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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Food tech

North Carolina Startup Seeks To Crossbreed An Urban Farm With A Grocery Store

August 22, 2014 |
Rendering courtesy of the Farmery.

Rendering courtesy of the Farmery.

Imagine going into a store and picking out your dinner by literally pulling it up by the roots. Sound farfetched? It’s not. In fact, it’s the behind a North Carolina-based venture called the Farmery.

The project is an effort to blend the convenience of a retail grocery store and cafe with the freshness of an indoor urban farming system operation.

Several prototypes of the system are already up and running, and the Farmery team is now in final talks with investors to get a two-story, 16,000-square-foot version operational by fall of 2015, most likely in North Carolina. Read More

Montreal Startup Uses Tech to Build a Sharing Economy for Gardeners

June 18, 2014 |
Nicolas Cadilhac of PlantCatching works at a recent plant exchange at Montreal Botanical Garden. (photo by Ann Boisvert)

Nicolas Cadilhac of PlantCatching works at a recent plant exchange at Montreal Botanical Garden. (photo by Ann Boisvert)

Most, if not all, gardeners have experienced frustration over the amount of waste involved with gardening. Examples include unused soil, dead plants and compulsive purchases that don’t take root.

Wanting to address this problem, hobby gardener and computer science engineer Nicolas Cadilhac of Montreal, Quebec decided to mix his information technology acumen and love for gardening by creating a web site that would match gardeners to a surplus of unwanted plants and other garden materials. Thus in 2012, Cadilhac launched PlantCatching. Read More

North Carolina Online Food Hub Grows, Matches Sustainability and Profitability

May 6, 2014 |
Richard Holcomb and Jamie DeMent, co-owners of Bella Bean Organics, are shown with products from Bella Bean Organics and Coon Rock Farm. Photo courtesy of Cheryl DeMent

Richard Holcomb and Jamie DeMent, co-owners of Bella Bean Organics, are shown with products from Bella Bean Organics and Coon Rock Farm. Photo courtesy of Cheryl DeMent

Durham, North Carolina-based Bella Bean Organics specializes in fresh, locally-grown, sustainable and organic food via an online farmers’ market and food hub. The company recently expanded its operations, and is now extending deliveries to customers throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Owned by entrepreneurial farmers Richard Holcomb and Jamie DeMent, Bella Bean Organics supplies its customers with produce, meats, eggs and artisan specialty foods. The duo also owns Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The 55-acre farm supplies produce, meat and eggs to Bella Bean, in addition to more than 500 CSA customers, 5 farmers’ markets and Piedmont, Holcomb and DeMent’s farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Durham. Read More

North Carolina Firm Expands Efforts to Replace the Can With Healthier, Greener Carton Packaging

April 15, 2014 |
Image courtesy of Wright Foods/Aseptia

Image courtesy of Wright Foods/Aseptia

In early March, 2014, Raleigh-based food processing technology company Aseptia secured $28 million in Series C-Preferred Stock financing to support the growth of Wright Foods Inc., the manufacturing subsidiary of Aseptia. Lookout Capital, SJF Ventures, Prudential, and F.B. Heron Foundation provided the financing.

As a leading aseptic food manufacturer, Aseptia has developed an aseptic, sustainable, shelf-stable carton that can maintain a higher-quality food product, according to Michael Drozd, president and CEO of Wright Foods. The packaging can be found in most every grocery store. Read More

Chicago Startup Offers Healthy, Organic Foods in Vending Machines

April 4, 2014 |
Photo courtesy of Farmer's Fridge

Photo courtesy of Farmer’s Fridge

As a traveling salesman, Luke Saunders knew first hand just how hard it can be to find fresh food on the go.

“I was the person who would pick up prepared food for the road because I knew that when I got there, there wouldn’t be good options,” he says. “If I ever got to a place and I had forgotten to plan ahead, the options were limited for healthy food.”

His solution? Farmer’s Fridge: vending machines stocked with fresh, healthy salads and snacks. Read More

California Startup Leverages RFID Technology to Keep Food Fresh

March 7, 2014 |

infratab_logoIn a world filled with contaminated food outbreaks, low-quality fresh produce at the grocery stores and an emerging class of sustainable producers, the time to improve fresh food logistics is now upon us.

That’s why innovative and award-winning minds at Infratab Inc., incorporated in 2002 and headquartered in Oxnard, California, have spent years researching how to keep food fresh from field to consumer. The company offers small farmers, produce truck fleet owners and farmers’ markets Freshtime, a perishable food monitoring system at an affordable price. Read More

Startup Utilizes Social Media to Fight Food Waste, Feed the Hungry and Increase Revenue for Farmers

November 5, 2013 |

Source: CropMobster

It all started with a Facebook post.

Nick Papadopoulos was working as acting general manager of Bloomfield Farms, his wife’s parents’ 45-acre organic vegetable farm located in Northern California. One day, he found himself alone in the cooler after a farmer’s market, sipping on a beer and observing all of the unsold food that would soon become part of the farm’s chicken feed and compost bins.

Suddenly, he had an idea. Instead of giving premium organic produce to the chickens, why not give it to hungry people? So, he went online to Facebook and started typing. The original Facebook post offering leftover produce that started the cropsourcing website known as CropMobster can still be seen on the site today.

Read More

Startup Seeks to Build Better Farmers Market By Providing Year Round Online Access to Food

July 15, 2013 |

startup nation homepageWhat if you had access to a fresh farmers market seven days a week, knew exactly what they would be offering so that you can plan your meals, were able to contact your preferred vendors with a shopping list and could pay for everything in advance, with your fresh veggies being delivered directly to your door?

That’s exactly what Antony Lee, founder and CEO of Fresh Nation, has put together.

“The idea was to build a network of farmers markets across the country so that it’s a win for the vendors and a win for the customers,” Lee said. “We don’t necessarily need more farmers markets, we need better farmers markets.” Read More