2022 SPECIALTY CROP AUTOMATION REPORT
2.1 OBJECTIVE OF THE GLOBAL HARVEST AUTOMATION INITIATIVE (GHAI)
Western Growers launched the Global Harvest Automation Initiative in February 2021. It aims to drive sustainable and domestic food security by accelerating harvest automation across the fresh produce industry, with the ambition of automating 50 percent of the U.S. harvest within 10 years. The initiative also seeks to close the growing gap between agricultural labor needs and available farm labor by helping to progress and deploy innovative automation solutions. As well as bridging the growing labor gap, harvest automation has the power to improve the overall employment attractiveness of agriculture harvesting work by introducing new skill sets and career paths to an entire labor force.
To achieve its objective, the Global Harvest Automation Initiative launched several key projects. The first of those is an innovator cohort that aims to build a platform to allow harvest automation start- ups to commoditize 60-80 percent of the technology stack and provide commercialization support for start-ups with proven traction in the market. The second is an annual impact and market traction analysis to keep track of automation solutions in the specialty crop industry. This report embodies the second edition of the impact and market traction analysis. It will be updated annually to track and report on progress around automation solutions in the fresh produce industry.
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