The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has launched the Fresh Field Catalyst, a so-called 'accelerator programme' designed to attract start-up, scale-up and international technology solution providers interested in entering the global produce market.
“As we move towards system-wide interoperability, technology is becoming more universal and adaptive to multiple industries,” said vice-president of innovation at IFPA, Vonnie Estes.
“Many solutions to our industry challenges may already exist, but the creators aren’t aware of the potential our industry holds for both growth and impact,' Estes explained. 'The accelerator is like building a super highway directly into our industry for global potential partners.”
The Fresh Field Catalyst is a six month programme for global companies (start-up, scale-up, and corporates) who have a developed solution and an interest in entering the produce market.
“The produce industry extends into every community across the globe and growing access and consumption is critical to global public health,” said programme mentor Jan DeLyser, vice-president of marketing at California Avocado Commission.
“There is huge potential for those companies looking to enter the industry. There are few other opportunities that provide so much promise for both individual companies and the world.”
The programme is designed to introduce companies to the industry, connect them with industry mentors and leaders, and provide them with an industry immersion programme to help them integrate into the fresh produce and floral industry.
“Sometimes innovative technologies are proven and mature in other industries, but they are not yet suitable for the produce industry,” noted programme mentor Scott Komar, senior vice-president, global R&D at Driscoll’s.
“In these cases it’s necessary to adapt and apply existing technologies in significant new ways,' Komar continued. 'The Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator seems like a great approach to fast tracking the process of partnering and entering our market. It’s also an excellent opportunity for those solution providers looking to scale their business while minimising risk.”
Included in the programme will be field and corporate visits for accelerator participants, virtual meet-ups with industry experts across the supply chain, one-on-one mentoring and access to IFPA resources.