Trends to watch in 2021 –
Agribusiness: technology and disruption
Canada’s agribusiness sector—which is deeply woven into our economic, social and technological fabric—is facing unprecedented change. Looking ahead, the sector’s challenges and opportunities will be shaped by:
The confluence of agriculture and technology is changing how food is produced, manufactured and delivered. Canada’s food system will be shaped by technological innovations, including food-as-software, data analytics, genetic engineering, the use of microorganisms in food production, increased automation and robotics, and hydroponics and aquaponics.
Evolving consumer preferences
Consumer demand is having a profound impact on the agribusiness sector. Notable preferences that will reshape the sector in the years to come include an increased demand for plant-based foods, prioritizing locally-produced food, and a growing awareness of global food security and climate change.
Evolving consumer expectations and demands will continue to drive innovation and fragmentation in the food industry. While COVID-19 catalyzed the rapid shift to e-commerce in the food retail space, orders by apps, drone delivery and alternative options will require constant innovation.
Disruption in animal agriculture
Livestock farming will face significant disruption in the coming years. With reduced land area, innovations in cell-based meat, a growing pressure to reduce global emissions, and continued scrutiny of practises associated with animal agriculture, the sector will have to pivot to accommodate the growth in alternatives to animal-based products.