The future of food, is the future of the world and it's the most important issue of our time.
The biggest problem in the world and no one is tackling it - The end of civilisation in 2040 Link
Now while I love seeing companies who create things I use and love, that save/waste my time, that connect me to people and opportunities, I don't need most of them and this is killing me, well actually it's killing all of us.
I've never been one to just criticise, without proposing a solution so here I'll explain what the issues are and what we're going to solve, with your help or without. I say that, as the majority of the population of the world, has no idea what's going on and the majority just want to get on with their day, not worry about it and not think about what's coming and this is entirely normal and I don't see anything wrong with this. People have children to raise, jobs and generally just want to survive.
What's happening in Venezuela right now, will be to so many countries by 2040, it will not be possible to ignore and think "Oh, that's so far away, it will never happen here".
The number one priority for many countries is food security, but few people talk about it and it's really as unsexy as you can get for the media to really cover it.
But why is food security so important and what is it? The World Economic Forum explanation.
Now for as long as there has been civilisation, there have been farmers, the most important job in the entire world and before you might think otherwise, do you need any of the other services as much as you need food?
You might need a lawyer or a doctor a handful of times in your lifetime, but you need a farmer 3 times a day. So why have we kept them so poor for so long and why on earth have we historically looked down on them?
Now what has farmer poverty given us?
Did you know the number one cause of; deforestation, poaching, climate change emissions, monoculture farming (why your food has less taste each year), lack of crop varieties (127,000 types of rice in the world, 7,500 types of apples and tens of thousands of types of Tomato's..... how many have you had in your life and did food have more taste as a kid?), lack of education in developing countries, gender inequality in developing countries and even child trafficking all have the same number one cause, smallholder farmer poverty (farmers with just a little land).
Now I won't going into the details of why that is for each one, but if you google, you'll be able to see.
But how do you solve this? Why has no one solved this? What are people doing about it?
Well the main focus is on fintech, health tech and so many other things, we don't need don't need any of those things. I'm impressed with a few fintech solutions recently, like Ripple, Transferwise, Tide, N26 and Monzo (best customer service I've ever experienced) as really, why on earth do bank transfers take so long, cost so much and accounts take so much effort to set up. Where do banks justify the charges? Banks have caused the fintech boom as no one is happy with banking bad customer service and high charges.
Now my big issue with fintech is this - 1% innovation is not innovation and it's not game changing, so please stop saying your changing the game. Especially if your focus is simply localised replication of someone else's idea. Come up with something original and then say your changing the game. How much money is ploughed into fintech right now? $36 Billion in 2016, which was mainly just replication and an insane number of companies all doing the same thing is absolute insanity. In 2016 there were anywhere from 5000 - 6000 fintech startups and yet it keeps growing.... crazy.
Do we need fintech? NO. Do we want it, hell YEAH.
What do we need? FOOD. Really, we just need food and yet the majority of farmers are still so poor (in general global terms). Is the problem to big to solve? No. Kabu & Co. is removing all the problems.
Is climate change, deforestation and poaching to big to solve? NO. But are the current forms of raising awareness solving the issue? NO. They've mainly all failed and you just need to see shrinking rainforests and an increasing list of endangered species to see that.
So enough of the issues and problems. How do you solve it?
Solution - Kabu & Co. I'd suggest signing up to the newsletter to keep up to date on this one. We've not sent out any newsletters in over 2 months, but we will update when the time is right. I'd especially suggest signing up if you're in the F&B industry.
We've found how to increase farmer income, while decreasing the cost to buyers by making the food supply chain more efficient. It doesn't sound that interesting or "game changing" and actually sounds pretty drab to be honest, but this is what will change the largest global industry we have and the only one we truly need.
We've been seeing climate change migration from parts of Africa (2.7 million people from Kenya, Eritrea and Ethiopia at the start of 2017, as they've had not rain for 3 years). We've seen no increase or solutions to deforestation since I was a kid, so over 30 years and we've seen no real solutions to animals going extinct, just an ever increasing red list. This will only get worse.
You might wonder why none of these big companies change their business practices and after I thought I figured it all out by myself and explained myself to someone with more business experience than myself who runs a large VC fund, he said "Ryan, you just described Game Theory", I was only 3-4 years late on that one and he then explained calcification to me.
Basically what these two things mean is, large stock listed companies are destined to fail if they continue on their current path.
Imagine it like this - A company has a board of directors and those directors represent funds and their role is to get the company to make maximum dividend payments every quarter or year and those same directors will sell their shares in the company, when either their fund is looking to end, so they cash out or they just believe they can make the maximum gain they possibly can at that time.
Baring that in mind, does that sound like they will make decisions based on the longer term growth and profit of the company or on short term gains?
Now you have the role of the CEO. His role usually lasts 3-5 years and his job is the make maximum dividend payouts to the funds who own the company. While the bigger dividend payout that happens, the bigger the CEO's bonus will be. Does that sound like long term growth business?
But are they to blame? While most people love to blame the funds, directors and businesses, I'd argue it's the funds, private large scale investors and the small investors who give their money to investment managers and that's viewed as the general public. Because as soon as you give your money to a small investment manager, 99% of the time you will just ask for maximum returns and minimum risk, which means your $20,000 USD investment is put into one of the big funds and those big funds invest in anything that makes the best returns. You don't ask how they made you $5,000 profit, you just care that they made it.
This is not a sustainable form of industry and more than that, it's ripping the world apart.
For us, it's all about fixing the agriculture supply chain and once that's fixed, then we can look at all the other industries we want to improve, create and disrupt, but if we don't fix this, none of the rest really matter. As without food, there will be nothing left.
If the prediction is correct and we don't solve this issue, around 2040, life is going to look very different.
Right now we're still raising angel investment, but once we're up and running, it's going to be a much better world to be in.
Oh and we're a for profit company as I've not yet seen any charity that's actually solved a global problem.
Kabu & Co. is not a want, it's an absolute NEED.
We're not solving the water issue, but hope to see someone really tackle that one. That's the next big issue that needs a solution.