Following on from the success of two sell-out events in Melbourne in 2019 and 2020, Perth was named as the host city for the third edition of Asia Pacific’s premier agrifood tech event on 16-17 February 2021.
Embracing Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific, evokeAG. takes its inspiration from the diversity that the region has on offer. Perth is the perfect city to host evokeAG. 2021, supported by the Western Australian Government’s commitment to grow agriculture, fisheries and food industries.
“We designed evokeAG. to be bold, brave and to bring together the Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific agrifood tech ecosystem. It is therefore critical that we view what we do through a different lens, experience a different location and embrace a different landscape in order to create a movement that will drive real change across the entire region.
“I encourage all of our delegates – innovators, businesses, entrepreneurs, primary producers, researchers, universities and corporates to join us in the west for another great instalment of food, farm, future in February 2021,” said Mr Harvey.
The proximity of Western Australia to Asia and South America, a strong global and local demand for their agricultural commodities, and a focus on growth and development, means Western Australia is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the collective desire for Australia to remain globally relevant and continue to challenge the conventions of what we grow, how we grow it and what we eat.
The announcement was made at the end of Day 1 of evokeAG. where more than 1,300 of agriculture’s best and brightest filled Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building..
Day 1 of the program saw more than 50 national and international speakers take to the stage and highlight new technologies, food markets, lessons on launching into international markets, and investment opportunities.
AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey said evokeAG. aims to inspire and challenge new ways of thinking.
“We are putting the Australian agrifood tech ecosystem on the global stage. In its second year, evokeAG. has attracted more delegates, more speakers, more farmers, more startups and more investors and it’s tremendously exciting to see all parts of the ecosystem coming together to share their ideas and innovations on the future of our agricultural industry,” said Mr Harvey.
The day kicked off with a keynote from the CEO of SVG Ventures – THRIVE, the number one agrifood tech accelerator in the world. CEO John Hartnett explored how we use technology to get more out of available resources to feed our growing population and evolving consumer demands.
The Silicon Valley-based investor said events like evokeAG. ensure Australian agtech startups are exposed to their fair share of global venture capital investment.
“Australian entrepreneurs are not getting their fair share of venture capital investment. Entrepreneurs need access to global venture capital and corporate investors in order to scale globally. Events like evokeAG. act as a catalyst to bring the key players within the ecosystem together and drive the focus on innovation within the sector,” said Mr Hartnett.
Sustainability was another strong focus of the program with Founder of The Future Market and Alpha Food Labs Mike Lee asking delegates “What does sustainability taste like?”. Bayer’s Head of Crop Strategy Frank Terhorst continued the theme uncovering how we can shape the future of agriculture sustainably and responsibly with technology.
“We are at a tipping point where both consumers and our planet demand a fundamental change in the agricultural system.
“As we address the growing world challenges, we need to find sustainable ways of food production that preserve both our natural resources and farmers’ economic viability.
“Embracing biotechnology, innovative crop protection products and digital innovation can help solve the paradox between production and preservation. In doing so, agriculture becomes an important part of the solution in combating climate change and biodiversity loss, while helping to ensure food security in a sustainable way,” said Mr Terhorst.
More than 200 farmers flocked to the event with sessions on emerging and established technologies to connect producers to remain competitive in the global marketplace, precision livestock and cutting-edge precision farming keeping farmers at the forefront of innovative thinking.
Co-Owner of The Madgett’s Block vineyard in McLaren Vale, Oli Madgett said he is excited to be at evokeAG..
“It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and dynamic people in agriculture, with insightful sessions on the key trends that are going to shape the coming decade of farming. The sessions on soil health (stop treating soil like dirt) and environmental sustainability (with Damon Gameau, who created the movie 2040) are top of mind in our case,” said Mr Madgett.
During the day, delegates had the opportunity to connect with 38 innovative agrifood tech startups including a team addressing the 7% mortality rate in our beef industry, a multi-sensor ear tag, an advanced automated pollination system and a new on-farm test for bovine mastitis which could save our dairy industry millions of dollars each year through a reduction in antibiotic treatment.
Founder of FarmBot Monitoring Solutions Andrew Coppin said evokeAG. is an important opportunity to connect with the farmers in the room to showcase the technologies which will revolutionise farming systems.
“evokeAG. has not only presented us with an exceptional opportunity to converse with farmers and showcase how our technology will assist to make them more productive and profitable, but also to engage with relevant investors, industry leaders and other agritech companies who are current or prospective collaborators. We are all striving to deliver better solutions for farmers that will help create more sustainable outcomes that we can then take to the world stage. Events like evokeAG. help bring all the right parties together and provide the focus the sector needs to develop and scale truly game changing technology,” said Mr Coppin.
Elders joined evokeAG. 2020, as the Platinum Partner for the second consecutive year. Elders Managing Director and CEO, Mark Allison, said the partnership is an ideal fit to mature the innovation ecosystem and take the industry to new heights.
“evokeAG. is an opportunity for the world’s leading minds in food and fibre to explore what’s next in agtech. I see Elders’ role at the conference to be a voice of reason, ensuring the farmer is at the centre everything we see. While it is always fascinating to see the latest developments for agriculture, my message is that fundamentally what really matters is how developments address one thing – on-farm productivity,” said Mr Allison.
The end of the day saw delegates unite for the Festival of Food where insights were shared and the event’s highlights revealed.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), WA Manager Investment, Susan Hall said evokeAG. is a showcase of agtech not just nationally but internationally, and demonstrates how competitive Australia is in developing and adapting new technologies.
“While agtech can’t solve all major issues facing agriculture in Australia, it can absolutely contribute to innovative solutions and advances for the industry. evokeAG. puts Australia at the forefront of the agtech scene,” said Ms Hall.
Another delegate, NSW Hunter Valley farmer Annie Rodgers is attending the event along with her husband Rowan.
“We’ve had to de-stock a lot due to the ongoing drought and we’re at evokeAG. to find out the latest innovations in Australian agriculture,” said Mrs Rodgers.