What’s new in the agrifood space? The Farm & Food 4.0 International Congress was held this January in Berlin. The conference focused on digitalisation and innovations in the agriculture and food industries, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders from across Germany.

With the enthusiasm of a Silicon Valley tech conference, this sold-out event served as a platform to connect decision makers, innovators and stakeholders in agrifood. The conference sessions covered a diverse range of topics, highlighting emerging areas and debates in the field.

So what topics are disrupting the agrifood industry in Germany and the EU?

  • Biotech – technologies such as genome editing could offer sustainable solutions for farmers. Panel members discussed the use of biotechnologies and considered how the future of biotech will look. Consumer perceptions and involvement in this topic were also highlighted.
  • Regenerative Agriculture – there is a growing movement to use minimally-invasive practices in farming, however some do not view this as a scalable or long-term option for farmers. The panel discussed how regenerative agriculture can coexist or complement modern agriculture.
  • Cell-Based Meat – alternative proteins are moving beyond plant-based substitutes. Pioneers in the cell-based meat industry discussed challenges and opportunities for this growing field, including consumer perceptions, regulations and the price of their products.

As new innovations continue to bring change to the food and agriculture industries, clear and open communication around these topics is an important factor in consumer and stakeholder acceptance. As stated by Dr. Julia Diekämper, a speaker from the Berlin Museum for Natural Science, “changes are only viable if consumers accept them.”