Farm to Fork Summit promotes alignment on agri-tech challenges and opportunities 

Published: May 14, 2024

There was strong alignment on agri-tech challenges and opportunities at the Farm to Fork Summit, at which the UK Agri-Tech Centre was represented by our chairman, Dr. Peter Quinn.

Dr. Quinn was invited to discuss “how government and industry can work together to grow an innovative and resilient farming and food sector, taking a collaborative approach to resolve and mitigate challenges and unlock opportunities” at a breakout session chaired by The Rt Hon Sir Mark Spencer MP, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Participants discussed opportunities and innovation around gene-editing, automation, research and development, net zero innovation and artificial intelligence, areas in which the UK Agri-Tech Centre has significant capabilities and is involved in multiple projects.

Defra also announced the creation of a UK food security index. Food security is one of the four Grand Challenges which inform the UK Agri-Tech Centre’s strategy, the others being sustainability, disease pressures, and labour and productivity.

Speaking immediately after the Summit, Dr. Quinn said:

“It was really good for the UK Agri-Tech Centre to be represented at the Farm to Fork Summit today and to take part in discussions with the entire spectrum of the industry and supply chain.  Everyone agreed that this is a really exciting period for agri-tech and innovation but acknowledged that there are regulatory and investment challenges to be overcome to accelerate innovation and adoption.

Globally, Venture Capital investment into agri-tech is down significantly year on year, but the agri-tech sector has long-term needs; the government can play an important role in promoting the sector and de-risking for early adopters. There was also alignment on the need to train young people for careers in agriculture and the food industry, and to nurture new talent.

The creation of the UK Agri-Tech Centre forms a key part of the UK Government’s strategy for agriculture and is a significant boost in its investment into the country’s agri-tech sector. We have a stronger voice into government, working across departments to ensure that industry issues are represented in joined-up fashion at the highest level, and I am now looking forward to building on the opportunities that are emerging from the day’s discussions.”

For more information on the Farm to Fork Summit or how we can support your agri-tech ambitions, please get in touch via