Rabobank, a leading global bank in food & agri and sustainability, is proud to announce the launch of the Food Loss Challenge Asia. Debuting in Asia, the open innovation Challenge will see disruptive start-ups present their ag-tech solutions to reduce food loss to a platform of leading Food & Agri industry leaders, investors and other start-ups.

The Challenge aims to address the global problem of food loss. Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food is lost worldwide whilst world population is expected to increase by 2 billion people to over 9 billion people. To meet the increased demand for food, global food production will have to increase by at least 60%, while at the same time arable land and natural resources are nearing their limits. To address this fundamental concern, Rabobank is committed to contribute to one of the most pressing issues identified by the UN Sustainable Development Goals to halve food loss by 2030. Against this backdrop, Rabobank Asia is launching the Food Loss Challenge Asia, an initiative to facilitate constructive dialogue between solutions providers, F&A corporates and small holder farmers.

“As the leading global bank in food & agri and sustainability , Rabobank recognizes its responsibility to help address the world’s food challenges of increased demand for food, changing consumer preferences and the need for sustainable food production ,” says Rabobank Asia CEO Diane Boogaard. “This is why we kick-start the Food Loss Challenge Asia with our partners. One of our priorities is to leverage on our food & agri knowledge and expertise, and advise our clients to adopt a more sustainable food production. This will enable a more efficient use of raw materials and will improve the stability of food supply and efficiency of the food value chain.”

“Most food loss happens on the journey between the farm and the supermarket shelf,” explains Mark van Binsbergen, CEO Rabobank Singapore and Innovation Lead for Rabobank in Asia. “Hence we are looking for innovative ag-tech solutions mainly focusing on the pre-consumption phase. Solutions could be in the area of improving agricultural production and farm management, quality control, market access, logistics, packaging & preservation and processing,” says Mark.

Rabobank Foundation Head of Innovations Albert Boogaard adds, “Especially at the farmer’s level, we see huge opportunity for improvement. While productivity is increasing, the supporting post-harvest infrastructure has not kept the pace and a substantial part of produce is lost even before the harvest takes place. Since the vast majority of farmers in Asia are smallholders we are excited to be involved in this challenge as the impact for our target group can be huge,” says Albert.

“For Rabobank it is important to help spur innovative and technology solutions that will help address the world’s food challenges. The Challenge provides an exciting platform for start-ups to access mentorship and connections to grow their businesses. We look forward to the applications!,” concludes Diane Boogaard.

Applications for Rabobank Food Loss Challenge Asia are now open. Start-ups that are both product-ready and business-ready are encouraged to apply before Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 23:59 hours Singapore time. The Top-20 shortlisted will be invited to attend the Pitch Day in Singapore on 26 October 2018. The Top-5 Finalists will be invited to the Finale in Singapore at Rabobank Asia’s Food & Agribusiness Advisory Board meeting, which is Rabobank Asia’s premier event bringing together C-suite level decisions makers of leading food and agribusiness companies.

The Challenge is supported by Rabobank Foundation and Partners of Rabobank who all want to contribute to Rabobank’s mission of Growing a Better World Together. They will act as judges of the Challenge and will share insight or tips to help selected start-ups scale their impact:

  • Archer Daniels Midland Company, one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with approximately 31,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries;
  • Charoen Pokphand Group, a globally integrated agro-industrial and food business that strives to be the “Kitchen of the World” and deliver high-quality products for 4 billion consumers;
  • UPL Ltd, a leading company with integrated technology based solutions for crop protection, seeds & post-harvest solutions, is engaged with large & small holding farmers to increase both, productivity and farm income. Headquartered in India, UPL Ltd. has a sales turnover of $2.5 billion and is present in 130 countries;
  • Olam International, a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 66 countries, supplying various products across 18 platforms to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Singapore, from a direct sourcing and processing presence in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses.
  • Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore with a global presence across 11 offices including London, New York and San Francisco.

Find out more about the Food Loss Challenge Asia at www.foodlosschallenge.asia

For information about submissions to the Food Loss Challenge, contact info@padang.co
For information about partnership / collaboration, contact alais.faucon@rabobank.com

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