FELIX NIEDERMAYRFelix Niedermayr works in the Department of Agriculture Development at Loacker where he handles the organisation’s Italian hazelnut project with contract farmers across the country along with Loacker‘s sustainable vanilla project in Madagascar. Having grown up in a wine farm in the North of Italy, he has a strong understanding of the agriculture industry since the time he was a kid, which motivated him to take up a career in agriculture after high school and pursue a degree in Agricultural and Food Economics from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. He reveals that his direct contact with farmers in the production line on one hand and the processing of raw materials on the other are what makes his work so special and exciting. The permanently-changing nature of the agri-sector, its many challenges, and having to quickly react to them inspires his everyday work.
Agriculture 4.0 has made way for a broad spectrum of tools, information, and technologies that have had a positive impact on agriculture production globally. Is there any particular application of technology that has caught your attention recently, which you think will dramatically change how food is produced today?
There is a significant increase in the global demand for hazelnuts, not just for its high nutritional value but also as an ingredient in chocolate bars, coffee, spreads, and several cosmetics and personal care products. In your opinion, what is the contribution of technology in improving farm productivity and the quality of produce, particularly in the hazelnut industry?
What are the three major challenges in the hazelnut supply chain?
How is climate change affecting agriculture, and what measures do producers need to take to overcome associated risks?
Although crops like coffee, cocoa, nuts, spices and herbs are identified as high-value commodities, marginal farmers often earn an insignificant portion of the profit margin. How can enterprises higher up the supply chain ensure that these farmers receive fair compensation?
How can a food-processing company ensure that the procured raw materials meet the necessary quality standards, and are ethically and sustainably sourced?
What is your vision for the future in the agriculture industry?