Editor’s Note: Johan Jorgensen is founder of Sweden FoodTech, a foodtech acceleration platform, and chairman of FundedByMe, one of Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms. He recently traveled to India for the Tasting India Symposium. Here he writes about the potential for startups across the country.
For the past few days, Sweden Foodtech has been at the Tasting India Symposium in New Delhi. It is a magic experience. And we haven’t even mentioned the food.
Special guests at the symposium this year are the Nordic countries and we have seen Claus Meyer, Per Styregård, the former Ambassador of India to Sweden, Ms. Banashri Bose Harrison as well as yours truly on stage. And a bunch of excellent local heroes.
In all its diversity, poverty and richness, India must contain the solution to our food problems. Because if we don’t solve the future of food for the 1+ billion living here, it doesn’t really matter what we do for the 25+ million living in the Nordics.
This creates unlimited and essential opportunities in the world of food.
Roughly half the population of India live as smallholder farmers, not respected for their hard work, forced to produce standard crops, living on the edge. But they are still there, operating the land. These smallholders are an amazing resource so our task is to make sure that they can live off the land, are equipped with the technologies they need to increase yields and income, and are properly paid. If that equation can be solved, for instance by connecting people in general to food production, India can actually lead the way towards a healthy and sustainable food system, also for us in the West.
People in India also see that they can export such solutions and become a powerhouse for next-generation production methods and technologies for smallholders globally; you know, the 2 billion people producing some 70% of all the food the planet consumes. Is that an opportunity? You bet.
That’s also why we’re forging a partnership with India Unlimited, the organization behind the Tasting India Symposium. Our ambition is to use our joint networks in order to help accelerate great Indian technology in Europe and beyond, and to open the Indian market for those who want to sell to the most populous country on the planet and one of the world’s largest economies (and perhaps the hardest to access). We are deeply impressed by India Unlimited’s networks and understanding of the future. In all humbleness we believe that they like what we do as well.
The new India report from AgFunder and Omnivore is already getting a lot of attention and showcases that Indian foodtech entrepreneurs are up to the challenge.
See you soon in Stockholm and New Delhi!
Image: The Indo-Nordic Food Policy Workshop, which kicked off the Tasting India Symposium, saw the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Nordic Food Policy Lab deliberate on how to make policy interventions to improve public health.