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Q&A with our CEO at FoodTech

Tom Vanderheyden

Tom Vanderheyden

Marketing and Communications at ThisFish Inc.
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Where did the idea for your FoodTech company come from?
The company was incubated as a social enterprise in Ecotrust Canada, a nonprofit based in Vancouver, Canada, that works at the intersection of the environment and economy.

What role do partnerships and collaboration play in creating a rethinking our food system?
Collaboration is key: ThisFish Inc. has developed channel partnerships with three companies in New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. We also have R&D partnerships with two universities in Canada focused on AI and machine learning.

Why do you think it’s important to see the food industry embrace tech?
Technology can help the industry become more efficient, especially reducing food waste, and also help improve traceability and transparency which is critical in building trust with consumers.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?
We’ve built a distributed global team based in 5 countries with deep experience, commitment and smarts. Building a strong team is critical to success.

Can you share some high-level metric(s) to measure the impact your company aims to create in the next 5 years?
Our goal is to become the biggest player in seafood supply chain and production data globally. Our Tally software for seafood manufacturers generates large volumes of supply chain data. The recent pandemic has had a colossal impact on the way the world thinks about food.

What measures did you implement to get your business through such a difficult time?
We cut some expenses and hired locally in our key target markets to cut down on travel and enable us to continue to sell and install our software.

What is one piece of practical advice you would give to someone starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Focus on the problem that you want to solve. Many people dream up solutions to problems that either don’t exist or aren’t significant enough.

(This story appeared originally as part of FoodTech’s Top 5 Food Safety and Traceability Report – https://forwardfooding.com/food-tech-reports/ )

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