AusFAC 2018

2018 AusFAC Competitors


Congratulations to SwarmFarm, crowned the third Australian Agripreneur of the Year, they will be competing at the Global Future Agro Challenge


SwarmFarm is delivering an autonomous ag robotic platform to change farming systems and deliver Agtech to the field.

Competitor Bio

Name: Jocie Bate

Category: Drones & Robots

The Problem And How You Are Solving It: Over the past 30 years, productivity gains in farming have been driven by deploying larger machinery.

Tractors, sprayers, harvesters and implements have become larger, heavier and more complicated.

These machines are costly to maintain and are subject to significant downtime as a single point of failure for the business when needing repair.

At the same time, total reliance on crop protection products like Roundup has led to herbicide resistance problems.

Agricultural field practices are limited to implements that hook onto the back of a tractor or chemicals that can be poured into a spray tank.

SwarmBot disrupts the long-standing reliance on large, expensive agricultural machinery such as tractors, spraying equipment and harvesters.

SwarmBots are lightweight, efficient and autonomous vehicles loaded with technology to undertake simple, repetitive tasks and minimise soil compaction.

Capable of operating at optimal speed and whenever the conditions are suitable for the specific operation, SwarmBots can work on their own or cooperatively as a ‘swarm’ of units across the landscape.

Robots allow new field practices that are simply not possible on the back of a tractor so that farmers can have new tools and farming methods.

Your Business: SwarmFarm has been founded by farmers, for farmers on an ethos of assisting farmers to fundamentally change the way they farm for long-term benefits to industry, community & the environment.

SwarmFarm is all about new farming methods: increasing yields, reducing chemical use, reducing energy consumption and reduce the environmental impact.

Most importantly, SwarmFarm’s technology allows farmers to concentrate on value-adding fundamentally operating superior farming businesses with an emphasis on sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

Farmers are currently limited by their tractor / chemical-based farming systems.

The adoption of robotic technology allows farmers to make their equipment smaller, slow down and farm differently.
SwarmFarm’s agricultural technology really hones in on the attraction of the next generation of farmers and workers, who have grown up with smart phones and technology integrated into their lives.

They are attracted to precision agriculture, artificial intelligence and harnessing Big Data.

People will simply do different jobs through this step change in the new generation of agriculture, a transformation which SwarmFarm are part of shaping.

SwarmFarm is empowering farmers to innovate to develop the next wave to tools and attachments tailored to a solution.



Technology to replace chemicals in food storage and organically registered. No residues or contaminants, less waste.

Competitor Bio

Organisation Name: Airofresh INTL Pty Ltd

Name: Jonathan Taylor

Category: Food Science

The Problem And How You Are Solving It: Food security is a global issue. Wastage, rots and storage limitations.

Chemicals decline in effectiveness from the moment they are applied and are costly to purchase and apply. Chemical applications often leave residues on produce and in many cases reduce taste and goodness. In long-term storage’s the chemicals become useless reapplied (which normally does not happen).
Contaminants mainly come in from the field and are stored in atmosphere (ambient, controlled CA and chilled).
Often the storage’s may be contaminated already along with the bins that are not cleaned properly.

Current methods are to protect produce by spraying or applying expensive chemicals to destroy latent contaminants on the produce.

Produce contributes to its own senescence by generating cumulative gases including ethylene.

Gases are very difficult to remove and in most storage’s are not.
In the case of ethylene being a drying gas, there are also ramifications to reductions in produce weight.

The problem overall is reductions in the availability of fresh, good value produce due to rots, moulds, internal browning, virus, bacteria and premature senescence.

Airofresh INTL developed a technology that addresses the problems detailed herein with a multi-process unit, driven by light frequencies that is not Ion, Ozone or photocatalytic.
We adapt atmosphere to effectively address all the described issues.

Your Business: Airofresh is a commercial enterprise with an environmental approach.
The desire to drive environmental benefits based on profit-driven motives in an adverse economic climate.
Researchers and business-driven principles working together for profitable outcomes with environmental benefits.
Enhancing local employment where the products are used through manufacture and servicing


On-Farm highest welfare livestock processing capturing full provenance, exceeding all biosecurity and welfare concerns.

Competitor Bio

Organisation Name: Provenir

Name: Chris Balazs

Category: Animal Protein

The Problem And How You Are Solving It: Two problems – one solution
The growing problem of farmer access to processing facilities is only growing in Australia.
Farmers are forced to truck their livestock further and further as abattoirs are consolidating closer and closer to major cities.
This brings additional cost and decreased eating quality.
Likewise, the rise of consumer demand for true food provenance and high welfare animal management is requiring increasing traceability and transparency in the red meat sector.
Enter Provenir – Australia’s first on-farm mobile processing solution – that provides access issues to farmers, highest welfare outcomes for animals and true paddock to plate quality and provenance to the consumer.

Your Business: Provenir is an integrated meat processing company that partners with premium cattle farmers and provides fully traceable, highest welfare meat to consumers.
The meat will be provided to food service and retail ready outlets, co-branded with Provenir and the farm of origin.
Market research shops that over 79% of consumers want to know the origin of their food and how it was produced Provenir’s new category of high welfare meat meets this rising consumer demand in an open and transparent way.
Modus Operandi: The mobile abattoir travels to the farm to process the cattle in a calm familiar stress-free environment.
Once processed in the unit, the carcasses are transported to the static relocatable Hub for further butchery and packaging.
Our digital provenance solution tracks the animal from farm to individual retail ready packs providing true provenance to consumers and invaluable data to farmers for genetic improvement.

