World Agri-Tech London: 3 Thoughts with Julia Lechner

Julia Lechner’s thoughts on World Agri-Tech London and a note looking forward to San Francisco.

by Julia Lechner

October 04, 2023

Last week, I traveled to London to attend World Agri-Tech alongside many colleagues in agribusinesses, farming co-operatives, CPGs, policy makers, investors, and more. Having been a previous attendee and sponsor partner at both San Francisco and London, Agrograph is always keen to be in attendance at this industry leading event.

The 2023 event did not disappoint, offering valuable insights and showcasing cutting-edge technologies that are shaping the future of agriculture. Through mainstage sessions, networking round tables and one-on-one meetings there are a few takeaways I’ve recorded.

Technology is powerful, but it’s useless if it’s fragmented.

Fractured solutions are not solutions. While there is certainly no shortage of technological solutions to aid in addressing the challenges of creating a sufficient and environmentally conscious food supply, adopted innovations must be complimentary to all steps up the value chain- otherwise the risk of disaggregated data and segmented processes remains a significant barrier to improved efficiencies.

Global food supply is priority 1.

No brainer, right? The unique, and commendable, turn this focus has taken however is that while the effort to meet food security targets intensifies, so does the expectation that the industry can do so through climate-smart methods.

If we’ve learned anything in 2023, its that the support for furthering environmentally-focused initiatives and the systems necessary to sustain them is front of mind and center on stage - as it was this week in a variety of panels discussing transformative investment, managing supply chain volatility and developing effective, long-term frameworks for assessing impact.

Embracing a system wide change is imperative for the labor force.

Not one of us is getting younger. The average age of a producer in the UK is 57 years and rising, as is the challenge of securing access to the capital necessary to not only transition to regenerative practices, but even to continue operating as usual. The onus cannot be on the farmer, rather a system wide transition is required to achieve the necessary financing and scale. Panelists suggested looking to the Pharma and Semiconductor industries to build an investment ecosystem capable of weathering market cycles. As well as promoting public private partnerships to both incentivize and mandate change.

It’s always a pleasant time amongst fellow innovators at World Agri-Tech. My team and I at Agrograph are proud to announce we will serve again as a Gold Partner at the event in San Francisco on March 19-20, 2024. If we were unable to connect in London, please reach out to me to coordinate a visit in San Francisco!

Julia Lechner focuses on the intersection of sustainability and technology. She graduated with a BA from Harvard University, after which she began her career at Morgan Stanley. There, she focused on building ESG aligned portfolios for family offices and foundations. She simultaneously pursued her MSc in Environmental Sustainability at Columbia University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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