FOOD security is the focus of a south west showcase taking place in March 2024. 

The AgriTech Showcase, held at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter, is focusing on agri-tech in the development of a secure and sustainable food supply chain. 

It will focus on commercialisation and the adoption of new, innovative and meaningful agri-tech. 

Keynote speaker Karl Tucker, chair of Great Southwest, said that food security is 'one of the biggest challenges' facing the UK. 

“Delivering food security must go hand-in-hand with sustainability, climate resilience, and healthy biodiversity," he said.

"Technology will be vital to tackling these global challenges; not only revolutionising farming methods, but also allowing us to measure our impact through cutting-edge tools like soil carbon testing and biodiversity analysis.

“The Great South West partnership – comprising business, councils, universities and Local Enterprise Partnerships – is uniquely positioned with its farm-to-fork network to help deliver the technologies needed to build a secure, domestic supply of food that supports our growing population.

 “Now is the time to seize our region’s opportunities and deliver, at scale, the technologies and food that will be vital to the UK’s future, as the country’s food and farming powerhouse.”

At the showcase, Phil Bicknell, acting director at the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), will discuss the recently announced merger between CIEL, the Agri-EPI Centre and the Crop Health and Protection (CHAP). 

“We have had three agri-tech centres trying to accelerate innovation in different sectors, so it made sense to move forward together,” Phil added.

“It’s an exciting time. What we’re launching is the largest agri-tech organisation that has ever existed in the UK. We can bridge the gap that exists between researchers and farmers. We want to broaden horizons and show people that the potential for agri-tech is more than just drones and robots, for example things like developments in livestock genetics.

“Innovation is also about finding different ways of working and changing mindsets. We want to investigate how agri-tech can prepare us for the future and address the big challenges we are facing.”

Sponsored by by Satellite Applications Catapult and Environmental Space Living Labs, the showcase will demonstrate what is trendsetting in the agricultural technology world. Visitors can also learn about sustainable farming practices, finance and productivity.

The presentations will include farmers providing real-life examples of agri-tech in commercial use.  Attendees will also be able to network in the market place section of the showcase.