How do we fix our agrifood system? - Food Tech Congress Skip to main content
The world’s food system is… broken. With the pressing issue of widespread food waste, the alarming decline in biodiversity affecting crop pollination, and a staggering $10 trillion in the hidden costs of the global agrifood system, there’s no shortage of problems to tackle. 


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recent report, 70% of hidden costs arise from unhealthy diets, high in ultra-processed foods, fats and sugars. 1/5 of costs are environmentally linked, encompassing greenhouse gas emissions, land-use change, and water use — a universal issue likely underestimated due to data limitations.

So, what’s the solution? Embracing technology is one of them. Through innovation, the food sector has the opportunity to navigate challenges and mitigate hidden costs. 

The change is already underway. Over 800 decision-makers across different fields in food tech will be coming to the Food Tech Congress, scheduled for May 28-29, 2024, in Warsaw, to discuss how we can harness technology to address these issues. Below are some of the main solutions that will be explored.

Revamping agrifood systems for better outcomes


In recent years, agri-tech has emerged as a promising solution for challenges in traditional agriculture. From precision farming to advanced sensors and AI, agri-tech optimises efficiency and empowers farmers to minimise environmental impact. With the potential to increase global crop yields by up to 67%, agri-tech is a game-changer for traditional agriculture, as reported by the World Economic Forum. 

Additionally, precision farming technologies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, according to a study in the Nature Sustainability journal. These advancements pave the way for a more resilient agrifood system, addressing the demands of our growing global population and environmental stewardship.

Food as medicine 


The U.S. alone annually expends $1.1 trillion addressing diet-related diseases – a sum equivalent to the nation’s entire food expenditure and a significant strain on people and the healthcare system. The solution to this problem may lie in the Food as Medicine approach, designed to harness the therapeutic potential of foods to prevent and treat health issues.

In a report backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, researchers from Tufts University suggested that scaling Food as Medicine programs can yield better health outcomes while remaining cost-effective and even cost-saving. By recognising the impact of Food as Medicine and integrating new solutions, like, for instance, personalised nutrition apps, we can create more efficient and health-conscious food systems. 

International startups to pitch new solutions


Fixing our agrifood system is a both challenge and an opportunity. In the pursuit of making it work, harnessing the agility of up-and-coming startups is a must.

To discover the most ground-breaking solutions out there, the Food Tech Congress will host a pitch battle for innovative startups across the world. The initiative called Food Tech Challengers was created to promote diversity in problem-solving approaches and discover solutions set to build future-proof agrifood systems.

Ultimately, resolving the issues within our agrifood system demands a multifaceted approach that includes government interventions, mindful choices at the individual level, and a better sense of responsibility within the food industry.


Learn more about Food Tech Congress and Food Tech Challengers:

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