AusFAC 2021

2021 AusFAC Competitors

 

InvertiGro

Revolutionising Indoor Vertical Farming with a plug & play solution to feed the world the smarter way

Competitor Bio

Name: Ben Lee

Website: http://www.invertigro.com

Category: Indoor Agriculture

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:

By 2050, global farm output needs to increase by 70% in order to feed our growing population. This needs to come from efficiency improving technology, otherwise we run the risk of further depleting our already strained natural resources. Put into a local context, only 10% of Australia’s land mass is arable, and most of this arable land is being consumed by urban sprawl. Agricultural land around Sydney currently only produces around one-fifth of it’s population’s food needs, By 2050, forecasts predict that the Sydney basin will only be able to meet 6% of the food needs of the area’s growing residents, if current trends are not reversed. As a business, we set out to develop a fully-integrated solution that would revolutionise indoor vertical farming by addressing the industry’s key challenges of complexity and affordability, whilst also providing greater flexibility and scalability. The result, our truly innovative plug and play solution (integrating hardware, software and smart technology, with tested and optimised crop growth recipes) that enables businesses, wherever they sit in the supply chain, to affordably, predictably and sustainably grow quality fresh produce, almost anywhere, with the added advantages of being able to scale and adapt with changing business needs.

Business Description:

InvertiGro is building the next generation of indoor vertical farming solutions enabling our customers in the food and fresh produce supply chain to rapidly build and then self-operate highly efficient InvertiGro indoor farms. InvertiGro systems are concurrently smart, flexible, scalable and affordable. The system is crop agnostic and highly flexible, allowing InvertiGro customers to grow almost any crop that can be grown indoors. This includes leafy greens, soft fruits and selected vegetables, micro-greens and herbs, edible and other flowers and medicinal crops through to mushrooms and even meal-worms and other bugs. The system can also be applied to grow animal fodder, seed stocks and for propagation of crops for transplanting to an external environment.

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Farmer Meets Foodie

Farmer Meets Foodie is a virtual farmers market to buy direct and track from farm to door.

Competitor Bio

Name: Erica Hughes

Website: http://www.farmermeetsfoodie.com.au

Category: Food E-Commerce

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:

Transportation of a typical basket of food in Victoria is 70,803 km, equivalent to travelling around Australia’s coastline three times.* Produce in Australia travels vast distances to main markets and then back to regional areas. Putting a strain on road infrastructure, contributing to global warming, reducing fresh food quality (/ food has to be picked early / chemically treated to last distances travelled). Farmer Meets Foodie is addressing this by providing a platform that connects producers to customers and direct localised transport. Additionally FMF solves multiple other challenges in local food supply including the disconnection between the producer and consumer, a lack of traceability, unfair farm gate prices, food waste, regularly markets being inaccessible (as demonstrated with COVID19), outlay of producers having to set up and maintain their own website and online shop. Our solution provides a virtual farmers market where each producer has a shop front, uploads products for customers to buy direct with delivery straight from the farm or trawler to their door. This reduces food miles to a minimum, allows fresh food to be moved locally, provides a space for producers to set their own price and receive contactless payment and allows contactless delivery by the producer, mail or a FMF transporter. *ceres.org.au. 2021.[ONLINE] Available at: https://ceres.org.au

Business Description:

Farmer Meets Foodie is passionate about getting fresh, local, seasonal produce on menus across Australia with a virtual farmers market and delivery options to connect producers to commercial and home foodies. FMF gives producers, graziers, farmers, growers, harvesters and value adders a platform to sell produce including small quantities or excess produce direct. Commercial food businesses using the platform include chefs, cafes, restaurants, caterers, food trucks, butchers and bakers who are looking to source local produce and know the producer and the story behind how food is grown. There are currently 260 vendors trialling the platform and 125 consumers with the first 75 sales grossing over $30 000. The Farmer Meets Foodie is designed to make it very simple for producers and commercial food businesses to connect, buy and sell produce, organise direct (from farm or trawler to kitchen) transport all in the one place and provide this service at a minimal cost compared to 30-90% currently paid to have produce sold and transported.

