Forward Food.Tech believes the synergy between new brands who are rapidly changing the Food and Ag landscape, with established well-resourced companies creates the perfect framework for future-proofing and driving growth for both parties.

Clients across the Barclays corporate and private banking divisions, industry contacts and tailored AgriFoodTech specific angel investors attended the event.

James Hague, Director Food and Drink Manufacturing, Barclays Corporate
James Hague, Director Food and Drink Manufacturing, Barclays Corporate

"At Barclays, we're well embedded into the high growth of digital ecosystems through a number of initiatives in the Barclays Group, established over a couple of years", said James Hague, Relationship Director Sub Sector Lead Food and Drink Manufacturing at Barclays.

Some of these initiatives include Barclays Eagle Labs, which has a focused AgTech start-up lens, followed by Barclays Accelerator programmes designed to help next-generation fintech businesses. Barclays are also in collaboration with the Unreasonable Impact Group which has seen a number of innovative brands focusing on sustainability, with alumni from the scheme now delivering in the food and beverage sectors.

"Over the last 12-18 months there's been a massive acceleration in the interest in adoption of digitisation in the manufacturing sector", James said. "On a reference of a recent blog by the UK's National Head of Manufacturing Lee Collinson, research suggests that 68% of manufacturing leaders say they are intensifying their spend on digital factory plans".

Rob Ward, CEO at Forward Food Tech and DiT Dealmaker

"We know there's a lot of change going in the food industry but the biggest question is what is that change going to look like. And ultimately, as food manufacturers, how can you make money whilst this change is happening', said Rob Ward, CEO of Forward Food.Tech.

Dr Max Grell, CEO at Blakbear - one of the five brands that presented during the event

The five traceability brands that were put forward for the event were Mezze, Blakbear, Martin Lishman, Cashmere Systems and Authenticate. Each brand had a chance to pitch their business to established manufacturing brands and investors from the Barclays network, followed by a Q&A session addressing challenges in the traceability sector.

This is the beginning of a relationship between Forward Food.Tech and Barclays to help drive innovation in all Agri-FoodTech sectors. To keep up to date on future events, get in touch with us.

To watch the event on-demand, register here.