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Media Partnership - Women in the agri-food industry


Media Partnership - Women in the agri-food industry

Women in the agri-food industry - How cross gender collaboration impacts a successful transformation of the sector

Watch the stream here

Agri-food sector contributes to a great extent to climate change – 1/3 of all food purchased is wasted, 1/3 of all GHG emissions comes from the food industry and only 1/3 of the freshwater withdrawals are attributed to other sectors of the economy. We need to rethink our food system and in order to do that in a successful way we need innovators coming from various backgrounds, having different experiences that will provide unique solutions. Diversity is a prerequisite of the innovative food system transformation.

On the International Women’s Day EIT Food would like to tackle the gender aspect of diversity and discuss how cross-gender collaboration may have positive impact on the agrifood sector!

Gender-based inequalities are prevalent, especially in rural areas. Women living in rural areas have fewer possibilities to access productive resources and accumulate human capital in order to grow economically, compared to men. They also often lack the power and agency necessary to benefit from and have control over economic activities, as well as to participate and be represented in rural institutions, organizations and public life. The EU is committed to improving this situation, among others through the EU Rural Action Plan, by supporting the uptake of female entrepreneurship, women’s participation in decision-making and the provision of adequate services in rural areas.

The work of EU countries on the inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in rural areas will be supported to improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality education and care services for children and other dependents in rural areas, as announced in the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-25.

EIT Food connects the world of agriculture and rural areas with innovative startups and agtech solutions. This is why the recently published European Innovation Agenda with a strong emphasis on women entrepreneurship and bridging the gender gap in deeptech startups provides additional perspective to the discussion. Women remain underrepresented in both deep tech startups and in investment funds despite clear correlations between company growth and the presence of diverse teams, including women, in leadership positions. In 2020, technology companies with female-only founders captured just 1.7% of the capital raised in European VC markets, and the difference between male-led companies and those with mixed and/or female founders remained significant in terms of both capital raised and the number of deals.

What needs to be done to bridge this gap in agtech and foodtech? What role shall both women and men play in this process? Why do we need more women among agrifood startup founders?

Let’s discuss it during the online panel on the International Women’s Day!

Organised by: EIT Food
Media Partner: EURACTIV




Marja Liisa Meurice
Director, EIT Food CLC North-East

Moa Westman
Gender Specialist, European Investment Bank (EIB)

Miro Hegedic
Founding Board Member, Lean Startup Croatia

Giedre Kesiunaite
Empowering Women in Agrifood – EWA programme participant from 2021 and Food Accelerator Network – FAN programme from 2022, founder of Milgogi

Maarten van der Kamp
Director of Education, EIT Food


Mariam Zaidi
Journalist, EURACTIV


16:30 – 16:35 Welcome
16:35 – 16:50 Panellist statements
16:50 – 17:40 Discussion and Q&A
17:40 – 17:45 Closing statements


Tamara Novel