SINGAPORE— Cargill has struck a 3-year partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) TO launch its first digital business studio in Asia designed to support local founders with investments and accelerate innovation for the food and agriculture industry in Asia-Pacific.
Farmers across Asia face challenges ranging from inconsistent crop yield, low access to credit or financing, and limited visibility to constantly shifting crop prices.
Through this partnership, Cargill will develop a portfolio of at least five new startups in Singapore with a focus on pressing industry challenges—from increasing access to market data for smallholder farmers to creating more efficient, transparent and cost-effective food supply solutions.
“This is a unique model where entrepreneurs can transform the industry and make lasting change on a regional and even global scale. The opportunity to wake up every day and create solutions that improve lives and nourish the world is game-changing,” said Eric Parkin, Cargill’s global digital business studio leader, in a press statement.
To feed Asia’s expanding population and address other challenges, digital solutions are necessary to play a critical role in farmers’ livelihood by improving their productivity and profitability.
Small to medium-sized restaurants and retailers in Southeast Asia have highly manual processes to access and source the ingredients they need from a fragmented base of suppliers.
New digital advancements can increase the reliability and flexibility of the ingredient supply chain, providing direct, giving direct access to a unified business to business food ordering system.
The digital business studio will be a space for Cargill to incubate and scale transformative startups, in close partnership with customers. It allows for expanded reach into digital innovation, bringing new solutions to meet the changing needs of the food and agriculture industries.
The digital business studio builds on Cargill’s existing global investment in innovation and commitment. Cargill has innovation centres in Asia: Singapore, Gurgaon, Beijing and Shanghai, where it works on animal protein, refined oils, sweeteners, starches, cocoa, texture solutions and unique flavours.
Cargill also has an advisory platform and marketplace for small farmers in India, and a contactless food pickup system targeting businesses in the US.
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