This week we announced our investment in Consentio, an AgriTech business that connects food growers and farmers with retailers. This investment is a first for us on a couple of levels. Not only is it our first primary investment in Spain but it is also our first step into the growing AgriTech sector. Consentio’s platform connects producers and retailers of fresh produce around the world, making it far easier to buy and sell perishable goods quickly and fairly. Producers can connect directly to retailers, moving produce easily whilst quickly establishing market prices for goods and ultimately reducing waste.
Supply chain inefficiencies cause 33% of all food grown worldwide to be lost between production and retail. That is a massive amount of waste that we are looking to solve through technological innovation that can reduce this inefficiency and stop waste.
Reducing this gap is important to all participants in the supply chain. For farmers and growers, there are few ways of differentiating on product. Maximising yield is imperative to increasing outputs. For retailers, increasing supply allows sellers to keep their customers stocked and happy in the short-term and to meet the demands of a rising population.
Inefficiencies are largely caused by three drivers within the supply chain:
Agriculture is unpredictable
Farmers have to predict and combat all manner of unforeseen challenges. All producers will face some of these issues of course predicting when and how is somewhat unforeseeable. Issues such as weather, risks from pests, harvesting timing, commodity price fluctuations, availability of labour, safe storage conditions and many more weigh on the producers and make it hard to effectively match supply and demand.
Supply chain risks stack up
Food then needs to be sold and transported at the right time. Some goods stay local but often goods move globally and need to be safely handled, packaged and stored and then often transported again. Throughout the supply chain there are substantial risks and losses that erode both products and profits. A clearly cut through on supply chain operations and a real time trading platform will ultimately limit these risks.
Trade is going digital
Buyers and sellers also often rely on traditional transaction processes, with pre-pandemic sales often occurring face to face, over the phone and via email. Transaction processes become cumbersome and limit farmers’ ability to engage with multiple buyers at once, often leading to a compromise on price or quality of goods. The pandemic has changed this, with restrictions on physical sales propelling agricultural trading into the digital world. At it’s core, Consentio provides the underling technological infrastructure to support these changes.
Against this background you can see the great balancing act involved in getting food from ‘field to fork’. Conditions often conspire against both producers and end buyers. This is exactly where Consentio fits in. They are helping to bring order to this chaos and improving conditions for all participants.
Consentio founders Vincent Rosso and Benoit Vandevivere identified this opportunity and started to build. Already Consentio provides the platform for over a hundred million dollars worth of produce to flow more smoothly through the supply chain with a combination of great tech and innovative features that reduce inefficiency in a simple and straightforward manner. Consentio has the power to enable the 2.6 million fruit and vegetable farmers in Europe and the 5.4 million wholesalers and retailers to communicate, trade and transfer all in one simple, easy to use platform, all whilst reducing the efficiency gap between farm and table. We as investors see this as a huge innovation opportunity and are delighted to be a part of their story!
Link to original story here.