Proterra Asia Insights: To eat well and feel good, we need better food systems
The team members of Proterra Asia first started investing in the Asian food and agriculture space more than 15 years ago. We have seen the industry mature from focussing on food safety to food sustainability. Given how important food is to us as individuals and to society, we believe that our food systems should reflect our most noble human virtues.
Currently, our options to indulge and stay healthy, whilst doing no harm to the earth are limited. Rather than expecting everyone to try hard to make healthy, ecological choices, we think that we need to invest in systemic change that can make these choices “easy” for the average consumer. In this article, we opine on why our food choices are important, why Asia is a key battleground in tackling climate change, and three areas where we believe we can invest for both profit and impact – namely, Alternative Proteins, Improving Production Efficiencies, and Circular Economies.
There is a large gap from where we are now to where we would like to be
The founding partners of Proterra Asia came from Cargill and started investing in Asia more than 15 years ago. We cut our teeth by building farms to meet the demand for products that met higher food safety standards in the wake of the 2008 “melamine milk scandal”. As our networks deepened and the region developed, we capitalized on a growing middle class through investments in mid-stream processing and consumer food products.
Given our time investing in this field, we think that its warranted to call ourselves food sector specialists. On the other hand, we note that everyone else has also literally been eating since birth! Therefore, at least when it comes to food, we can all be experts.