Cargill innovations helping to shape the future of food and agriculture
Read Time: 4 minutes
March 02, 2023
A mobile app that helps India’s small-scale farmers increase their livelihoods.
Artificial intelligence that helps restaurants manage costs and limit waste.
A contactless food locker system that makes picking up your meal efficient and fun.
Those are just a few ways Cargill is bringing innovative technology to farmers and customers — and bringing new possibilities for solving some of their biggest challenges, like accessing new markets and meeting evolving consumer demands.
Those innovations began at Cargill’s Digital Business Studio, a startup incubator where we empower Cargill founders with big ideas to help solve some of food and agriculture’s biggest challenges.
“We want the food and agriculture sectors to prosper, and we’re locking arms with customers and partners across the industry to make it happen. It’s a model built by the industry, for the industry.”
Our first mobile app to support India’s small-scale farmers
Yes, India has upward of 150 million farmers and is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses and jutes.
But the country’s agriculture sector also lags behind other nations. And many of the country’s small-scale farmers, whose livelihoods depend on agriculture, suffer from low productivity and poor access to markets.
Cargill is working to change that. In 2021 we launched Digital Saathi, our first mobile, artificial intelligence platform for India’s small-scale farmers. This technology has connected more than 40,000 farmers with potential buyers, real-time market prices, weather patterns, crop practices and a farmer community — all in hopes of helping them increase their yields.
This is very useful for us. They are connecting farmers to traders, and farmers are getting [the] benefit of that.
The early results are promising: An initial trial showed farmers who sold through the Digital Saathi platform saw a 6% increase in their income.
Read more about Digital Saathi and how its helping other Indian farmers like Manjunath.
Opening new doors for foodservice operators and fans alike
You might be wondering: Why would a company like Cargill create food lockers?
The answer: We are fusing our food expertise and technical know-how to solve foodservice operators’ challenges — like making their operations more efficient, reducing their customers’ wait times and streamlining the consumer experience for “to-go” food.
That is why, in 2022, we launched the food locker pickup system — called Chekt — with customer Aramark at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the U.S. National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Today, you can also find the award-winning food lockers at Buckhorn BBQ + Grill locations in the U.S.
The Chekt food lockers have been a game changer for Buckhorn BBQ + Grill's increasing takeout orders. The order fulfillment process is simple and efficient, making it easy for our guests to avoid long lines and enjoy their food sooner."
Read more about Chekt and its launch with Aramark Sports + Entertainment.
Did you know?
Meet ‘the brain of the kitchen’
Inside some eateries, you might see a staff member walking around with a sheet of paper, trying to keep track of how much food is left. This slow, manual process for managing inventory is an all-too-common problem for many restaurants, says Eric Parkin, Cargill’s Digital Business Studio global leader.
To help solve this challenge, Cargill looked to checkout-free stores that use machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence to identify shoppers’ product choices and automatically bill them when they leave.
The result? Kitchen Blueprint. At Cargill, we call it “the brain of the kitchen.”
This artificial intelligence platform keeps track of what’s in stock and can even place an order with a distributor when inventory runs low. The benefits: Less manual counting, reduced food loss and a single source of truth for restaurants.
Learn more about Kitchen Blueprint.
Want more Cargill innovations? Visit the Digital Business Studio site to learn more about digital innovations that our reshaping the future for everyone from farmers to retailers to even pet owners.
Pests were damaging Manjunath’s crops. So he turned to a Cargill mobile app for help.
Nearly 27,000 small-scale farmers in India are using the Cargill-developed Digital Saathi platform that advises farmers and connects them with buyers.
Don’t miss a play! Cargill’s new food lockers mean fans spend more time watching, less time waiting
The innovative food pickup system recently made its debut in PPG Paints Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins
From food lockers in arenas to artificial intelligence in your kitchen: Why the future of food and agriculture is digital
Our global digital business studio leader shares how digital technology can help solve some of our food and agriculture customers’ urgent challenges.