May 17, 2020

Are Australia and China Close to Closing a Billion Dollar Cattle Deal?

Australia food manufacturing
imports and exports
meat prod
Frazer Jones
2 min
Nestlé Commits to Ambitious Animal Welfare Standards across its Supply Chain
If inside sources are correct, Australia could be on the verge of closing an export deal that would have the country sending a million cattle to China...

If inside sources are correct, Australia could be on the verge of closing an export deal that would have the country sending a million cattle to China — a deal valued at around a billion Australian dollars.

Business Review Australia reports that the million cattle would not be exported to China all at once. Rather, it would be a deal executed over time, with 30,000 to 50,000 heads of Australian cattle sent to China each year. While China has always been a valued purchaser of Australian beef and dairy cattle, the finalization of this long-term deal would strengthen ties and increase commerce further between the two countries. Some Australian officials see the potential deal as a beneficial thing, like government frontbencher Christopher Pyne who is heralding it as a breakthrough:

“I mean this is the kind of thing that happens when you have a government that's focused on economic outcomes,” Mr Pyne told Channel Nine. “So we have a Free Trade Agreement with Japan, Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, working on one with China.”


With that said, not all Australian politicians share the same optimistic view of the deal:

“I recently called the Federal Government a pack of sadists when it comes to animal welfare,” [independent MP Andrew] Wilkie said in a statement. “Turns out evil death cult would have been a better description as far as the live animal export trade is concerned.”


Opposition leader Bill Shorten also cautioned that the government has only announced the benefits of the deal, while keeping quiet on any of the potential costs to the livestock industry and Australian voters.

Nevertheless, the deal has the preliminary support of Australian agricultural lobby groups like Agforce, who are excited about the potential of a new market to open up during a period of struggle for the industry. As BR Australia adds, Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce is especially optimistic about the deal — though he cautions against getting too excited before the deal has gone through, as nothing is set in stone yet:

"The tricks of dealing in Asia is you don't pre-empt their decision, you let them make it and then you celebrate it," Joyce shared with Lateline. "We have a massive up-swing from when we came to government to [where] we are now in the price of beef.”


The compact could be finalized the 2014 G20 Summit, scheduled to be held in Brisbane on November 15 and 16.


[SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation via Business Review Australia]

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Jun 17, 2021

Better Origin’s AI insect farm is a solution to food waste

Helen Adams
2 min
Better Origin, a UK agritech business uses food waste as the solution to food security

With 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted annually, a solution has come to market that recycles food waste back into feed, using insects.

Better Origin, a UK agritech business based in Cambridge, has developed a fully automated insect farm powered by AI, to naturally feed chickens. The company is reducing dependency on imported feed and helping food producers achieve net-zero. 

With the global population expected to surpass nine billion by 2050, food production will need to increase by 70% to meet this demand. Sustainably produced animal-grade protein is a part of a long-term solution to increase food supply to humans.

Launched in 2015, Better Origin started with two Cambridge graduates’ love for nature and technology and a desire to ‘bring the food chain back to its origins’.


The Better Origin X1 product reduces the need for many resources

Better Origin wanted a solution to the broken food chain. By using both nature and AI, the company is addressing the global food security problem. Their solution to food waste increases food security and improves animal welfare and sustainability. 

The product – the Better Origin X1 - uses insects to naturally convert food waste into animal feed. It reduces the need for many resources required to produce animal feed:

  • Land
  • Crops
  • Transport
  • Water 

The X1 looks like a standard shipping container, but it's a fully autonomous, modular insect farm powered by AI. The feed created by this new technology is produced naturally, is cost-effective and promotes a more circular food system, providing greater resilience and flexibility in times of need.

The Better Origin X1 recycles local agricultural waste to produce natural insect protein. This reduces the farmers’ dependency on unsustainable feeds, such as soy. The bioconversion unit grows insect feed on the farmers’ behalf, overseeing the larvae’s feeding and growth. This solution tackles waste and improves productivity, yield, and animal welfare, all while delivering a 130% ROI.


Achieving net-zero with insect protein and AI innovation

Insects farms are already operating in four places around the UK, including independent free-range farms.

“Humans are terrible at dealing with waste, while nature does it perfectly”, said Fotis Fotiadis, CEO & Founder of Better Origin. “We can have insects all around the world, addressing food waste locally. They will improve the lives of animals and make the future of food more sustainable. Our technology is on the path to becoming the mark of best practice within the food industry. We are working with farmers, retailers, and food producers to roll out this solution, with the aim to help secure the future of food.”

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