Partnership for Inclusive Innovation: Beyond Farm-to-Fork

April 28, 2022
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This article shared by the Partnership of Inclusive Innovation features Retaaza as an organization supporting farmers in the many challenges they must overcome. Visit for the full story! Excerpts below:

New Challenges Require New Innovations
Farming has never been easy, but the modern world has created new challenges in addition to traditional threats such as pests, diseases and harsh weather. Farmers now must cope with the pressures of climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss on top of the evolving demands of consumers who want higher quality, fresher food and more comprehensive knowledge of the way it’s produced. Add to this the expectations of regulators, food processors and retailers, and it is no mystery why the industry struggles to inspire the next generation of workers to stay in rural areas and take up the plow.

Challenges abound at every stage of the food growing cycle, and yet there are innovative efforts happening across the world to overcome these obstacles and pioneer the future of farming. Fitness trackers for livestock, robotic milking machines and fruit pickers, driverless combine harvesters, sensors to monitor the health of the soil, irrigation systems driven by AI and farm surveillance drones are just a handful of the advanced technologies that are starting to change how farms function across the world.

A commitment to technological innovation and to the empowerment of marginalized groups of farmers and industry workers bring tremendous hope for the future of agriculture. Here are innovative and inclusive efforts around the world that are impacting each stage of the farming life cycle.

It is estimated that more than 2 million tons of food from farms end up in landfills every year in Georgia, leaving millions of dollars on the table and lots of delicious food in the dump. One example of efforts to overcome these lost opportunities is the work of the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation and Retazza’s Fresh Food Forward.

Founded by Kashi Seghal and Casey Cox, Fresh Food Forward purchases food directly from farmers that might otherwise go to the landfill and resells and redistributes it to those in need. This brings security and stability to both ends of the supply chain by buying, selling and donating fresh local Georgia food.

This woman and minority-owned social enterprise aims to rescue 100,000+ pounds of food waste while donating nearly 20,000 pounds of food through Fresh Food Forward. Fresh Food Forward is expanding operations from Southeast Georgia to Atlanta, Savannah and Southwest Georgia.

The Future of Food
Looking at the agricultural landscape – both globally and locally – two things are clear today. First, there are a growing number of challenges that make it increasingly difficult to go from “farm-to-fork” in a sustainable and profitable way, but there are many who are advancing these efforts in novel and more efficient ways. Secondly, and even more optimistically, there are innovative strategies and technologies being created that are not only tackling the issues, but also opening the door for a more inclusive farming community. Most importantly, when innovation is considered and applied at every stage of the food cycle, the entire local community is able to reap the benefits of that innovation. Subsequently, problems such as hunger, poverty and landfill emissions will be reduced while feeding a growing human population for generations to come.

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