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By Michael Ciepiela, Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Taylor Farms

No Standard, No Problem - Setting Limits on Processes

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By Gerrit Schutte, SVP & CIO, ConAgra Foods

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By Paul Dickinson, Director of Food, Fuller, Smith & Turner

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As technology evolves, so should the Supply Chain

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How Food Tech Can Help Achieve Sustainable Food System

Kevin Lobo, FB Tech Review | Thursday, August 26, 2021

Development of a smart and sustainable mix of innovative technologies can create a sustainable and resilient food system.

FREMONT, CA: Factors like weather, pests, diseases, weeds, and commodity markets' uncertainty keep challenging one of the most basic needs: a stable food supply. The need for sustainable farming and a more resilient food system has never been higher, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing disruption caused by climate change.

Stakeholders in the farm-to-fork value chain and farmers, input suppliers like regulators, politicians, and civil society, are all key players in the global food system. There are many interdependencies, and they all must work together to ensure the security and reliability of the food supply. People are assuming that agriculture can help reduce climate change while meeting the challenges that climate change carries.

Farmers must take a holistic approach to remain competitive in their markets and ensure that customers have sufficient affordable, high-quality food. It is necessary to have a common understanding of the essential requirements of sustainable farming. It is also crucial to realize that it can be accomplished by applying science-based and innovation-friendly policies.

Innovation is vital to achieving climate goals and agricultural sustainability.

Plant breeding 

Traditional approaches are combined with cutting-edge science and technology to produce new seeds that are ideal for evolving pests and changing climates. Gene-editing techniques like CRISPR take advantage of a plant's natural genetic diversity to create drought-tolerant, nutritious, and pest- and disease-resistant crops in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional methods. Only the right policies and regulations will enable this innovation to flourish.

Plant protection products (PPPs) 

Diseases, insects, and weeds are all protected by PPP. They are essential to meet the nutritional requirements of an expanding population, but they must be used to ensure public safety and reduce environmental impact. To effectively manage ever-evolving pest populations that threaten the crops, farmers need biologically and synthetically derived pesticides. They also need policies that allow new active substances to enter the market more quickly.

Precision farming and digitalization 

Technologies like digitalization will drastically change agriculture in the coming years, and they will be crucial in reducing farming's environmental effects. Farmers are using digital tools and data analytics to make better real-time management decisions, which will improve productivity in the long run. These tools ensure that crop inputs like fertilizers and PPPs are only used when and where they are necessary.

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