UK startup NatureMetrics captures first place at annual Agri T-Jam competition

Produce Business report

NatureMetrics, a company which measures biodiversity using eDNA analysis of soil, water and insects, beat out nine other UK startups in earning top prize at this year’s Tesco’s Agri T-Jam competition.

With the victory, NatureMetrics earned the right to work in a trial with a Tesco supply chain partner and also gained access to its supplier network. The sixth-annual showcase event helps rising businesses pitch their unique innovations that foster sustainability in agriculture.

Like NatureMetrics, whose Nature Intelligence Platform turns data into metrics that can help improve biodiversity throughout supply chains, this year’s crop of candidates put forward solutions aimed at improving efficiency and the environment.

“This competition is designed to help us find innovators who can help us build long-term resilience within our supply base, addressing key sustainability challenges so we can continue our progress towards our stretching climate and biodiversity targets,” Natalie Smith, Head of Sustainable Agriculture at Tesco, said. “We are thrilled to welcome NatureMetrics to our network, and to offer them the opportunity to work with our suppliers and experience direct feedback and mentoring from our Sustainable Agriculture team.”

Tom Ludwig, head of agriculture at NatureMetrics, also won the right to pitch their solution at the  World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London on 26-27 September, and received a one-year membership to Agri-TechE and Agri-EPI.

“We are delighted for Tom and for all of the applicants who were shortlisted,” Scott Sharp, founder and CEO of Tesco partner Leading Edge Only, said. “This is a life-changing opportunity and it is incredibly exciting to see the level of talent across start-ups in the agri-tech space. We are confident that we will continue to hear these names as they each make their stamp within the landscape over the next few years.”

The rest of the field

Here is a list of the other competitors from the T-Jam, released by Tesco:

Viridian (Angus Middleton) plans the sustainable use of land, using high-tech data modelling to calculate how landscapes are functioning, and then designing ways to manage the whole landscape system to solve local problems.

Flexifarm (Kevin Gooding) is a cloud-based data integration SaaS platform for farms integrating with 3rd party hardware, software and data with advanced features and analytics. It aims to increase farm productivity, health and safety, and remote systems management.

Map of Ag (Joe Towers) created the “What If” Tool to optimise dairy farming operations and lower emissions by analysing factors like feed types and manure management. The tool offers farmers a customised analysis platform where they can use sliding scales to see their impact.

Bloomfield (Mark DeSantis) provides plant digitisation, providing automated, direct line-of-site pixel-level insection of harvests. Using imaging and AI, the technology allows growers to assess the health and performance of each and every plant, regardless of plant type, location or number.

Laguzze (Laurent Vigouelle) is a fertiliser made from seawater that provides more than 60 trace elements. The fertiliser acts as a natural repellent against all types of insects and pests and offers a significant reduction in fungal diseases.

Yard Stick PBC (Chris Tolles) measures soil carbon, making it possible to quantify carbon stocks on more land and allow more growers to increase their knowledge of their land. The technology is designed for field evaluation of soil carbon stocks and changes.

Snapp Laab (Donat Posta) provides insect infestation monitoring and forecasting, using AI image recognition to provide actionable insights to growers. The platform offers a simple hectare-based subscription model to increase sustainability and profitability.

Protiomix Ltd (Stephan Jaffe) utilises waste streams generated by food and beverage sectors, converting this into an environmentally sustainable quality, carbon-negative feed and pet food production process. 

Sunamp (Ana Amaral) offers a low-carbon solution that can reduce operational costs by running chillers during off-peak time to store energy to be used during peak time. This increases resilience for suppliers by not fully depending on the grid operation.



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