News Title



The report Food for Climate - Sustainable Food & AgTech in Europe, published by Food Labs and Dealroom, presents a comprehensive overview of the current state of food technology and its impact on climate change as well as an analysis of the European food and agritech startup scene. 


Weather disasters, as well as political and financial volatility, have brought to light the fragility of our food system in recent decades, with three food crises occurring between 2008 and 2012. Looking forward towards the midpoint of the century, there is an anticipated significant rise in the global population, leading to a substantial increase in the demand for agricultural output, with the Food and Agriculture Organization projecting this surge to be around 60% of present production levels. 


However, the food sector is not only a victim but also a significant contributor to climate change. It is estimated that it currently accounts for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, food production puts a tremendous strain on natural resources such as land and water, negatively affecting biodiversity. Agriculture is responsible for massive water use, greenhouse gas emissions and land use. Christian Guba, Principal at Food Labs, emphasises the urgency of the situation, stating, "This isn't a wake-up call, but a call to action." 


The report also underscores the role of sustainable practices in mitigating these environmental impacts. It points out that though the food system is a significant contributor to climate change, it also holds the potential to be part of the solution. By adopting sustainable practices and leveraging technology, we can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of our food system. 


Given these factors, food and agriculture have been increasingly incorporated into climate discussions, both in public and private spaces. Climate Foodtech and AgTech startups have also gained momentum in the venture capital space. It is estimated in the report that European sustainable food and agritech startups raised a total of $1.9 billion in VC funding in 2022, which is a 20% increase from 2021. The report also states that there are over 1,200 startups in the sector with a combined enterprise value of $27 billion, which has doubled since 2020. This indicates that the Foodtech and AgTech sectors are growing and attracting more investment.  


Foodtech overview 


The report provides a deep dive into the world of Foodtech. According to Christian Guba, there are potential solutions offered by technology and innovation in the food industry. These encompass mycelium, precision fermentation, molecular farming and cell culture, which are distinct pathways towards a shared objective, namely achieving food production with reduced environmental impact. Each of these technological advancements possesses individual timelines and advantages in terms of cost, taste, texture, scalability, and regulatory compliance. They hold the promise of enabling land-independent, sustainable protein production while alleviating the challenges associated with conventional animal agriculture.   


The Foodtech sector has seen a surge in investments, with startups leading the growth with a 30% year over year. These businesses are not only contributing to a more sustainable food system but are also creating new opportunities for investors. The report identifies over 340 startups spanning 16 segments that are contributing to the shift towards a sustainable food system and emphasises the role of startups in driving these innovations.  


In terms of geographical distribution, the United Kingdom is home to 17% of European Foodtech startups, followed by the Netherlands with 15%, and Germany with 14%, which also boasts two unicorns in the sector. This data underscores the vibrant and dynamic nature of the Foodtech startup scene in Europe. 


AgTech overview 


According to the report, in 2022 sustainable AgTech startups in Europe secured a total of $561M in funding, marking a 5% growth. Over the past five years, vertical farming has been the leading sector in terms of investment. This growth indicates a strong interest and confidence in the potential of AgTech to revolutionise the agricultural sector. Innovations such as feeds that reduce methane, fertilisers that capture nitrous oxide and enhanced rock weathering for carbon sequestration are making a significant impact. Traditional agriculture, done right, can sequester carbon, preserve biodiversity, and maintain soil health. 


The report suggests that while we should value these practices, we should also embrace new technologies. The food sector is seeing a rise in startup activity and entrepreneurs are harnessing technology to make agriculture more sustainable and efficient. 


The Sustainable Food and AgTech ecosystem in Europe is evolving rapidly. The sector is ripe for innovation, and startups are at the forefront of this transformation. The future of food and agriculture lies in leveraging technology to build sustainable and efficient food production processes and technologies, therefore contributing to the sector's environmental imprint being reduced. 


We at Tech Tour are dedicated to helping build a sustainable future. Check out and sign up for our Agritech, Food and Bioeconomy 2023 Programme to meet 35+ emerging game-changing companies in the sector.