With the world’s population predicted to surge to 9bn by 2050 and increasing environmental challenges, innovation in the food supply chain is vital.

Calum Murray, head of agriculture and food at government agency Innovate UK, says food production efficiency and food quality must improve.

"New ideas include meat alternatives, new sources for livestock feed, the use of robots to harvest crops and LED lighting to improve salad crops."

“Agri-innovation is crucial to reduce greenhouse gases, cut food waste and to enhance the quality of affordable food that is consumed, domestically and in developing countries,” says Murray.

Innovate UK encourages the adoption of new technologies and in the UK and overseas new ideas have included low-impact meat alternatives, new sources for livestock feed, the use of robots to harvest crops and LED lighting to improve yields from salad crops.

 

 

Murray wants governments and industry to address shortages of water and land and the threat of pests migrating north due to climate change. He was involved in the Government’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform and says the debate is about sustainability.

“Consumers benefit from innovation because it means we continue to have enough safe and good quality affordable food.”

“Innovation in production efficiency helps farmers get more from the resources they have, such as labour and nutrients, and they reduce their carbon footprint,” says Murray. “Consumers benefit from innovation because it means we continue to have enough safe and good quality affordable food.”