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Irving Fain, Bowery Farming:

"It's important to be agile"

On handling market challenges, Irving Fain, the Founder and CEO of Bowery Farming, believes that it's important to be agile. "Both a company and a market evolve over time. What is right at one moment or phase may no longer be right at another. I am a strong believer in continuous evaluation to adapt both products and processes in order to ensure growth."

Last year, Bowery had to conduct multiple rounds of layoffs and has slowed its growth mode as its valuation plummeted.

In an interview with Forbes, he says innovation is inherent in changing and evolving any system. "The key is to maintain a balance of focus and intention while also innovating and re-evaluating your product, technology, and to some extent the strategy in front of you. Innovation has always been at Bowery's core, however, we also maintain a healthy respect and appreciation for the industry we operate in and the incumbent knowledge and practices. It's a mistake to assume that there's nothing to learn from the past."

He adds the traditional agriculture model and food supply chain are overloaded with middlemen and a multitude of steps before the product reaches the consumer, requiring enormous resources, time, distance, and producing substantial waste along the way. "Bowery is providing a streamlined alternative. Whether it's automation in our farms or the BoweryOS which manages, monitors, and maintains the entirety of our operations, we leverage technology to think about growing, but also downstream processing in a new way. This allows us not only to grow anywhere, but to grow our produce much closer to its final destination. Bowery is collapsing a complex supply chain into a single building – delivering fresh produce faster, more efficiently, and with much less waste. With materially better efficiency and drastically reduced food miles, the impact is surety of supply and a more sustainable, resilient supply chain; this is more important now than ever before as the changing climate continues to expose the vulnerabilities of a fragile food system."

Read the complete interview here.

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