Hydrox Technologies

Hydrox manufactures Solar Shrink – a patented agricultural mulch film that is 30% thinner, 300% stronger and 10% cheaper.

Competitor Bio

Organisation Name: Hydrox Technologies

Name: Mark Trenchard

Category: Manufacturing

The Problem And How You Are Solving It: Hydrox Technologies is:

Improving mulch film performance: Plastic mulch film expands in the sun becoming loose and flapping in the wind. This causes heat and moisture loss. Flapping mulch also damages seedlings and fruit. Our mulch film shrinks in the sun to lay tightly against the bed
Reduce labour costs: In USA mulch film is made elastic to overcome the flapping problem. This film is weak and tears easily, necessitating manual labour taking 11 manhours per acre to lift. Our mulch film is retrieved by machine using 2 manhours
Reduce plastic usage: Existing film is made thicker to strengthen it, thereby using more plastic polymer, increasing the cost per metre. Our plastic is 30% thinner and 300% stronger performing well and saving plastic used reducing selling price
Reduce costs: Mulch film and drip tape are expensive outlays. We will supply these bundled together at direct ex-factory prices
Reduce disposal costs: Mulch film incurs transport costs and landfill disposal fees. We will collect the film and dispose of it at no cost
Bio-security: Soil and organic material that contaminates used mulch, prevents its transportation to recycling centres contamination increases recycling costs. We will recycle it using on-site mobile pyrolysis machines.
Recoup energy: The energy resource contained in the plastic is recovered by pyrolysis producing diesel and oil.

Your Business:
We manufacture an improved and unique type of plastic mulch film.
Farmers use black plastic mulch film when growing high-value vegetables such as tomatoes and melons.
It is also used as a clear sheet to accelerate the germination of broadacre crops such as cotton and maize.
It consists of a thin sheet of LDPE plastic laid along the entire length of a growing bed, in which holes are made for crop plants to grow, and its edges buried along its length to hold it in place.
Mulch film is used to heat the soil, retain moisture, reduce weeds, keep fruit clean and to prevent soil-borne disease.
Farmers can achieve up to 400% increase in crop production when using mulch film, which is replaced at the beginning of each season.
Hydrox intends to be the market leader and besides having a much better product will insulate the company from competition by taking complete stewardship of its products.
It will also manufacture and supply, directly to farmers, all other plastic products associated with open field protective cropping such as drip irrigation pipe (tape), crop cover and low tunnels.
Hydrox will further establish a franchise division for Contract Lifting and Baling the used plastic at the end of the season.
This waste plastic will form the input for a Pyrolysis Division which will recycle the waste into diesel and bunker oil for use.


Making any of the 30 million tractors in the world smarter, simply using a farmers mobile or tablet

Competitor Bio

Organisation Name: Platfarm

Name: Oli Madgett

Category: Precision Agriculture & Predictive Data Analytics

The Problem And How You Are Solving It: Growers have the potential to make significant profit per hectare by carrying out work with greater precision, and increasingly have access to powerful data that shows them the variability of their land … but the problem is that farmers all over the world lack cost-effective precision ag tools that let them turn these insights into action, and the vast majority of the 30 million tractors in the world aren’t currently capable of carrying out work smartly.
Platfarm turns a grower’s mobile phone into a precision ag sat nav, telling them when to start or stop work or change rate.

Your Business:
At Platfarm, we’re on a mission to make any of the 30 million tractors in the world smarter, by using a growers everyday phone or tablet to help them perform work on their land with greater precision.
We are based in Adelaide, South Australia, but we have a global focus and ambition.
Platfarm recently completed the SproutX accelerator programme.
Platfarm is built on an Open approach to technology, and we’re actively helping to establish and develop an innovation ecosystem whereby Platfarm connects with other AgTech companies in our value chain to ensure that we collectively maximise the value we deliver to growers, whilst minimising the friction they experience when adopting technology.


Fresh Supply Co

We are a platform for provenance, marketing and payments utilising blockchain technologies.

Competitor Bio

Organisation Name: Fresh Supply Co.

Name: David Inderias

Category: Food Traceability & Safety

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:
Brand recognition, clear brand identity, and authenticity are hugely important to large agricultural producers exporting overseas – as well as connecting consumers with their food domestically.
We do this by linking physical product, to provenance information about what makes the product so premium on the blockchain.
We make sure that when consumers request this information, what they say is content localized and relevant retail context.

Your Business:
We integrate into existing producers operations and capture information about their product – which is then pushed to the blockchain.
We also label the products with digital identifiers.
This information is when requested at the point of sale is has user and market-specific retailer advertising allowing a cross-selling approach by the retailer.
The producer gets a share of the advertising revenue.
Using the same blockchain core we add IOT transit information and replace expensive trade finance tools (Letters of Credit) with digital escrow payments – we currently work with AliPay and National Australia Bank.

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