Earlier this week at SVG Partners’ THRIVE AgTech Innovation Forum, produce executives gathered together and discussed the ways technology is impacting how fresh produce is currently being grown, and how innovation with shift growing in the future.
Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Taylor Farms, participated on the panel “Catalyzing Industry Transformation” alongside Kevin Murphy, CEO, Driscoll’s Berries, which was moderated by Elizabeth Weise from USA Today. The trio discussed topics including the needed advancements in AgTech innovation, shifting consumer preferences, and how to forge new partnerships across technology and agriculture.
Taylor outlined food safety, field and plant automation, and supply chain as the top three areas startups should pay the closest attention to. He spoke to the need for technologies that can continue to advance food safety testing and increase efficiency across the entire operation, from field to customer.
Some of the additional developments that the panel discussed were:
- The ecological impact of packaging, including Taylor Farms’ use of recycled water bottles within their organic lines, and the experiment of utilizing corn-based plastics, as well as an upcoming initiative on organisms that can digest your package when you’re done with it
- The progression of technology at supermarkets to improve presentation and better the consumer experience as a whole
- Shifting consumer preferences and how millennials are impacting consumer-purchasing trends. They want their food convenient, healthy, and desire an emotional connection to the people that produce their food.
Taylor concluded the panel with this advice: “Technology and innovation. Yes, we need it. Yes, we need it quickly and know that it’s difficult. You have to appreciate how challenging it is to get your vision to the finish line. You may not win the first couple of times you come knocking on our door, but keep on knocking. You’ll eventually get there.”
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