A few weeks ago I was at one of Singapore’s biggest Food Conferences, Future Food Asia 2023. Over 250 attendees were brought together to share and debate Government, Corporate, Investor and Entrepreneurial perspectives on food innovation, carbon neutrality and food security.

The conference was opened by the FAO Chief Scientist Ismahane Elouafi, who shared that:
🔈 1.9 billion people in Asia could not afford a healthy diet in 2020 🔈 Asia Pacific have greater incidences of weather related disasters
🔈 Agrifood systems transformation requires strong partnership between all actors especially the private sector
🔈 We need large investments in frontier science, developing multiple applications and in scaling up innovations, with particular focus on the Global South

I was lucky enough to chair ‘Will Asia Pioneer Carbon Neutral Protein?’ debate, featured key experts from the dairy Richard Walton, aquaculture Lissy Smit, alternative protein Kate Blaszak, corporate, finance and intellectual property sectors.
Thank you to my gracious panelists for graciously debating this sensitive topic. In summary:
🍗 The responsibility of producing nutritious, sustainable protein while considering farmer livelihoods and unit economics were agreed upon
🍤 however there were differing opinions on the carbon neutrality of Asian terrestrial or marine protein production systems.
💡 To scale new protein technologies intellectual property is doing more harm than good, but this is problematic as it is intrinsically linked to company valuations.
🔎 Inclusion is required for all protein production systems to become more sustainable but who will cover the incremental costs of digital and protein transformation is yet to be decided?

A huge congratulations to the winning startups Koralo (alt-seafood) and Tidetron Bioworks Technology Co., Ltd. (synthetic biology to produce industrial chemicals) and Xsights Digital Pty Ltd (animal health management IoT) and notable mentions to Cherrp (biodiversity and food loss solutions) and TissenBioFarm (cultivated meat).

Thank you to ID Capital Pte and their amazing team Isabelle DECITRE Vandana Mathur-Dhaul Bingyu Zhuo Katy Su for hosting us at this memorable event.

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