The global supply chain for fresh fruits and vegetables represents a complex structure of different market participants located at different positions and stages. It is also inefficient: This inefficiency is primarily expressed in high price fluctuations, high food losses and waste, and severely delayed reactions to new market developments and trends.
The large scope for optimization in the "farm-to-fork" strategy can be found in different areas that are, however, fundamentally familiar to supply chain management. The EU Commission's farm-to-fork strategy under the Green Deal aims to strengthen the supply chain and ensure both food security and sustainable production.
Comprehensive data management
Continuous collection of real-time data along the entire value chain, such as from planting to cultivation to logistics partners to food retailers to end consumers, including their interconnectedness, can also work in agriculture. To better respond to fluctuations on the demand side, sales figures can be combined in real time with automatic ordering systems, which avoids additional spoilage.
Insight into the data management system from Pixofarm Ltd
Transparency along the value chain
From producers' crop forecasts to grocers' sales figures, a transparent flow of information along the value chain can contain the extent of bottleneck poker and quantity allocation, reducing the whip effect within the system.
The supply chain under the microscope
Digitizing the supply chain
With digital records for incoming and outgoing goods at every point in the supply chain, the "first in first out" rule for fresh fruits and vegetables can be ensured. According to industry studies, this is where up to 15% inventory reductions currently occur for perishable goods.
In fruit and vegetable production, therefore, there is great potential and thus demand for digital supply chain solutions that make use of Industry 4.0 technologies. To get a picture, stakeholders would be well advised to inquire about existing information systems, starting with direct partners, and develop strategies to network the collected data collaboratively.