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Satur Farms enlists Aanika Biosciences for first-of-its-kind bio-backed insurance agreement

Aanika Biosciences, a Brooklyn, NY-based biotechnology startup focused on bringing trust, transparency and traceability to the food system, will be entering into a first-of-its-kind bio-backed insurance agreement with Satur Farms, a specialty crop producer with operations in New York and Arizona.

Aanika Biosciences, which develops products that allow for unparalleled traceability of leafy greens, fresh produce and other commodities, will bundle its technology with a novel parametric food recall and contamination insurance policy, allowing its technology to enable lower rates of coverage than Satur would obtain normally.

Vishaal Bhuyan
Vishaal Bhuyan,

In addition to traceability, Aanika is developing next-generation products to combat pathogen growth and reduce outbreaks, which will further support the ability to write risk coverage in crops that are historically plagued by food-safety issues.

Aanika’s aim is to reduce the probability and magnitude of a claim through the use of its traceability and preventative technology and could soon commercialize other biotechnologies through development of various risk mitigation policies.

This transaction marks many firsts for Aanika as well as the biotechnology and insurance industries. Not only will this provide traceability for Satur products across the Northeast, this is also one of the first biotechnology products to embed insurance coverage.

“We are forging a new path to bring the marvels of biotechnology into the mainstream, while providing a critical function for the market,” said Vishaal Bhuyan, CEO of Aanika Biosciences. “Warmer temperatures are creating a significant increase in crop diseases, pathogen outbreaks and food recalls, and coupling our technology with insurance coverage helps mitigate these risks. It is how we ensure that the food system can function smoothly over the next decade.”

Paulette Satur, CEO of Satur Farms, has seen first-hand how the lack of traceability in the supply chain can lead to significant losses in revenue, protracted legal costs and a reputational hit.

Satur recalled that on Jan. 19, 2019, Satur Farms conducted a voluntary product recall when one of its lots of spinach tested positive for Salmonella.

“Although we maintain traceability of our lots to wholesalers, distributors and retail stores, it was during the recall we realized that many of our customers did not have that capability,” she said. “Tracing contamination through every handler is extremely important to locate the originating source as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is important not only to assign responsibility to conduct a recall but also to defend oneself against unsubstantiated claims.”

Satur said that had a Satur Farms “fingerprint” on the product been created at the field or processing level that identified all of its product, Satur Farms could have been immediately exonerated in a lawsuit that was brought against the company. Instead, the process took three years.

Top photo: Eberhard Müller and Paulette Satur, owners of Satur Farms in Cutchogue, NY.

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