Opportunities in system-level change towards sustainable food

Totally new market opportunities will emerge as food production goes through a system-level change towards resource efficiency and better environmental performance. Private enterprises operating in the food system will have to adopt to the changing environment.
A private enterprise’s strategy and value proposition should support the transformation towards sustainability, regardless of serving farmers, agricultural input industry, food industry, or retail.

Support transparency, traceability and sharing of data

What goes into our food? How are processes executed? What is the environmental impact of a product? These and many other questions are examples of how regulators and consumer pressures push the food system to become more transparent and traceable.
Your company’s data can be critically important for your customer,
customer´s customer, or other suppliers of your customer. Promote and support data sharing, data standardisation, and integration of data flows.
Everything starts with digitalising your core product offering. Digitalisation is one of the most profound factors shaping the sustainable future of the entire food system. You should be able to provide data of the environmental impact of your company and products. Your competitors will do it anyway – and the fastest ones reap the benefits.

The importance of standardisation of data

The global GS1 standards provide a well-defined system for identifying products, locations, legal entities, and roles in any industries, including the food sector. GS1 enables the integration of farming operations to other food industry systems.
We see a trend of increased integration between farming operations and food industry off-takers; we also see a trend of new financial services and insurance offerings entering the market, and the increase of e-commerce in the agricultural input business.
To welcome to this change, we at Mtech are in the process of modifying our FMS system My Farm to automate GS1 standard deployment and give farmers and other operators an easy way to use GS1 identifiers.

The market is evolving

Fundamental change is not just incremental improvements, but changes in the whole business model. Large agricultural input suppliers are taking steps towards outcome-based business models where the harvest volume and quality becomes a part of the pricing model. This is an example of a fundamental re-design of a business model: the target of “selling more products” is changed to the target of “selling productivity within specifications”.
Furthermore, completely new markets and value propositions are created, such as the creation of the carbon offset and mitigation markets.

Ensure your market relevance in the future

The future of Mtech is defined by our ability to renew our value proposition and customer portfolio and to support our customers in the new competition and markets.
In our base scenario, de-carbonisation of the food system, local food security, and system-level change towards sustainability are the market movers. New markets will be created, new solutions developed, and new players will enter the food system as suppliers. System-level digitalisation and evolving digital solutions play a vital part in the whole scenario.
We hope to see our customers also to proactively drive the change and renewal, and in that way ensure their market relevance during the period of system-level change of the global food system.

Learn more, read our previous blog article.

Download the webinar recording: System-level-change in food – changes from farm to fork

About the author



Chief Innovation Officer
Mtech Digital Solutions Oy