A new digital forecasting tool to maximize planning and profitability for soft fruit growers has secured a £2.8 mln investment. FruitCast, which has been trialed on leading soft fruit farms in the UK over the last two years, will launch in 2024 thanks to the capital raised from private investors, Ceres Agritech, and Innovate UK through its investor partnership program.
The startup has been created in response to the demand from growers to more precisely forecast fruit growth development to help plan labor and market supply and protect margins.
FruitCast CEO Richard Williamson, formerly managing director of Dyson Farming and a consultant in bold strategic change, said: “Raising this capital is a testament to the developer Raymond Martin and the team who have created a cutting-edge tool that is immensely valuable to growers. It could be a game-changer for an industry plagued by challenges that are persistently squeezing margins. The AI capability is driven by one of the largest databases in the world, which gives it a firm foundation for accurate forecasting ahead of other competitors. This, combined with the depth of understanding of practical agriculture and proven capability, has made FruitCast attractive to agritech investors in what is a competitive and noisy marketplace.”