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Roelof Kramer: Meet our 2019 Agri-Innovation Den finalists

Sponsored by BASF and Farm419

Agricompas is building an entirely new information system to encourage better decision making in the food system for people and plants.

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Roelof Kramer, AgriCompas
Roelof Kramer, AgriCompas
Roelof Kramer: Meet our 2019 Agri-Innovation Den finalists

“We want to go to the moon, so we are building a rocket of information,” says Roelof Kramer.

“It’s complicated because we’re putting together an information system that doesn’t exist.”

 

This ‘information rocket’ is AgriCompas, which aims to create more sustainable and ethical food chains that create profits for farmers, improve biodiversity, and create better socio-economic outcomes.

To do this, the company is collecting and digitising information of entire value chains, linking up the economic, social and environmental impacts of decisions like never before.

The idea is that this will encourage companies, policy makers, civil society and others in the food chain such as processors, to improve social and environmental gains, rather than just profits.

Farmers will also receive information, helping them to improve productivity and profitability.

Roelof came to the idea after years spent working globally in agribusiness where he became increasingly concerned about the impact of the food system on people and planet.

“Pressured by an ever-growing world population, vested (mostly economic) interests prevail over environmental and social, causing large scale deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, reduced biodiversity and poor socio-economic conditions,” he says.

“We are proud we can feed billions of people, but at what cost?” Realising also that crop productivity improvements were lagging behind due a lack of joined up approach in technology and production data, Roelof had a brain wave.

“I had a kind of Matrix moment - of how we could see all the food production systems connected.”


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How does it work?

 

Thousands of data sets are collected - this includes via farmers inputting crop data using apps, weather stations, satellites and NGOs inputting information on socio-economic conditions.

Data is uploaded to the AgriCompas platform, which transforms it into useful information.

Farmers receive information on optimal conditions for free, enabling better decision making.

For a fee, anonymous data is provided to external partners - the service industry, government agencies, NGOs, and those in food chains such as processors.

Roelof sees a range of outcomes from this, such as policies tackling gender inequality in production chains, through to insurance companies being able to offer affordable crop insurance.

Company facts: AgriCompas

  • Digitising the information of entire value chains to link profitability with environmental and social outcomes - aim is to encourage decision making that improves all three
  • Thousands of data sets are collected via multiple tools, including apps and weather stations
  • Data is uploaded to a platform, which transforms it into useful information about optimal conditions - farmers receive this for free, to help decision making
  • For a fee, anonymous data is provided to external partners - service industry, government
    agencies, NGOs, and those in food chains such as processors
  • Piloting with 10 cacao and palm growers in Colombia, but targeting 56,000 rice, cacao, and palm growers across the country by working with farmer associations
  • Three staff in UK, two in Colombia
  • Working with Universities of Reading and Lincoln, a satellite company, South American NGO
  • Part of a Microsoft accelerator programme

Who is involved?

 

AgriCompas is currently piloting the concept with 10 cacao and oil palm growers in Colombia, but is targeting 56,000 growers of rice, cacao, and palm across the country by working with farmer associations.

Useful information is being fed back to the farmers free of charge to improve their yields.

Data will also be sent to insurance companies in the hope that it could take the risk - and therefore expense - out of offering valuable insurance to those who grow some of the world’s most price volatile crops.

After proof of concept is finished, Roelof plans to roll AgriCompas out in the UK for sugar beet, potato, OSR, wheat and barley.

The company is working with the Universities of Reading and Lincoln, and British satellite company Pixalytics.

Agri-Innovation Den 2019

What’s in the package?

 

  • Print and digital advertising to the value of £30,000 across Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming
  • An innovative PR and marketing package, which includes the creation of bespoke content for your exclusive use, comprising a promotional video, article, press release and social media support
  • Two delegate packages to the Oxford Farming Conference 2020, including conference tickets, accommodation, dinner and Emerging Leaders Programme participation
  • Half-a-day of mentoring for the business in 2020
  • A 12-month membership of Farm491, including: one-to-one business support with the Farm491 team
  • Access to AgriTech knowledge network; funding advice and building a scalable funding strategy; access to hot-desking facilities and meeting rooms
  • Promotion on Farm491 site, newsletters and social media.

 

When is the judging day?

 

Finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at Farm491, Cirencester, on November 21, 2019.

 

Who are the Judges?

  • Sarah Bell, independent consultant at S.E. Bell Agri Food
  • Dr Claus Hackmann, venture capital investment manager at BASF
  • Luke Halsey, entrepreneur in residence at Farm491
  • Rupert Levy, chief financial officer at AgriBriefing
  • Louis Wells, solutions and services manager for agricultural solutions in the UK and Ireland at BASF

For more information, visit AgInnovationDen.com

Sponsored by BASF and Farm419
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