Southern Enterprise Awards 2023

space. Many firms lock into metrics, marketing slogans and linear-driven technological solutions, missing out on the connectivity of things. Our solutions are tailored and reflect the needs of our clients. In essence, we listen. We shape and are shaped by our environment.” While De La Tierra certainly isn’t alone in this sector, it has distinguished itself with its ‘grassroots’ perspective that seeks to more closely align the lived experiences of those at the ground level with its solutions. After all, there is absolutely a tendency to crowd the narrative with scientific jargon and upper-level conversations that only distance the reality of the agrifood market with impersonal analysis by experts with little personal experience. “One of our unique selling points is tapping into the lived experiences and local knowledges of the farming communities and clients we serve. Too often the recipients of standards and disenfranchised by scientific and political discourse, farming communities are denied agency in the decision-making process, undermining their custodial rights, and affecting their lives and livelihoods.” This has all come together to produce an extremely exciting package indeed, with De La Tierra’s future was on continued innovation, development, creativity and, most importantly, real impact. For Athanasios, the rest of 2023 and beyond lies in exploring new demands for its services and in offering aid to support firms across several important markets. Moreover, the leadership team is currently fielding and expanding into new projects and growth areas. “We’re in exciting times! We are investing in a couple of key projects and growth areas. The first is By-Product Valorisation. We have access to a patented system to retrieve highly functional molecules from agricultural by-products that can provide clean-label food and water treatment solutions. Due to its innovative application, there is a need first to create the necessary market pull. Our plan is to develop a commercial pilot plant to showcase how molecules from any agricultural by-product can be retrieved and commercially applied to increase profitability for food processors while supporting the sector in reducing food loss and waste. The idea is to sell this technology into major UK and international agricultural processing hubs while promoting the functional benefits to major agrifood brands.” The second growth area will rely on ESG Reporting. That is to say to increase awareness of the impact on people as there has been a “greater market pull for sustainability reporting, especially by the finance sector seeking to de-risk its investments”. This calls on a point made at the beginning of this article, and the greater push in recent years towards sustainability within numerous industries, including financial and investment spaces. Corporate Social Responsibility – and a need to showcase such a responsibility on behalf of the shareholders – is driving many large corporations to action. “This need has resulted in a proliferation of voluntary disclosure standards, including a recent EU regulatory push to mitigate climate and other risks via the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. Similar to the recent proliferation of agricultural standards, reporting and audit fatigue are real dangers. We have spotted some USPs around the UX/UI on disclosure reports. For example, an AI and ML database can be complemented with white-label solutions for boutique consultancy firms to reach SMEs affordably,” Athanasios states before concluding with his closing remarks. “There are other innovative solutions to democratise the risk assessment and engagement process to drive transformative sectoral change. Part of this continues to support farming communities access UK and European markets, but increasingly in a manner that builds on climate and income resilience. We are more than happy to hear from anyone interested in optimising their supply chain operations or requiring support in developing their sustainability strategy.” Contact Details Company Name: De La Tierra Ltd Contact Name: Athanasios Mandis, Founder and Director Address: Canterbury Innovation Centre University Road Canterbury Kent CT2 7FG Web Address: Contact Email Telephone Number: 07710005845 Mango nursery production, Malawi Mangoes.