Why owning a farm, advanced technologies, and one bold and passionate CEO makes a difference.
2020 could be the beginning of the fastest technological race in agricultural history. Things are changing at a lightning-fast pace on the world’s fields and are giving way to new advances and exciting trends.
Since 2018, Lindsay Giguiere, Founder and CEO of Greenfield Groves, has been an inspiring leader in the agribusiness and agriculture world. Her initial thought of independently creating an approachable, high-quality and highly efficacious series of products with her own ingredients led to her purchase of a farm in Phoenix, Oregon where the nutrient dense soil is considered some of the industry’s best. From, there it has grown into so much more in the world of global health and wellness, but at the roots of it all, was her farm and her passion for creating the most transparent and sustainable choices and ingredients for her customers.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest agribusiness trends that are shaping the industry and its future, and, that we are excited to already be a part of.
1. Technology – Digital Blockchain Network
There’s probably no other technology or trend that’s as exciting and promising as the introduction of digital blockchain networks to the agribusiness world. By 2025, we could see more than 75 billion connected devices on our farms—with everything from individual seeds to fields becoming connected to the internet.
At Greenfield Groves, our cloud-based digital blockchain ledger provides us with a 360° look at the journey of our products—from genetics to agriculture to marketing and distribution. This level of traceability is something that the agricultural world has never experienced before. It not only allows us to optimize our process and efficiencies, but also gives our consumers the transparency they want and deserve.
2. Technology – Interoperability
Technology has become essential for connecting, sharing information, and collecting data—especially in agriculture. However, with different devices and apps required to complete on-farm tasks, the technology designed to support our daily operations can sometimes end up becoming a burden and leaves many farmers craving interoperability.
Fortunately, with the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more smart devices are becoming available that can help to simplify things—and blockchain is proving to be at the forefront of this movement.
By integrating with existing systems, the “Greenfield Blockchain” allows us to connect all of our agribusiness operations in a way that ensures a smoother process down the supply chain, and allows us to make sense of all the information we gather.
3. Technology- Artificial Intelligence
With all of the data collected, stored, and transferred through digital blockchain networks and increased interoperability, we require some support in making sense of all of it—and this is where artificial intelligence comes in.
By leveraging artificial intelligence, we’re able to use sophisticated algorithms and data encryption to turn information into real-time action, which ultimately helps us support the well-being of our global society.
4. Hyper Precisions
Over the past decade, the agribusiness world enjoyed precision agriculture and we’re now starting to see hyper precision take its place. When we shift our focus from entire fields to specific seeds, we get a chance to optimize depth, water, and inputs at the micro level, which contributes to maximum yields and profits.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and the data handling capacities of blockchain ledgers, hyper precision has meant that our 25-acre Southern Oregon farm has been able to successfully produce more than 50,000 pounds of premium, organic cannabinoids.
5. Data Insights
Decisions and data insights go hand-in-hand and modern technology has made the latter much more accessible. Data insights have allowed us to make decisions regarding every stage of the production cycle—from genomics to distribution.
Not only do data insights enable higher on-farm outputs and efficiencies, but they also play a role after our products leave the field. Data helps us better understand the behavior of our consumers so that we can support their well-being with quality products, premium ingredients, and science-backed goods.
6. Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG)
With sustainable agriculture on the rise, more and more people are wanting to know where their products are coming from, and how they’re grown. That said, environment, sustainability and governance matters are extremely important—not just in agribusiness, but in business as a whole.
Transparency is key for ESG, especially when it comes to personal care and healthy food products. People want to know where and how their products make their way from seed-to-shelf They want to be able to see the journey themselves—not just take a company’s word for it.
Not only is Greenfield Groves aware of environmental issues, but we also keep transparency and sustainability at the forefront of our operations. We hold many company and industry specific certifications to help support our merits. Sustainability isn’t merely a corporate goal; it’s a corporate directive.
7. Microbials and Biologicals
Agriculture may seem like it’s only focused on what grows above ground, but, in fact, there’s a whole world growing below that’s just as important. Underneath every crop field, soil microbes (like fungi, protozoa, and bacteria) play an active part in supporting or hindering what’s growing where the eye can see.
Microbials and biologicals can symbiotically work with these microbes to help them with pest control or the transfer of crop nutrients—and they can be specifically chosen to perform certain tasks.
Instead of using herbicides or pesticides, we’ve been able to support the health of our soil and plants on our farm in Oregon with specialized “craft grade” inputs. This is a safe and sustainable way for us to ensure the best organically-grown adaptogens and therapeutic beneficials.
8. Consumer-Driven Farm Partnerships
Consumer preferences are the driving force behind many agribusiness decisions in 2020. Some of the biggest names in food—like Perdue Farms and General Mills—have begun forming closer relationships with their farm partners.
This trend forms the ethos of our operations. The desire to provide our consumers with transparency and ensure optimal sustainability is the reason behind our full-circle platform and inclusive family of brands that incorporates our Greenfield Grows agribusiness farm.
9. Niche Market Access
The trend of moving away from commodity to niche markets has been active for several years, but with an increased interest in ecologically-sound farming systems recently it has become all the more important in 2020. Accessing niche markets is not only promising from an economic decision, but it’s also better suited to smaller, more sustainable farming operations (i.e. organic vegetables).
For Greenfield Groves, accessing niche markets allow us to respond to the individual needs and preferences of our customers so we can give them exactly what they want—and have a sustainable and transparent process to back it up.
10. Women-Founded Agribusinesses
Some of the world’s biggest countries in agriculture—including Brazil and the US—are seeing a rise in women-founded farms. In the 2017 US farm census, 36% of the country’s producers were female—which was significantly higher than in 2012.
The trends of women taking a more active role in agriculture have continued to rise but, as women still face several barriers in agriculture, it appears that our founder, Lindsay Giguiere’s, role in “women-supporting-women” is more crucial than ever.