Startup NatureMetrics wins 2023 Tesco Agri T-Jam competition and the chance to partner with Tesco’s suppliers
NatureMetrics has won the 2023 Tesco Agri T-Jam Competition, securing fast-track introductions to the Tesco supplier network and a trial with one of the retailer’s supply chain partners.
Now in its sixth year, the Tesco Agri T-Jam pitching event, run in partnership with Leading Edge Only, saw 10 different agri start-ups pitch to a panel of Tesco sustainable agriculture and commercial experts, Tesco suppliers, and stakeholders to find the most promising agriculture innovation.
This year the event was dominated by innovations which can contribute to Tesco’s aim of building more sustainable supply chains, incorporating ideas with solutions to support on-farm measurement, data analytics, and supporting farmers in making informed choices around complex sustainability issues.
NatureMetrics, represented at the pitch event by its Head of Agriculture, Tom Ludwig, won the competition for its innovative solution which measures biodiversity using eDNA analysis of soil, water, and insects. The innovation converts this complex data into simple metrics which can be viewed through its Nature Intelligence Platform, allowing users to comprehensively report on biodiversity improvement in their supply chain.
Commenting on the competition this year, Natalie Smith, head of sustainable agriculture at Tesco, said: “We are thrilled to welcome NatureMetrics to our network, and to offer them the opportunity to work with our suppliers and experience direct feedback and mentoring from our Sustainable Agriculture team. In an incredibly strong field, Tom Ludwig demonstrated his commitment to biodiversity and really impressed the whole of the judging panel.
“This competition is designed to help us find innovators who can help us build long-term resilience within our supply base, addressing key sustainability challenges so we can continue our progress towards our stretching climate and biodiversity targets. I’d like to thank all of our finalists for taking part – I’m sure there will be more opportunities in the future for these innovators to work with Tesco suppliers.”
Ludwig will also receive a one-year free membership to both Agri-TechE and Agri-EPI Centre and will have the opportunity to present on stage at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit taking place in London on 26-27 September, to an audience of over 900 international senior ag-tech decision-makers and innovators.
Alongside Tom Ludwig, the other finalists were: Viridian (Angus Middleton), Flexifarm (Kevin Gooding), Map of Ag (Joe Towers), Bloomfield (Mark DeSantis), Laguzze (Laurent Vigouelle), Yard Stick PBC (Chris Tolles), Snapp Laab (Donat Posta), Protiomix Ltd (Stephan Jaffe), and Sunamp (Ana Amaral).
Scott Sharp, founder and CEO of Leading Edge Only, said: “We are delighted for Tom and for all of the applicants who were shortlisted. This is a life-changing opportunity and it is incredibly exciting to see the level of talent across start-ups in the agri-tech space. We are confident that we will continue to hear these names as they each make their stamp within the landscape over the next few years.”
Tesco Agri T-Jam 2023 finalists:
NatureMetrics (Tom Ludwig) measures biodiversity using eDNA analysis of soil, water and insects. This data is converted to simple metrics via the Nature Intelligence platform to allow users to comprehensively report on biodiversity improvements in their supply chain.
Viridian (Angus Middleton) plans the sustainable use of land, using high-tech data modelling to calculate how landscapes are functioning, and then designing ways to manage the whole landscape system to solve local problems.
Flexifarm (Kevin Gooding) is a cloud-based data integration SaaS platform for farms integrating with 3rd party hardware, software and data with advanced features and analytics. It aims to increase farm productivity, health and safety, and remote systems management.
Map of Ag (Joe Towers) created the “What If” Tool to optimise dairy farming operations and lower emissions by analysing factors like feed types and manure management. The tool offers farmers a customised analysis platform where they can use sliding scales to see their impact.
Bloomfield (Mark DeSantis) provides plant digitisation, providing automated, direct line-of-site pixel-level insection of harvests. Using imaging and AI, the technology allows growers to assess the health and performance of each and every plant, regardless of plant type, location or number.
Laguzze (Laurent Vigouelle) is a fertiliser made from seawater that provides more than 60 trace elements. The fertiliser acts as a natural repellent against all types of insects and pests and offers a significant reduction in fungal diseases.
Yard Stick PBC (Chris Tolles) measures soil carbon, making it possible to quantify carbon stocks on more land and allow more growers to increase their knowledge of their land. The technology is designed for field evaluation of soil carbon stocks and changes.
Snapp Laab (Donat Posta) provides insect infestation monitoring and forecasting, using AI image recognition to provide actionable insights to growers. The platform offers a simple hectare-based subscription model to increase sustainability and profitability.
Protiomix Ltd (Stephan Jaffe) utilises waste streams generated by food and beverage sectors, converting this into an environmentally sustainable quality, carbon-negative feed and pet food production process.
Sunamp (Ana Amaral) offers a low-carbon solution that can reduce operational costs by running chillers during off-peak time to store energy to be used during peak time. This increases resilience for suppliers by not fully depending on the grid operation.