Giving Compass Take:

• Food systems are already seeing a significant impact as more advanced technology such as robotics and automation add to food innovation tech. 

• How will this change the way we think about how food is grown and transported?  How will more technology affect farmers and agricultural jobs? 

• Read about how tech powerhouses are trying to fight famine. 


At an indoor farm in Silicon Valley, California, a mobile robot carries a tray of tiny plants—curly kale, Romaine lettuce, basil—to a robotic arm, which transplants them into a bigger tray to grow to size. In downtown San Francisco, office workers order and pick up quinoa bowls via an automated system without encountering a single employee. In Europe, a “platoon” of semi-autonomous delivery trucks crosses international borders for the first time.

Last November, researchers at Harpers Adams University in the United Kingdom announced the completion of the Hands Free Hectare project, during which nearly five tons of spring barley was successfully planted, tended, and harvested by autonomous vehicles and drones.

This project aimed to prove that there’s no technological reason why a field can’t be farmed without humans working the land directly now, and we’ve done that.

Peloton Technology is testing its system with a company that provides services to many of the largest trucking fleets in the country, and Uber teamed up with Anheuser-Busch InBev in Colorado last year to make the first commercial delivery—of 50,000 cans of Budweiser—in an autonomous truck.

Read the full article on food system labor by Lisa Elaine Held at Food Tank