Telus launches global, tech-focused agriculture business

Vancouver-based telecom company aims to optimize and digitize the food system
Shutterstock/Valentin Valkov

Telus is connecting to the world’s food supply chain.

The Vancouver-based telecommunications company has launched Telus Agriculture, a business unit that provides connected technology solutions to support the agricultural industry globally.

Telus Agriculture enables businesses across the food chain—from seed manufacturers to farmers to producers to retailers—to “leverage advanced data systems and artificial intelligence to streamline operations, improve food traceability, and provide consumers with fresh, healthier food,” according to the company.

The new business unit brings together several agriculture technology firms that Telus has acquired over the past year under one roof. They include: AgIntegrated, a software development firm based in State College, PA; Calgary-based Decisive Farming, which focuses on precision agronomics and farm management; Vancouver-based Farm At Hand, a farm management software development firm; U.K.-based Muddy Boots, which provides farm-to-food traceability and supply chain management; and Charlotte, N.C.-based TKXS, which specializes in data and program management.

With the launch of Telus Agriculture, Telus also announced two additional acquisitions: SaaS farm management platform Agrian, based in Fresno, Calif.; and AFS Technologies, a Tampa-based global sales and distribution solutions company. With the addition of AFS and Agrian, Telus Agriculture now has customers in more than 50 countries and supports more than 100 million acres of agricultural land.

In an interview with Canadian Grocer, Richard Nicholas, CEO of AFS, said Telus Agriculture is a technology company that is truly farm to fork. “The assets that we have acquired so far allow us to support farmers to be more productive and solve a number of food-safety challenges and improve food traceability, through to distribution and tracking temperatures in trucks, for example, so we’ve got minimal wastage for retailers.”

On top of that, added Nicholas, Telus Agriculture is providing value-added services in supply chain management and trade promotion management. “We want to be a fully encompassing software provider that can work for both the smaller players that are starting their digital journey, and the larger companies that are starting to use AI-powered solutions,” he said.

Telus’s move into agriculture is part of the telco’s diversification strategy. The company operates Telus Health, billed as Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider, and Telus International, which provides business process solutions to some of the world’s leading brands. In a press release, Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle said: “The launch of Telus Agriculture reflects Telus’s unwavering commitment to our social purpose to leverage our world-leading technology to create remarkable human and social outcomes as, together, we help to protect and improve the global food system.”

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