Irving Fain, CEO and founder of Bowery Farming, discusses the climate tech landscape and his journey to reinvent farming and future-proof agriculture.
On establishing a new paradigm for farming: “All of these pieces go back to a lack of reliability and certainty in the face of an increasing disruption from climate. And what we do at Bowery is essentially completely hedge against and mitigate that disruption. We take the uncontrolled variable of climate, and we control it. And it completely opens up an entirely new paradigm of agriculture.”
On leveraging technology to future-proof agriculture: “To get to that point of scalability, we needed to leverage more technology. And that’s why we use innovation robotics and automation, innovation around computer vision and artificial intelligence, center and controls, all of those components collectively with the LEDs, to rethink what’s agriculture going to look like in the next set of 100 years moving forward.”
On feeding the exploding world population over the next 30 years: “What we’re building at Bowery is going to be a critical piece to the equation. The ability to strip out the uncertainty and the unreliability from an increasingly challenging climate, geopolitical landscape, supply chain, labor environment, that is going to be critically important. The other part of it is the existing system today. Like, we don’t have that much more land to expand it. In fact, we’re losing land, not gaining it. And so, what we can do is we can produce the equivalent supply from a field in a hundredth the space of land. And that’s a huge advantage as well, because that way you could repurpose land, whether it’s capturing carbon. It could be growing something else … But opening and allowing food to get closer to where it’s moving, create more efficiency in the supply chain and use that land for something else, has an enormous benefit. And that piece of the puzzle overall is going to be really important moving forward.”
This episode was recorded on October 17, 2022.