Matthew Neville

York agri-tech pollination startup wins innovation finance award from Tesco and WWF

York based pollination and insect biodiversity innovator AgriSound has won funding from Tesco and the WWF to pilot its agri-tech listening equipment in the supermarket’s supply chain.

The goal of this project is to cut the environmental impact of the average shopping basket and enhance the resilience and sustainability of the UK food system.

AgriSound won funding as part of ‘Innovation Connections’, a new accelerator programme created in a collaboration between the international supermarket and the global environmental charity. The programme pairs pioneering startups with Tesco suppliers to fast-track innovation in the supply chain.

AgriSound was paired with AM Fresh, one of Tesco’s fruit suppliers, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

AgriSound is deploying its bio-acoustic listening devices, referred to as Polly, across AM Fresh’s orchards to listen for and identify sounds of pollinating insects, to pinpoint areas where there are too few, so remedial action can be taken, naturally increasing the yield of crops and so reducing costs.

Founder and CEO of AgriSound, Casey Woodward said: “At a time when biodiversity, including pollinating bee populations, is declining rapidly and the cost of food production is soaring, winning this funding from Tesco and the WWF is a great achievement for our young company.

“It is exciting to be able to introduce our technology to the Tesco fruit supply chain to help growers encourage pollinators to the right areas at the right time, boosting yields, without the need for additional fertilisers or pesticides.

“We are looking forward to showcasing the technology to the wider Tesco supplier base and helping farm businesses to streamline biodiversity monitoring and promote nature inclusive farming practises.”

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