Robynne Anderson's Emerging Thoughts on Ag

Nine Innovative Companies Revolutionizing the Food Industry

Fortune has created a list of 50 companies that are changing the agricultural world. These include companies working with innovative technologies like irrigation systems, or researching ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change using sustainable farming. Here are nine companies who are leaders in their field and are revolutionizing the food industry.

Whole Foods – This grocery store is based in Austin and pushed the focus on healthy, natural and nutritious foods. Because of their success, its competitors began carrying more organic food in order to still compete. Whole foods plans to open five lower-priced 365 stores by 2016, which will refuse to sell overfished seafood, pushes for animal welfare standards, and will require that all products which contain GMOs to be clearly labelled by 2018.

Jain Irrigation Systems – This Company has been selling micro-irrigation systems since 1986 which take the technology used in industrial agriculture and alter it for smaller family owned farms. This helps to increase their crop yields from 50 to 300 percent, and evidently improves the livelihoods of five million small farmers in India.

Unilever – This is the third largest consumer goods company which has helped train 800,000 farmers on how to grow more responsibly. Responsible farming is a huge aspect of the company as more than half of Unilever’s agriculture materials come from sustainable sources.

Danone – Danone is a French company that focuses on helping impoverished youths get the nutrition they need by studying the diets of youths from different countries, and creating food products packed with the nutrients they need. In Brazil, Danone creating a cheese low in sugar and full of vitamins, while Bangladesh’s youth consume 600,000 servings a week of Shokti-Doi, a nutritious yogurt.

SABMiller – This U.K beverage company helps to support the small businesses that carry its brews. In Uganda, it’s created a locally-developed sorghum beer, Eagle, which provides jobs for 20,000 local farmers. While in Latin America, SABMiller provides financial assistance to the 780,000 shops that sell its product. This increased the sales by 12.8 percent since 2013.

Starbucks – Starbucks has revolutionized the way we drink our morning coffee, and to top it off; 99 percent of the millions of pounds of coffee purchased this year will be ethically sourced, while Starbucks has invested $20 million in coffee farms to help benefit forty-thousand coffee farmers. Starbucks has also launched a job initiative to hire 100,000 jobless millennials that has been recently joined by 12 other major companies.

Cargill – Cargill produces more than 500,000 tons of edible oils in India each year. It was in 2008 that the company began making a big difference by fortifying its oils with Vitamin A and D. This has helped fight malnourishment and has sparked competitors to do the same.

Ayala – Prior to Ayala’s beginning in 1997, only 3% of the residents in Manila had access to a sewer system and a quarter of the homes had potable tap water. Today, its “Water for the Poor” program helps to assure that the area’s 1.8 million low-income homes have access to clean water around the clock.

Emerging is proud to have worked with Jain, Unilever, Danone, SABMiller, Cargill through PSM at CFS. For more information on these companies, visit FutureAg’s website.