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The Use of Sensing and ICT to Improve the Sustainability of International Food Production and Distribution Systems

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Information Technologies
Type of Risk:
Managerial & operational
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk coping
Dr Paul T Kidd
University of Manchester

AWARE (Active Waste Analysis to Reduce Environmental-impact) addressed the topic of “waste” in fresh (perishable) produce (fruit and vegetables) supply chains. These chains begin with the grower (or farmer) and end with the retailer, but AWARE also considered the consumer in the specific context of a source of “complaints data” concerning fresh produce. The intention was to focus on data, information, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems, and how these potentially could be used to reduce waste.
AWARE was a nine month exploratory project that started on April 1st 2009. The specific objectives of AWARE (as stated in the original proposal) were to:

  • Identify the nature of the data available (both from retailers and agri-businesses) and its potential to provide useful information to drive waste reduction (supply-side perspective) and to inform and reassure customers about environmental impacts (demand-side perspective);
  • Build upon the outcomes of the analysis phase and on the results emerging from existing projects, to consider and define how the available supply-side and demand-side data, could be utilised to extract value for supply chain participants and to improve sustainability;
  • Develop the system concept for the integrated data-driven information and knowledge management system;
  • Formulate the research programme that will need to be undertaken to bring the system concept to realisation.

This document is the final project report. It describes what has been done, key findings, and presents conclusions concerning what needs to.