Looking at how to feed more people with fewer resources more sustainably, we’ve taken everything around into consideration and defined five areas of innovation in not only agriculture but also food production and consumption as a whole (read our previous article). Our second concept addresses our thinking: how can we make food a priority again? Not just concerning awareness of quality, but also of its production and background?
Here’s why and how: Track your veggies! Be informed about what you eat from the second it’s planted until it lands on your plate and thereby gain back awareness of what food really means.
How much is your food worth?
How much of your monthly salary is spent on nutrition varies greatly depending on where you live. In wealthy countries like Germany, the average German spends only 10.3 % of their monthly income on food. That’s quite a small amount considering how important our diet is for us. Over the years, people have lost track of what they should prioritise, and that quality of food should be on top. The market and its consumers, however, dictate prices. Farmers need to stay competitive against imports that are produced under different conditions and expenses. This price pressure is reflected in the quality of the food grown.
Today, every second farm in Germany already uses smart technology. Sensors measure plant growth, soil properties, and in the future virtual reality will give an immersive insight into the farming processes. By giving consumers the possibility to follow the entire process of growing the vegetables farmers can create a feeling of closeness and build an appreciation for their work.
Virtual Reality — From The Farm To Your Kitchen
To re-establish the inherent value of food in individuals' minds, the whole process and the effort behind it need to be made visible. And with transparency becoming much more important to the consumer,
nothing can be more transparent than standing right in the middle of the field where your veggies are grown, witnessing every step of the way from sowing to harvesting.
Not literally though, virtually.
Making Food A Priority Again
Recently there has been a noticable and significant shift in personal values. More and more people realising that in order to reduce their ecological footprint and improve their diet, they must change their habits, even if that involves spending more money on food by supporting regional farmers or focusing more on seasonal produce.
By implementing food tracking and virtual reality on the farmyard, customers grow appreciation and the willingness to spend a fair price, while farmers benefit from a smart network that assures and simplifies sales on a regional base.
Electricity doesn’t come from the socket just as our food doesn’t come from the shelf in the supermarket… But in the future, our food will come from a variety of different places with vertical farming and urban gardening becoming more relevant. Keeping track of this emerging food network will be necessary to make it manageable for the customer as well as streamline delivery chains in a smart way.
This is part three of an article series written by Oliver Keller, Creative Director at TEAMS Hamburg, and Reinold Durstberger, Designer at TEAMS Hamburg to analyse the current challenges of the global agricultural industry, and the open possibilities for innovation to create sustainable solutions.