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2020 made from healthy food on pastel pink background, Healhty New year resolution diet and lifestyle
Image credit: ThitareeSarmkasat / iStock

AFN’s top 20 news stories of 2020

December 31, 2020

Earlier this week, we took a look at the top 20 guest articles from external contributors published on AFN in 2020.

Today, on the last day of the year, we’re listing the top 20 news and analysis pieces published by the AFN editorial team over the past 12 months.

Covid-19 has been the defining theme of 2020; and, unsurprisingly, the pandemic dominated our coverage of agrifoodtech throughout the year.

Among our most-read stories were several that directly examined the impact of Covid-19 on our industry. It wasn’t all about the pandemic, however.

AFN‘s single most popular story this year was our report on a technological breakthrough at US cultured milk startup Biomilq, which told us in February that it had successfully cultured samples containing casein and lactose – the key protein and sugar components in human breastmilk.

When it came to funding, news of investments in startups offering farmer-focused tech solutions — such as Agrofy‘s ag marketplace and WeedOut‘s bio-herbicides — fared particularly well with AFN readers. Alt-protein financings for the likes of Mushlabs and NextProtein also generated plenty of reads.

Here are the 20 most-read stories that the AFN team published in 2020 (with publication date) listed by number of unique pageviews:

1. These two women are taking the breast out of breastmilk
February 6

2. Syngenta leads Series A for WeedOut to commercialize first species-specific biological herbicide 
March 5

3. 2020 predictions from agrifoodtech’s leading VCs
January 2

4. India’s answer to vertical farming raises $5.5m Series A
February 13

5. Ag robotics startup Tortuga comes out of stealth with Tesla co-founder Tarpenning on board
January 22

6. Amazon for ag? Agrofy closes $23m Series B in LatAm’s largest-ever agtech deal
January 16

7. Covid-19 is accelerating inevitable food trends but which changes will stick?
April 29

8. Indigo Ag closes $200m debt round with FedEx, a potential buyer of its carbon credits
January 6

9. Indigo Ag CEO Perry steps down, replaced by investor board member
September 3

10. Telus Agriculture launches with 7 acquisitions and more on the menu
November 12

11. A quick look at the impact of Covid-19 on fresh produce and ag commodity prices
April 6

12. Farm tech investment up 370% in 6 years. How will Covid-19 impact 2020 trends?
April 30

13. Germany’s Mushlabs raises $10m for sustainable mycelium production
August 18

14. Fly, my pretties! NextProtein closes $11.2m Series A to scale up insect production in Tunisia
May 27

15. Vertical farming in LatAm: AgroUrbana closes $1m seed funding
July 2

16. Syngenta acquires biologicals company Valagro
October 6

17. Sericulture startup Mori raises $12m Series A to preserve food with silk
July 16

18. Bayer & Temasek launch $30m seed genetics business targeting vertical farms
August 12

19. CEA startup AppHarvest to go public, expects $475m funding at $1bn valuation
October 1

20. Carbon harvest: Indigo Ag, Nori announce first corporate carbon credit buyers
October 15

In terms of reader numbers, AFN was visited by 983,902 users in 2020, up 24% from 792,999 in 2019.

The top 10 countries reading AFN this year, in descending order by number of users, were the US, India, the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Brazil.

While the US still contributes more of the AFN audience than any other region, its share of the total has decreased this year as we pick up growing numbers of readers in other parts of the world.

The US accounted for about 46% of our readers in 2019; this year, that had declined to 40%. Meanwhile, Asia grew its share more than any other region, increasing from 19% last year to 24%. Europe also saw its share increase, from 19% to 20% year-on-year.

The top 10 cities by number of users in 2020 were Singapore (Singapore), London (UK), New York (US), Chicago (US), Bengaluru (India), Sydney (Australia), San Francisco (US), Paris (France), Hyderabad (India), and Melbourne (Australia).

All in all, it has been an amazing 2020 for AFN – despite the broader problems the world has faced. We’ve added more readers to our audience from all around the globe, who are tuning in to AFN as their foremost source of agrifoodtech news and analysis while our industry pushes new boundaries and hits new heights. That’s certain to continue into 2021, which is when the AFN editorial team will be back in action. Until then, have a happy new year!

Got a news tip or a story idea? Email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter at @jacknwellis

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