Shaping a more sustainable and secure food future for all
Discover the innovations and technologies powering smart farming methods and food production at the inaugural Agri-Food Tech Expo Asia (AFTEA) 2022.
Imagine a perfectly marbled cut of Wagyu beef on your plate – fresh from the 3D printers of an agri-food tech company. Cultured meat, aquaculture produce and alternative proteins such as plant-based eggs could become part of our regular diet sooner than we think.
Amid climate change and threats to global food supplies, nations are striving to build more resilient food systems. Singapore, for example, is working towards strengthening its food security with the 30 by 30 goal – to be able to produce 30 per cent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030. To hit this target, food producers need to adopt new agri-tech innovations and technologies to ramp up production and develop more sustainable food systems.
Bringing local and regional industry players together to facilitate this move is the inaugural Agri-Food Tech Expo Asia (AFTEA) 2022, happening from Oct 26 to 28 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre Halls A and B. Held as part of the Singapore International Agri-Food Week, the trade exhibition will see over 150 exhibitors from more than 20 countries sharing their strategies and solutions in contributing to a vibrant agri-food hub in Asia.
BUILDING A NETWORK FOR CHANGE
Organised by events management consultancy Constellar, AFTEA aims to be Singapore’s first focused exhibition platform for emerging and established agri-food businesses in the region to launch, showcase and testbed their innovations and solutions.
As food security remains a key area of focus among global leaders, there is an increasing need for more sustainable agricultural development as well as the accelerated adoption of technology and innovation to improve the quality, efficiency and output of agri-food products.
Mr Jean-François Quentin, group CEO of Constellar, said: “By bringing together the entire ecosystem – local and global agri-food businesses, urban and smart food producers and dealers, manufacturers, growers, solutions providers, start-ups and investors – we hope attendees will be able to collaborate, exchange knowledge and grow their network in a meaningful way.”
Crucial to the successful planning and execution of AFTEA is the international partnership with the German Agricultural Society (DLG), a non-profit organisation founded in 1885 that supports developments in the agriculture, agri-business and the food industries. Working together with DLG enabled Constellar to successfully market AFTEA in Europe and invite foreign delegates to participate in the inaugural trade exhibition.
OPENING DOORS AND STRENGTHENING TIES
For Steakholder Foods, which recently printed the world’s first 100g steak, AFTEA is a key platform to showcase its proprietary 3D meat printer and scout for potential partners to come onboard as a “Steakholder”. The Israel-based novel food developer is on a mission to make meat sustainable and slaughter-free, using advanced cellular biology technologies to allow diners to continue enjoying their choice meats, while doing right by the environment.
Said Mr Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods: “We believe 3D bioprinting is the most effective way to recreate the complex tissue patterns and structure of whole meat cuts, such as steak.”
According to Mr Kaufman, his company’s 3D-printed offerings have a meatier taste compared with other novel proteins available today. Steakholder Foods is currently upscaling its initial hybrid products (a mix of cultivated animal fat and plant-based protein) and expects Singapore, South Korea and Australia to be the first markets to approve fully cultivated meat like its 3D-printed steaks.
Meanwhile, Innovate 360 – Singapore’s first venture capital food accelerator with facilities in industrial food manufacturing spaces, shared research and development (R&D) labs and food-licensed kitchens – hopes to find collaborative opportunities to develop new markets and offerings for consumers at AFTEA. Since 2018, it has supported more than 80 agri-food tech start-ups in areas of mentorship, growth and access to markets.
Founder and managing director John Cheng believes it is important to connect with start-ups, incubators, venture capitalists and businesses in the food ecosystem. With the world’s resources slowly depleting, agri-tech is, in his view, expected to become “a growth area that can contribute to global efforts to create more effective and efficient food supply systems”.
He added: “In Singapore alone, the development of new technology and R&D in aquaculture and agriculture can help the nation meet its growing food needs and improve its food resilience. With direct connections to the experience and guidance from industry leaders as well as Innovate 360, food tech start-ups will be able to scale and grow rapidly beyond Singapore.”
AN IMMERSIVE AND ENGAGING EXPERIENCE
AFTEA attendees can look forward to a variety of thematic programmes and presentations, and gain new insights to transform their agri-food tech journey.
The key themes of this year’s trade fair include aquaculture and urban protein production, food safety and security, food waste management, smart farming, and sustainability and resource management.
At the Exhibition area, visitors can view the newest products and solutions from global suppliers or join global thought leaders in sharing new ideas and knowledge at the Communities space. The Sandbox zone offers a range of presentations on the latest trends, challenges and solutions from industry speakers across countries such as Netherlands, France, Germany and Israel, as well as panel sessions.
The Living Lab zone will showcase research projects, prototypes and commercial solutions, while the AFTEA Bistro & Demo Lab will feature chef demonstrations and competitions using sustainable and novel food produce.
There are also guided tours that will take visitors through the learning areas based on their different interests, and a business-matching lounge to facilitate collaborations.
“Through the extensive showcase at AFTEA, we want to empower attendees with innovative solutions to grow and produce better, high-quality food in a more efficient, effective manner that will be sustainable and beneficial for our future generations,” said Mr Quentin.
Expand your business network and join other innovative movers and shakers in the industry at the Agri-Food Tech Expo Asia 2022.