Be Smart – Be Transparent: Partner and innovate in the agri-food value chain

Currently, the food industry is challenged to make the agri-food value chain transparent from farm to fork. Are you smart? Are you visible and transparent to the consumers? What if leading agri-food companies would work together and coöperate in their search for the best solutions to become more transparent? This could enable them to realize big ambitions, like feeding 9.8 billion people sustainably in 2050. I believe that partnerships form the foundation of creating a future-proof agri-food value chain next to technology, innovation and a ‘sustainable development goal’ approach. This is an example of the kind of challenges we like to work on @nlmtd.

Worldwide, the food industry is forced to change due to interdependency of all ‘components’ of the global food value chain. We currently notice an increasing globalization in the global value chain, which will continue in the coming years, resulting in brands that can and will perform on a global scale. On the contrary, we see very strong local / regional brands and trustworthy innovative ‘purpose’ driven brands. How does this trend fit into the global situation? One of the underlying reasons could be the rise in resistance against global power, brands and companies. Consumers seem to value transparency more and this forces companies to incorporate these values in their strategy. I believe that both technology and strategic partnerships can support companies in this search for transparency.

Drivers challenging the agri-food value chain

The agri-food sector, including both the global brands and the local / regional brands, is challenged to feed9.8 billion people by 2050 in a sustainable way, in an environment challenged by multiple drivers:

·      Growing world population and challenging demographics
·      Growing pressure on food regulations and safety
·      Urbanization and rising middle class
·      Sustainability and environmental constraints
·      Changing farming practices
·      Changing consumer demand
·      Changing supply chains with growing interdependencies in the value chain
·     Technological / digital innovations

Agri-food Value Chain

Impacted by Internet of Things, data & analytics and ‘digital’, the major technological developments that impact the Agri-food value chain are:

·       Bio-technology & genomics
·       Real-time animal intelligence & autonomous monitoring
·       Lab & plant based alternative proteins
·       Precision farming solutions
·       Sustainability & waste reduction
·       Robotics & plant automation
·       E2E traceability & supply chain visibility

Besides this you see more and more food brands adopting blockchain and new direct-to-consumer distribution strategies. Many companies in the agri-food value chain have started to optimize their business model, making use of the benefits of technology.Lagging players in the value chain in the adoption of digital technology tend to lose position and margin to the fast adopters and new entrants.

E2e traceability & Supply chain visibility

Today’s challenge for all players in the agri-food value chain is to bring a better value proposition to market faster and with greater relevance and transparency to consumers. Supply chains need to be redesigned for maximum transparency and responsiveness to the ever changing needs of consumers. The battle for share of wallet and share of stomach is a battle between relevance of global and local brands and between relevance of ‘easy to connect to’ platforms. Where maybe food without farmers become reality or food without retail or other typeof ‘outlets’ become reality: direct from farm to fork. Several examples are already in the market place, such as – some Dutch milk, meat and vegetable examples:

·      Oermelk

·      Lekker Dichtbij

·      Lindenhoff

Throughout history, the real power in any supply chain has been exerted by those who provide the most essential value to the buyer/end-user in that chain.

In the fishbowl society world we live in and the decade of consumer power, production processing and distribution companies becoming ultra-vulnerable; one incident can break brand reputation. Consumers want to be sure that claims (sustainable, organic, local, etc.) are real. Tools become available to proof origin and quality of a product, how it is produced and by whom. SwissDeCode i.e. helps food manufacturers and farmers to grow and produce food that is safe to eat by delivering real time certification of authenticity, safety and quality of products, processes and premises. From sample to certificate in the same work shift: in process and on site with your own staff instead of in a lab.

I firmly believe the unique combination of (existing)blockchain- and agriculture technologies in addition to strategic partnerships will help solve the growing need for transparency in the agri-food value chain.It can even support securing a more equal (profit) share for all in the agri-food value chain.

Technology has been at the core of revolution is in agriculture throughout the ages. From the invention of the wheel and ox-drawn ploughs to the implementation of a robotic farm and self-riding tractors.

Knowing how valuable technology is in the future of food, we want to encourage all and every innovation that we can in the agri-food value chain to secure a better future for all.

Agri-food supply chain transparency is definitely a game changer if you are in the agri-food business. You will benefit from transparently tracked food ingredients and products to provide real time data on food safety and delivery. Nowadays, complete transparency is key. The ability to see what is happening at each stage of the food value chain could boost your business and helps to differentiate within the market.

Innovative start-ups /scale-ups could support your business to achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility. They could help you with risk reduction, boost brand values, predict and plan to meet the needs of market changes. @nlmtd we like to build future-proof partnerships that meet purpose. It’s in our purpose to connect players in the agri-food value chain with the right partners, start-ups, scale-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators. To bring your business‘ smart supply chain intelligence to the next level and (re)connect with the consumers. To develop world-class solutions to societal challenges, accelerate innovation, and increase competitiveness.Create a future-proof and effective food sector which supports a sustainable and circular economy.

It is our purpose to make organisations fast, smart and agile. We identify value chain partners to realize working pilots to transform organisations in the agri-food value chain. Please mail/connect if you want to make a step towards more transparency.

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