IoT accelerating globalisation of food production and processing, study finds

The use of Internet of Things (IoT) for monitoring food production, hygiene, and sustainability is helping food producers meet increasingly stringent import requirements, a research study ‘IoT in Enterprise 2017’ by UK-based mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat has found.

According to the report, IoT is accelerating the globalisation of food production by enabling developing country food producers to export to developed nations, where these regulations originate from.

The main priority for deploying IoT applications in the agricultural sector for 49% of the surveyed agritech businesses focused around monitoring and improving health and safety through industry and government regulation requirements.

IoT sensors help in tracking of food through the entire supply chain, ensuring that import standards are adhered to and never breached.

Paul Gudonis, Inmarsat Enterprise president, said: “Consumers are becoming more conscious of where their food is coming from and how this is impacting their environment and carbon footprint, whilst also developing a taste for organic and ethically sourced produce.

“With government environmental standards reinforcing these trends and becoming more stringent, environmental, social and financial sustainability is now at the top of the agricultural agenda. This creates a framework of complex standards and regulations, many of which present logistical and operational challenges for the agritech industry.”

Meanwhile, Erik Thoresen, principal at food industry research firm Technomic, has made an evaluation on Amazon’s bid to acquire Whole Foods Market. As reported by the Austin Business Journal, Thoresen said the integration of the two firms will not be easy at the outset. Thoresen said Amazon’s mission is to “build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online,” while Whole Foods has “promised to offer a place for you to shop where value is inseparable from values.” As per Technomic, many private-label brands from Whole Foods’ will be available through Amazon, thus creating a competitive pricing dynamic.

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