“When it comes to producing food, Sweden needs to take the leap from rain-fed fields to food factories and greenhouses,” says Johan Jörgensen, co-founder at Sweden FoodTech. Johan states that data and transparency should be improved. Without proper data, preferably open data, it is really hard to understand the food system and then do something about it.
Room for improvement
When being asked what problems are currently visible in the Swedish fresh produce market, Johan claims that’s a ‘glass half-full or half-empty' type of question. “I see a lot of problems, or maybe even, opportunities. The main problem in Sweden is that the realization still isn't there everywhere that food means so much more than what's on people’s plates. However, then again, that realization isn't deeper anywhere else. Everything always moves way too slow for my taste,” says Johan.
Sweden FoodTech is aiming to accelerate innovation for the future of food. The company was founded in 2016 aiming to lead a hub for food tech in Sweden. As a result of their hub, they create innovation programs, business development and strategic advisory. Whereas, they also organize events on food tech.
“As one of the ‘main thought leaders’ in the Nordic food-tech ecosystem, the team focuses on innovation programs and business development opportunities. By doing so, they’re sharing specific competencies and diverse backgrounds.”
A food switch
When it comes to combining bringing more awareness on food production, Sweden FoodTech comes in. The company tries to make people more apt (what does the abbreviation stand for?) at seeing the strategic change and the strategic implications. In regards to implications that come from a shift in people’s thoughts around food, how it is being produced and what the effects are.
“If you think that it is all about incremental change, you will approach the cliff quickly. In fact, the current food system was invented in neolithic times and has now reached the end of the road. We're facing a fundamental shift that I could write volumes about and that requires a new, out-of-the-box type of thinking,” Johan affirms.
In other sectors, a lot of that readiness was seen, explains Johan. However, when it comes to food there’s a lot of resistance. Which Johan finds strange since major shifts are always filled with opportunities. “Sitting on your hands, however, is a sure-fire way to become a loser,” he adds.
“We have a lot of energy, technology and capital that can be input to next-gen food production. If you want to look at land as an input factor, we have that too. Sweden actually farms on vast areas of land already today. However, we mostly farm trees,” says Johan.