A conversation with Peleg Chevion, Chief Commercial Officer at Blendhub.
Peleg Chevion will be giving a Keynote on decentralized, cost effective and democratized food production at the TFF Academy.
Leading the global commercial deployment and scale up of the world’s first distributed production platform for powder based food, Peleg Chevion is the Chief Commercial Officer of Blendhub. As a leading executive within the Agri-food and biotech sectors for the past decade, he has promoted the same objective of Blendhub – Feeding more people, in more places.
Prior to joining Blendhub, he was working with private equity firms, focused on closing gaps within the crop production value chain. From 2008 until 2015 Pelege worked as an executive at Syngenta Crop Protection AG where he led the Crop Enhancement and Water businesses, helping farmers across the globe mitigate environmental stresses.
Tell us about yourself, your mission with your work with Blendhub and how it’s connected with TFF?
I have been in the Agrifood and biotech sectors for over a decade with a passion for feeding more people and more places, which brought me to Blendhub. At Blendhub, we are building and scaling up the first decentralised 1 million ton food production factory, which is already servicing the globe from our various production hubs. I am responsible for the commercial operations and scale up of the company. I have been a long time supporter of Thought For Food and Christine Gould, since the beginning, attending and helping when I was at Syngenta, building the Crop Enhancement and Water business – helping farmers mitigate environment and weather related stresses such as drought.
Where do you see the current biggest challenges in the food and agriculture sector?
Current challenges still relate to making food cheaper, unequal distribution and balance across the value chain. Technology is helping but the industry has historically been fragmented, leaving many middlemen to benefit, black-box mentality vs transparency is still plaguing the industry, the usual “mine is better than yours, mine is cheaper than yours” is the main competitive argument as opposed to how the system needs to change to make it better, in the world of transparency.
How might new technologies, business models and decentralization help enabling a system change?
Industry 4.0 is bringing IoT and many changes to the supply chain which will drive efficiencies and transparency however the agrifood sector, being conservative and regulated has been lagging. I believe this can all change and Blendhub is already revolutionizing some of these aspects today. From sourcing the “right” raw materials, producing where is best to produce, lowering the costs of logistics and transportation as well as tariffs and bringing still and most importantly a quality and safe product to consumers. Track and trace will become basic, food scandals from contamination will be a thing of the past with proper quality assurance throughout the chain, and more.
How do you see the next-generation come into enabling a food industry 4.0?
It’s clear that purpose drives everything. Those who get involved with TFF have this passion and purpose and want to contribute. This means: turning models and historical concepts on their heads, decentralizing, digitizing, utilizing the modern age tools to enable a more transparent system, with connectivity of the stakeholders, driven by data and science while having the moral compass to direct efforts to where it counts. For example: how can Africa feed Africa? How to better utilize local sourcing? How to ensure less waste along the chain? The next generation has a fresh eye and the tools needed to revolutionize and transform, free from by historical paradigms of how its always been. They just need to be brave enough and consistent in pursuing these goals.
Could you share a little teaser of your Keynote at the TFF Academy 2018?
My keynote will focus on many of the points mentioned: from how we can enable innovation and quick launch of products, innovations in food, fingerprinting food quality, production at scale without capital expenditure, and the enabling business models to shift away from large investments which have limited innovation to the few that could afford it. Think of Dropbox and Amazon Web Services models for the food sector.