The meat production sector is facing numerous challenges related to animal welfare: for instance foreign competition, climate impact and antibiotic resistance. To overcome these challenges the Iof2020 Meat Trial implemented different IoT technologies, like early warning systems, advanced monitoring systems and tracking data apps. Our IoF2020 Use Case 5.5 Feed Supply Chain Management focuses on the animal feed industry. An IoT integral feedstock management system was implemented to make the whole supply chain more efficient. However, during the corona pandemic, additional barriers arose which challenged the work of UC 5.5.
The usual work of UC 5.5 consists of optimising the supply chain management. Different stakeholders like feed suppliers or livestock farmers struggle with the time and quality evaluation when restocking their feed silos. This significantly increases the cost and lowers labour efficiency. UC 5.5 implemented INSYLO technology to improve supply chain management. This technology consists of a 3D sensor which makes use of algorithms to collect important silo stock level information. This enables UC 5.5 to optimise refill orders, production batches, shipping routes and raw materials purchases.
During the corona pandemic, UC 5.5 encounters different challenges. First, food demands have changed dramatically. Due to the enormous and rapid spread of the coronavirus, many national governments decided to close all bars, restaurants and hotels. Consequently, consumer demand have changed, management of logistics and storage became more complex, new customers or points of sale need to be identified and food waste has increased. Second, transport difficulties arose. Travel restrictions are applied, and cross border travelling is limited. Truck drivers have to pass border controls which results in longer delivery time and rerouting. Consequently, fresh products perish, deliveries are delayed, and shelf-life is shortened. Third, social distancing remains a challenge. To fight the coronavirus, it is essential to practice social distancing over a longer time. This has consequences like difficulties in handling deliveries, limited physical presence to complete all stock handling and farming activities and opportunities for in-person audits are restricted.
To overcome this challenge, UC 5.5 uses different digital tools. Supply and demand indicators are used to predict supply needs. Additionally, open-source algorithms are used to optimise pickup and delivery routes. Last, different tools are used to track and manage food supply remotely at different stages in the supply chain. These solutions help to overcome the barriers of these challenging times and helps to improve the efficiency of the feed supply chain.