The global food system is under increasing pressure. Factors like heightened weather unpredictability and population increase add insecurity to food production schedules. In Europe, consumers and policy-makers continue to put pressure on producers to more sustainably plant, produce, process, label and distribute food and drinks. European governments are responding with actions like France’s Special Convention on food or Europe’s proposed Common Agricultural Policy.
It’s with this in mind that Brussels-based news organization Politico gathered over 150 experts from farmers to agricultural policymakers to Paris on 30th November for the channel’s debut Agriculture and Food Summit. Presented by AB InBev, Yara and New Holland, the full-day dialogue captured insights key Food and Agricultural industries’ issues for big players and smallholders alike. The afternoon opened up to looking ahead on how to steer the sector forward, and to the broad future of modern farming in and around Europe.
In a discussion around Investing in Emerging Technologies and Precision Agriculture, AB InBev’s Global Director of Agricultural Innovation, Katie Hoard, sat alongside Bayer’s Head of Digital Farming Tobias Menne and the European Parliament’s MEP Anthea McIntyre, Rapporteur for technological solutions to sustainable agriculture in the EU. The premise: both the private and public sector ought to acknowledge that strategic investment in new farming technologies is crucial to internationally competitive agricultural practice. From self-driving tractors, satellite technology applications, temperature and humidity sensors to mobile apps, the future of modern farming is, unsurprisingly in today’s world, digital and data-driven.
It’s in modern farmers’ interests to employ new methods to reduce costs and increase yields, and it’s in modern buyers’ interests to share in the cost and development of these technologies so as to make precision farming technology more affordable and accessible. And this is exactly what AB InBev is committed to, through its global SmartBarley Program. AB InBev partners with growers around the world to produce high-quality malt barley, the primary ingredient in our world class beers.
Our company has a long-standing history of working collaboratively with growers, investing in the development of improved varieties, providing access to quality seeds and inputs, and deploying skilled agronomists to assist growers in the art of producing malt barley. Our program has expanded and evolved over time through the development of a digital platform for our growers to benchmark their barley practices and performance across our global grower network, exchanging best practices that drive productivity gains within their farming operations. The digital SmartBarley platform is translated on-the-ground by our agronomists in the field to help growers improve their productivity, profitability and natural resource efficiency, delivering value to their farms and to our supply chain.
AB InBev is working together to empower growers to produce better Barley, for a Better World.
Find out more about our SmartBarley program here: http://www.smartbarley.com/