Digital transformation is changing the future of processed fruit and vegetables

Digital Transformation

In March 2021, the European Commission (EC) presented a digital transformation strategy. To support the supply chain from farm to fork, the EC finances digital transformation projects.

Digitalisation is a process of 3 steps. Step 1 starts at the farm level with precision agriculture and decision support tools. Step 2 continues at the processor level with process automation, sensors, and digital logistics. Step 3 is at the consumer level with online shopping and smartphone applications. The deadline for the digital transformation strategy is 2030.

Europe’s Digital Decade

The strategy has 4 components:

  1. Improving digital skills,
  2. Digital business transformation,
  3. A secure and sustainable digital infrastructure, and
  4. Digitalisation of public services.

The strategy's targets positively affect various sectors, including agriculture and food processing. The digital strategy will also affect European citizens and companies, and partners from outside of Europe.

The strategy's goals are:

  1. Improving digital skills
    The European Union (EU) will take on 20 million European ICT specialists by 2030. Also, the EU will support digital literacy worldwide. For example, the Erasmus+ programme. This programme will provide opportunities for digital engineers and specialists from developing countries. Many of those IT specialists will specialise in the agricultural and food sectors.
  2. Digital business transformation
    The main aim is to support innovators and increase the number of companies using digital technologies. For example, Cloud, artificial intelligence and Big Data. Agriculture is an important sector where digital solutions can help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use.
  3. A secure and sustainable digital infrastructure
    The goals are to:
    - improve connectivity,
    - produce more sustainable semiconductors,
    - increase data storage capacity, and
    - invest in quantum technologies.
    The connection with Africa will include new intercontinental cables and a group of satellites. The EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy will support the connection with India and South-East Asia. BELLA Cable will improve connectivity with Latin America & the Caribbean.
  4. Digitalisation of public services
    Many actions aim to digitise health services. The strategy also wants to provide fully accessible online public services to everyone. Digitalisation also plays an essential role in developing smart villages. These rural communities use digital technologies to improve access to services, shorten food supply chains and develop renewable energy sources.

Digital transformation of the processed fruit and vegetables sector

Digitalisation is also becoming more and more important in the export of processed fruit and vegetables. New trends include digital tools and online activities to make the whole supply chain more transparent and sustainable. Digital technologies are transforming the sector from farm to fork across all links of the supply chain:

PFV news item
  • Raw material sourcing: Precision farming, robotics and smart apps that make production more efficient and sustainable.
  • Fruit and vegetable processing: Sensors that measure raw material quality, sort products, and automate production. At the sector level, sensors collect big data to establish quality parameters.
  • Logistics: Robots, sensors and blockchain technology make warehousing easier and more efficient, reduce the costs of intermediaries, and make the supply chain more transparent.
  • Export: Big data for market insights, trends and forecast market developments. Also, trade events and marketplaces are becoming more digital.
  • Retail sales: Online shopping is thriving worldwide, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Consumer: Many apps and devices that inform consumers about the food they buy and support personalised nutrition.

Learn more

Would you like to learn more about the digitalisation of the processed fruit and vegetable sector? Read our tips on going digital in the processed fruit and vegetables sector.

Autentika Global wrote this news article for CBI.

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