Straight talk about plant-based protein

Plant based proteinKenneth Scott Zuckerberg, Wells Fargo Senior Vice President and Strategist

Vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets have grown in popularity in recent years as consumer preferences and values have shifted towards health and wellness, humaneness, and sustainability. My study of plant-based meat alternatives, an important component of the alternative protein complex, yielded some interesting observations:
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Seeding innovation

Seeding innovationKenneth Scott Zuckerberg, Wells Fargo Senior Vice President and Strategist

The expansion of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) into agriculture technology ─ in partnership with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center ─ represents a unification of philanthropy and impact investing with innovation and economic development. And for the industry, this partnership actually does more than that. It provides opportunities for Wells Fargo Agribusiness customers to gain early exposure to next-generation scientific and information technology advancements. This is critical as farmers and the food supply chain adjust to the new reality that business models must change, from both an economic and environmental perspective, in order to ensure long-term sustainability. Onward!
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Investing at the Intersection of Farming, Finance, and Technology

Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg, AIF® AFA®, Wells Fargo Sector Manager, Agrifood Technology and Packaged Foods

The past decade has been interesting in Food and Agriculture with growing investor interest in what historically has been viewed as a mature, capital-intensive, low-growth, and highly cyclical commodity industry. Following the global financial crisis, investor interest accelerated based on rising grain prices, driven by China imports and ethanol demand, along with rising food demand from a growing middle class especially in emerging markets.
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A ‘Fresh’ Look at Indoor AgTech

Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg, AIF® AFA®, Wells Fargo Sector Manager, Agrifood Technology and Packaged Foods

Indoor production of fresh fruits and vegetables leveraging aeroponic and hydroponic growing techniques has gained meaningful investor momentum in recent years. The simplistic bull case for sector investment is that indoor farming operations provide direct exposure to a growing consumer demand for healthy, local, farm-fresh produce. Unfortunately, the defendable bear case is that indoor farms are expensive to build and operate, lack full automation, and do not command a pricing premium over outdoor-grown, organically produced crops.
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Field of robotic dreams

Iot smart industry robot 4.0 agriculture concept,industrial agronomist,farmer using software Artificial intelligence technology in tablet to monitoring condition and control automatic robotics in farmKenneth Scott Zuckerberg, AIF® AFA®, Wells Fargo Sector Manager, Agrifood Technology and Packaged Foods

The first modern day industrial robot was deployed on a General Motors assembly line in 1961 about 60 miles south of my hometown in New Jersey. Two decades later, robots had become commonplace in U.S. automobile manufacturing as automation was embraced to improve quality, productivity, and efficiency. This did not occur by accident. At that time, Ford and General Motors were losing market share to Japanese and German car makers. While the dynamic from the automotive industry is not perfectly analogous to farming, there are some similarities. (more…)


Welcome to the Digital Marketplace

Engineer checking automated robotics in drinks production plant of factoryKenneth Scott Zuckerberg, AIF® AFA®, Wells Fargo Sector Manager, Agrifood Technology and Packaged Foods

Welcome to my first Food Matters blog, intended to provide insights and perspectives on the tidal wave of change impacting food producers, value-added processors, and distributors. Against a backdrop of low commodity prices, increasing global competition, and changing consumer preferences, the time has come to embrace new technologies — such as data analytics, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence — that can improve returns and reduce risk. I hope you’ll remain tuned into Food Matters with each issue of our Food for Thought e-newsletter.
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