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8 Corners

A global B2B eCommerce marketplace that unites traders, logistics, insurance & finance all in one place

Competitor Bio

Name: Maree-Louise Satarossa

Category: Marketplace

Website: https://www.8corners.com.au/

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:

The biggest problem B2B business has is finding markets. The second is the complexity of traditional B2B trading. 8Corner’s primary solution is providing new markets for traders in one place. Their platform has multiple global markets that showcase agriproducts to verified buyers. No longer will a trader have to rely on small pools of buyers to sell their products, 8Corners diversifies a trader’s markets. With increased global demand and sales, agribusinesses can produce to their capacity. Diverse markets improve profits, create jobs and grow industries. 8Corners digitises the traditional B2B trading process. We give traders more control over the complicated process by streamlining and providing everything they need to buy and sell on the platform securely. The sales ecosystem includes not only buyers and sellers but logistics, insurance, finance and inspectors. The marketplace creates a total cost of sale without leaving the platform. 8Corners utilises blockchain technology, Amazons AWS and Laava Fingerprint traceability to secure trade. Verification of users through the KYB & KYC process assures business deals are above board. All traders have a digital wallet to trade from; guaranteed payments are held in escrow when goods are ordered and released once the trade is complete. Sellers no longer agonise about being paid, our system ensures it.

Business Description:

8Corners is in Lismore based in the Northern Rivers NSW and founded by a retired farmer’s daughter. We want to create a secure and cost-effective marketplace for agribusinesses to trade products globally. The results are more profits for producers plus job and industry growth. Ultimately, our goal is to feed the world. 8Corners use the following channels to promote the marketplace: industry advisors, memberships in associations & groups, social media, referrals from our introducer’s program, detailed SEO, marketing campaigns & tradeshows. 8Corners has advisors within the agribusiness industry that help us promote and educate our target market. We also engage with international Chamber of Commerces, regional associations and government bodies. The marketplace introducers also promote the platform, and they get a small fee once the sellers complete a trade. 8Corner’s key activities involve attracting traders to the marketplace and retaining them. Our other vital activity is finding new markets for our traders. Lastly, we improve our technology by listening to our traders. Our future goals are to API trader’s accountancy and inventory programs, and government export systems. Within the next five years, we want to open an office within regional Australia, employing local talent, have over twenty global markets and turning over $20million trades a month.

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Ceres Tag

World’s first direct to satellite smart ear tag and information
platform for livestock

Competitor Bio

Name: Lewis Frost

Website: https://www.cerestag.com/

Category: Precision Agriculture & Predictive Data Analytics

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:

Ceres Tag is one of the world’s most comprehensive animal monitoring platforms. We are the world’s first direct to satellite animal information platform. Our proprietary smart ear tag monitors

for biosecurity, health, welfare, performance and traceability provenance of the supply chain network including theft detection. Ceres Tag is also on track to be the world’s first accredited smart ear tag to international standards. Ceres Tag requires no infrastructure, no maintenance, no subscription and no battery replacement. Ceres Tag will operate in nearly any environment. The automated, plug and play, direct to satellite, information platform with e-commerce purchasing from the website will deliver a proven and tested product ready for market.

Business Description:

Ceres Tag is the world’s first animal monitoring information platform with direct to satellite capability through a proprietary smart ear tag. Ceres Tag uses data collection and on-tag analytics to provide animal-specific geospatial location data in addition to movement and animal health monitoring. Integrating with existing (and in development) software partner platforms, the Ceres Tag platform offers opportunities to improve productivity across the livestock industry and provide a richer range of information to guide effective decision making. This innovative technology is at the helm of scalable monitoring of biosecurity, health, welfare, performance and traceability provenance of the supply chain network, including theft detection. Ceres Tag is on track to be the world’s first accredited smart ear tag to international standards and is the only solution to provide no additional infrastructure, no maintenance, no subscription and no battery replacements. The automated, plug and play innovation will be available for direct to market purchasing through a dedicated ecommerce platform in May 2021. Ceres Tag has been developed with support from Accelerating Commercialisation, Advance QLD, MLA, CSIRO, Data61 and Globalstar.

