16 JULY 2018
INTO THE FUTURE
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 30-40% of total food
production is lost before it reaches the market. Microsoft WW industry director for chemical,
agriculture and life sciences industry Claudia Röessler – who visited New Zealand recently –
says countries will have to change their business models to survive in a world of water scarcity,
pollution, booming population putting pressure on food supplies and digital competition by 2050,
when nine billion people will need feeding.
For the agriculture industry to
meet the global quality and
quantity demands of the future,
sustainability in all aspects of
agricultural production is key.
It’s more than just manufacturing and
distribution; being able to accurately
forecast trends in agriculture and change
in demand ensures that the food is there
when and where we need it.
On my recent trip to New Zealand, where I
met with agriculture research, ag tech and
food companies, I was very impressed with
how local companies are driving exciting
new food innovations - notably by Plant and
Food Research and Zespri - which are not
only perfecting the fruits we eat today, but
also thinking about the consumer tastes of
Another example is Kagome, one of
the world’s largest tomato-processing
companies, which is monitoring the harvest
and production along the full supply chain.
Kagome produces between 35,000 to
40,000 tons of tomato paste each year.
The company is using the power of IoT and
Microsoft Azure to manage all aspects of
the tomato product supply chain—from field
harvesting to factory delivery, to in-plant
processing and shipment to its customers.
RFID tags and GPS technology on the farm
equipment and collection bins help the
company track the entire history of any
packet of its tomato paste – down to where
and when the tomatoes are harvested.
In addition, more and more consumers
are asking for ethical food and brands.
The retailer, as well as the food brands,
are challenging their supply chains to
provide full transparency around how and
where products are grown, or animals are
raised. Next to defining new sustainability