“The discussions and debate you have heard today is just the start,” Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, said at REAP. “Ideas generation is an essential part of the innovation process and we will be continuing this with a series of inspirational events in 2019.”
The outline programme is on the website now.
The focus of Agri-Tech East’s approach is to help frame the challenges so that they can be understood by individuals with expertise in other areas. This leads to collaborations between people that wouldn’t otherwise meet, which can stimulate new ideas.
A good example of the type of projects that can emerge is this collaboration between two Agri-Tech East members: Sentry, one of the largest farming companies in the UK, and early-stage company Yagro.
Met thorough Agri-Tech East event
John Barrett is Director at Sentry Norfolk and here’s what he had to say about Yagro: “At Sentry we regularly review our farming practices to stay ahead of the curve, especially in this volatile time for UK farming. As a large farming company with many sites, it is essential we have best business practice across all farming operations.
“We came to know about Yagro through Agri-Tech East and watched them from inception in 2016, keen to see how a new player in the industry would get on and differentiate itself. On behalf of our landowners and investors, we needed confidence that Yagro’s technology and business model would work.
“Our farms bought fuel in different ways; some through buying groups, others shopped around, and some had sole supply relationships. We wanted a unified best practice that all our farms could use – and that saved us time and money.
“We benchmarked our fuel buying against Yagro’s independent market data. The analysis showed that using the Yagro Marketplace for our fuel buying was an obvious way forward.”
Has it saved you money?
“Yes, and plenty of it too! We’ve already saved nearly £4,000, and on track to save around £45k over a full year.
“What’s difficult to calculate is the time saving: some of our farms would spend a couple of hours on the phone ringing around suppliers just to get a price. Now, technology does it all for us, and we can focus on the value-adding aspects of farming, knowing that Yagro’s independent tech tool is working on our behalf in the background.”
Excited to be at the forefront
“We are excited to continue development with Yagro, building more technologies to help us on farm, and it is great to be at the forefront of tech in UK agriculture. With savings north of £120k per year to be had, it’s a no-brainer.”
If you want to put innovation at the heart of your organisation in 2019 – put the events in your diary now!