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GROW, Food Futures Co & Austrade select 8 agrifood innovators for new program

October 6, 2021

Editor’s note: This post was published in partnership with GROW, which is backed by AFN’s parent company, AgFunder.

GROW, Food Futures Company, and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) have selected eight Australia-based agrifood companies to participate in the inaugural cohort of GROW2Asia, an internationalization assistance program delivered with the support of Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad.

The eight teams are:

  • Buggy Bix – developing, manufacturing, and selling nutritious and environmentally friendly insect-based pet food products
  • Circle Harvest – Australia’s largest insect protein farm, developing superfood products suitable for Western diets with invisible insect proteins 
  • Data Farming – agtech company developing integrated, easy to use, and intelligent precision technology solutions
  • Indigiearth – Indigenous-owned and well-established business providing ethically sourced and sustainably harvested premium bush foods made from authentic Australian native products
  • Rainforest Bounty – a range of food and drinks made from Australian native rainforest fruits grown in regenerative polycultures
  • Southern Kuya – providing an efficient and sustainable source of high-quality, value-added products from fisheries and aquaculture
  • Taka Gin – Indigenous-led startup creating gin inspired by Indigenous fusion flavours from First Nations native botanicals.
  • Windowrie – family-owned vineyard and winery specializing in organic and preservative-free wines with a new focus on low-alcohol style wines

Christine Pitt, CEO, Food Futures Company, said: “These businesses are fantastic examples of the level of innovation that is emerging from the Australian agrifood startup scene. Not only are they all working on products and solutions that are targeting the fastest growing global trends in agrifood, they are all passionate about the positive impact they are delivering to human health and a more sustainable food system. We can’t wait to be part of their ongoing success as they scale into Asia.”

Over the course of the next six months, GROW2Asia will help the eight companies validate their market fit and co-develop an internationalization roadmap to establish their in-market presence. The program will provide companies with expert support from Food Futures Company and GROW, including access to their mentor and partners networks. Companies will also tap into the capabilities and resources of the Austrade teams across the region. The six-month program is integrated with GROW’s Land x Launch™ platform, allowing entrepreneurs to capitalize on GROW’s network to access suppliers, channel partners, corporates and customers in Asia. 

Shaun Eislers, founder of Buggy Bix, said: “GROW2Asia presents an excellent opportunity for Buggy Bix to expand our footprint into targeted international markets. The curated program aligns with our roadmap and will help enormously in accelerating our growth. The support, connectivity and insight provided by Grow2Asia will be invaluable for us and importantly, will also have downstream benefits for the broader Australian insect industry.”

The GROW2Asia program leverages the exponential growth in demand for sustainable food systems in Asia as consumer eating and shopping habits are changing amid the rise of the middle-class, digitalisation and a focus on climate and pandemic resilient supply chains.

Mukund Narayanamurti, general manager, ASEAN at Austrade, said: “According to a new joint report by PwC, Rabobank, and Temasek, food expenditure in Asia will reach over $8 trillion by the start of the next decade, a rise from $4 trillion in 2019. This represents significant opportunities for Australian agriculture and food exporters and increasingly for our innovation and technology companies. Our partnership with GROW and Food Futures Australia will create more pathways for Australian technologies to partner in Asia to boost domestic and export production and enhance farming sustainability.”

To learn more about the program, visit www.foodfutures.com.au/grow2asia.

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