AgTech is evolving at a fast rate of knots to radically transform the food system, but what about the workplace itself? Known for being a traditionally male-dominated industry, agriculture along with technology pose a huge opportunity for investment and growth, yet more female representation needs to be seen and encouraged.
Championing women in this sector offers a fresh perspective and economic potential, and after all, in a disruptive environment that’s constantly pushing the boundaries to discover new frontiers in technology and innovation, while moving away from more ‘traditional thinking’ with farming methods, surely diversity aligns perfectly with this ethos?
Things are slowly turning a corner, albeit with the momentum of a rusty old tractor rather than a harvesting robot on Red Bull, but these green shoots will indeed grow.
Take The51 Ventures Food & AgTech Fund, a full-stack fund focused on women-led and diverse businesses in Canada’s agriculture, food, and aquaculture technology sectors. It aims to drive impact and growth by investing capital in women and diverse founders – those who are at the forefront of innovation in these sectors but statistically underfunded and over-performing.
Although the Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry is a key driver of Canada’s economy, generating $143 billion and accounting for 7.4 per cent of GDP in 2018, only 7 per cent of agri-food tech deals and 3 per cent of the record-breaking amount of dollars invested in the sector in 2018 went to women-founded teams.
While women and diverse founders are beginning to gravitate to the Agri-Food sector, the capital has been slow to follow. However, the fund is being seen as part of the catalyst of change needed and is set to accelerate this opportunity of financial participation.
“The51 recognises the significant opportunity within the Food & AgTech sector,” says Co-founder and Co-CEO, Judy Fairburn. “Within our existing investment and entrepreneurial community, we have a wealth of human and intellectual capital. Our capital and our community are a powerful platform for women and diverse founder-led innovation and growth.”
But what about the UK? More initiatives are needed, but certainly at LST’s Derby HQ, we’ve a diverse pool of talent which is fast expanding, thanks to significant business growth in a booming sector.
We’ve recently showcased our core team in a series of blogs and are very lucky to have such a tight team propelling us forward in the name of AgTech advancement. Recent recruit CC is our Senior Scientist taking it to the next level in plant performance; driving our product design innovation is our Engineer Lucy and Linzi is smashing it for the Sales team. Happy International Women’s Day ladies – we need more of you!