Last night my wife and I watched the first episode of Netflix' documentary, Rotten. Yes, our life is run increasingly by algorithms. Isn't yours?
The episode was about the adulteration of honey, the circumvention of existing trade laws and regulations, colony collapse disorder, and many more interesting and pretty sad things.
Modern supply chains can be nasty - the deeper and further upstream you dig, the more you'll find an attitude of "it's not my problem." I'm not sure I know four more damaging words in the English language.
A lot of the food startups we have looked at over the past years have been focused on convenience. Some were looking at nutrition. None, as far as I can recall, have addressed the incredible damage we are doing to our planet as a result of the way we make and ship food. There are 7.6 billion of us and we're going to need to change how we do things.
This article in the Atlantic has an interesting take on the different worldviews in current agricultural research. I'm neither a techno-optimist, nor am I a Malthusian dystopian. I think there's a third way that transcends and includes both points of view, making different products for different tastes and willingness to spend while working within the constraints set by the environment.
For me, the problem of how to feed 10 billion people sustainably is an interesting starting point. If you're doing a direct-to-consumer food startup with deep vertical integration and an integral view on how the food industry should change, we're always open to chat. If you're the founder, you can get in touch via this form. Or if you want to suggest a few European companies we should look at, simply send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.