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thingc-product

thingc Robotics

thingc Robotics have developed an autonomous, on-demand workforce, of 100% electric, smart, field robots

Competitor Bio

Name: Cameron Leeson

Website: https://thingc.co

Category: Drones & Robots

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:

thingc Robotics solve the challenge of access to workers, when they’re needed. Farmers across the world have told us their workforce is their number 1 challenge. Though cost is a significant factor in the labour challenge, with labour accounting for up to 50% of the operational costs of some farms, there are additional significant issues surrounding labour, including scarcity, lack of appropriate skills and timing. Due to the ageing workforce, increasing urbanisation & immigration challenges, farmers are struggling to find enough workers to complete the tasks required. Since many workers are not choosing agriculture as a career, farmers are often forced to use unskilled labour. This creates a significant cost in training new people. Timely access to labour is another significant issue, given farming is particularly timesensitive. It is critical that labour is available when it is required on the farm. By automating a significant portion of mundane farming work, we are able to assist farmers in reducing some of their labour requirements. Additionally, since robots are able to work 24/7, we provide opportunities to dramatically improve operational efficiency on farms. The versatility of our robots means one robotic platform can be quickly adapted to carry out additional tasks, as and when required, reducing the need to invest in application-specific robots.

Business Description:

thingc Robotics is a manufacturer, developer and service provider of field robotics. Specifically targeting farmers, thingc sell robots directly to farmers, and are also exploring service model and leasing options. We have been operating since mid 2017, developing our own farm robotics platform, which combines the latest technology and research in hardware systems, software and artificial intelligence. We have developed proprietary software which we keep as an in-house secret.

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Anderson Horticulture

Anderson Tissue Culture provides quality avocado trees to a
booming global market with world first tissue culture tech

Competitor Bio

Name: Graham Anderson

Website: http://www.andersonhorticulture.com.au/

Category: Food Science

The Problem And How You Are Solving It:

The Australian avocado industry is worth ~$958M and growing at 6% p.a. Globally, the value is ~$9B, with emerging markets in Asia a major growth area. The greatest bottleneck to sustain growth is access to high quality plants. Anderson Horticulture is Australia’s largest dedicated avocado nursery. Wait times on our plants are up to 3 years, at $60 each. The core problem is inconsistent and seasonal seed supply, at high cost of propagation. This is compounded by genetic variability of seed. The alternative is producing plants from cuttings, which is a massive challenge,
requiring specific infrastructure, specialised skills, and has numerous points of loss throughout the protocol making it commercially non-viable. Anderson Horticulture is solving this problem with researchers at the University of Queensland using tissue culture. Tissue culture is the production of genetically identical plants from cuttings under sterile laboratory conditions. It is used for many crops, enabling year-round mass production of disease-free, genetically superior plants. Our tissue culture agritechnology is the world’s first and only for avocado, following 50
years of research, and can produce >500 plants from a single avocado bud. This is a >500-fold production increase operating at  estimated 33% resource savings. It has been field-tested and will revolutionise our business and the global industry.

Business Description:

Anderson Horticulture is Australia’s largest wholesale supplier of avocados and about to make the first export of avocado trees from Australia. The company offers the most diverse range of stock in the nation, all of which is sourced from our own orchards. Over the years, we have worked closely with industry and developed new varieties on-farm that meet the needs of horticulturalists in all locations. Anderson Horticulture has always valued being one-step ahead investing in the latest research findings and sustainable solutions to feeding our growing population nutritionally all while preserving our environment. With a history that dates back to 1905,
we have always been heavily involved in research, development and innovation. This continues today thanks to the passion for the future of the avocado industry instilled by the owner, Graham Anderson, a 3rd generation farmer. Graham’s most recent venture has been the research partnership to develop avocado tissue culture as described above. Anderson Horticulture endeavours to not only change the avocado industry on a global scale using this innovation, but also the futures of many other fruit and nut industries.

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