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Boosting agroecology and sustainable food with digital, direct-to-table, and zero waste

Information updated on 17/10/19

Digital technology gives an unprecedented boost to agroecology and sustainable food, supported also by new players combining direct-to-table circuits and zero waste initiatives. Explained by the #Digitag Convergence Institute and 6 companies on September.

Numérique, circuit court, zéro déchet boostent l’agroécologie et l’alimentation durable @david richard
We are experiencing a revolution in agriculture,” announced Véronique Bellon-Maurel, researcher at Irstea and director of the #Digitag Institute for Digital-Agriculture Convergence, on September 18 at the Montpellier Corum Conference Center at a conference on the “input of new technologies and new organizations for sustainable food agriculture.” The conference was part of the Agroecological Transition and Sustainable Food Month program organized by Montpellier Métropole.

“These new technologies will help you produce better and more overall while reducing your environmental footprint,” explains Véronique Bellon-Maurel.

Sensors used in fields and for livestock, free satellite images, weather information... massive amounts of data can be used directly by producers thanks to tools developed by startups and researchers. The Montpellier Métropole area is extremely favorable for innovation. In addition to the #Digitag Convergence Institute, which unites researchers, engineers, and technicians, a new living lab called OccitANum will be launched in 2020, also dedicated to developing digital solutions for agroecological and food transitions.

Fighting to eliminate waste

Startups in Montpellier have already taken the turn. Panjee focused its innovation on food product information, which is highly sought-after by consumers.

“We created a smart tool that manages all data, from production methods to seasonality to certifications, in a way that makes it easy to connect supply with demand,” summarizes Léonard Matoug, CEO of the young company.

Ecoclimasol develops solutions to predict risks related to weather and climate change, as well as fertilizer products. Athéor invented a unique and unfalsifiable solution for unitary marking, with a first application for glass containers.

Innovations are also multiplying to bring producers and consumers together while fighting against waste, as demonstrated by the three other startups present at the conference. Located at the Montpellier Market of National Interest (MIN), Grand Fruit primarily distributes fruit and vegetables from local farmers, while Label d’Oc produces high-quality preserves using unsold products from its members. Lastly, CityZen Market, a bulk and anti-waste grocery store in downtown Montpellier, fulfills its dual commitment to promote both “local” and “zero waste” concepts.

* The living lab is a participative innovation approach that includes the user.

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