AgTech and FoodTech Against Climate Change

May 15, 2023

Food production accounts for around 26% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. From land use to livestock, how we produce, supply, and consume food is a significant contributor to climate change. On April 7th, students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and companies, came together to address how to limit those emissions at The AgTech & FoodTech against Climate Change conference, organized by the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC). Participants discussed innovative solutions to the impacts of food and agriculture on climate change. The event was organized with the support of AgFunder and Swissnex, San Francisco.

The event opened with an insightful presentation by Professor David Roland-Holst, a Professor in Agriculture & Resource Economics at U.C. Berkeley, on food and its evolution over the past few centuries. Following this, Kei Nishimura from Plenty provided insight into pertinent regulatory issues in the AgTech and FoodTech space. The conversation acknowledged the role the sectors will play to develop sustainable solutions to grow more food with less resources. Next, Manuel E. Gonzalez, General Partner of AgFunder, one of the most active VC funds in AgTech and FoodTech, shared his forecast on industry trends in 2023. With investment in the sectors just under $30 billion in 2022, the hope for reducing emissions is bright.

Finally, the conference ended with founders highlighting their companies’ ideas for combating emissions in the food and agriculture industry. Kelly Pan and Adrián Miranda, co-founders of Impact Food, a plant-based seafood alternative, Jessica Schwabach, Co-Founder of Sundial Foods, a plant-based chicken alternative, and Perry Ellis, Senior Research Engineer and Founding Engineer of Mooji Meats, a plant-based beef alternative, presented novel ideas for revolutionizing how humans interact with animals and food.  

The event successfully united attendees from diverse fields to learn about the growing fields of AgTech and FoodTech.  With California a major producer of global commodities, and over half of all venture capital funding going to AgTech and FoodTech companies in California, U.C. Berkeley and BERC will be on the front lines of the fight to decarbonize how we eat.