As the Internet of Things continues to impact on our lives faster and faster, the efforts of companies such as our partner vendor Invisible Systems are helping growers, distributors and retailers of food to improve efficiency and reduce food wastage.
We are constantly being told that we waste far too much food. Most studies suggest that roughly half of food waste occurs at the consumer level, meaning the other half happens somewhere within the fresh food supply chain, between the grower or processor and the retailer. With the sophisticated technology available to us today, how can our food supply chain still be this inefficient?
The short answer is that technology, particularly IoT, has been underused in agriculture. Once the product is picked or harvested, advanced technology hasn’t been broadly applied — yet.
Invisible Systems have developed innovative and reliable wireless 24-hour Industrial IoT condition monitoring and profiling reporting systems for wirelessly monitoring a wide range of conditions from a remote site and delivering information via Realtime Online.
This IoT sensor technology has the power to transform the fresh food supply chain by improving decision-making and dramatically reduce food waste. A data-driven approach enables growers, processors, distributors and retailers to address the issues currently impacting the fresh food supply chain to reduce waste, improving food safety and supply chain transparency as well.
None of the issues impacting freshness become actual issues if supply chain professionals know about them as they are happening. An IoT sensor placed in each pallet of produce could monitor a wide range of variables and provide an up-to-the-minute snapshot of the product’s handling and accurately forecast its remaining freshness.
If the IoT sensor detects a pallet has a temperature excursion, an alert can be sent in real time to initiate action to minimise the impact on the freshness and quality. Further, if the data from the IoT sensor is analysed to identify that a pallet has only eight days of shelf life instead of the desired 12, the supplier can modify the shipping decision to have the pallet routed locally instead of cross-country. IoT sensors provide product-level feedback to make improved decisions that avoid food waste.
By making use of the power of IoT and cloud analytics, growers, processors, distributors and retailers no longer have to accept the losses associated with food waste as the cost of doing business. By proactively managing their products through the supply chain, growers can improve profitability on the food they work so hard to produce, retailers can deliver a top-quality product to their customers, and consumers gain confidence in their purchases.
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(This article is an edited version of a longer one which originally appeared online and can be read in full <here>)