Addressing Hurdles and Propelling Progress in the Low-Carbon Food Industry: Expert Insights - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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Industry leaders engaged in a comprehensive exploration of the challenges and solutions within the low-carbon food sector.

Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), Director, EAI, moderated the session.

The Panel Participants were:

Shashi Kumar Akshayakalpa Organic

Mallesh T MCultYvate

Siddharth ManvatiClear Meat

Sushant BhatiaRevX Capital

Srivatsa SreenivasaraoTraceX Technologies

Anjani BansalGlobal Brain

Here’s an in-depth overview of the pivotal insights shared during the session:

1. Limited Market Reach for Environmentally Conscious Consumers:

The conversation began with a consensus on the limited size of the market for conscious consumers willing to pay a premium for low-carbon food products. Despite surveys indicating consumer interest, actual spending behavior remains relatively modest, posing a significant hurdle for businesses operating in this space.

2. Policy Support and Regulatory Frameworks:

Panelists emphasized the crucial role of government policies and regulatory frameworks in shaping the low-carbon food landscape. While there is growing awareness among policymakers, comprehensive measures to incentivize sustainable practices and support farmers in adopting environmentally friendly methods are still evolving.

3. Financing and Investment Challenges:

Financing emerged as a critical aspect, with traditional venture capital models often falling short in supporting long-term initiatives in the low-carbon food sector. Blended finance models, combining philanthropic capital with commercial investment, were proposed as a potential solution to bridge the funding gap and reduce the cost of capital for sustainable ventures.

4. Consumer Awareness and Education:

A key theme throughout the discussion was the importance of consumer awareness and education. Panelists stressed the need for clear, meaningful messaging that highlights the environmental benefits of low-carbon food products while also emphasizing their nutritional value and taste.

5. Data Transparency and Traceability:

Ensuring transparency and traceability in the supply chain was identified as a critical factor in building consumer trust. Quantitative measures of a product’s carbon footprint, verified by independent third parties, can empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and drive demand for low-carbon options.

6. Opportunities for Growth and Collaboration:

Despite the challenges, there was optimism about the potential for growth and collaboration within the low-carbon food sector. By aligning incentives, leveraging innovative financing mechanisms, and fostering consumer engagement, stakeholders can work together to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems.

The virtual discussion provided valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of challenges and opportunities in the low-carbon food sector. With continued collaboration and innovation, there is immense potential to drive positive change, promote consumer adoption of sustainable practices, and build a more resilient and environmentally friendly food ecosystem.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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