Developing the ecosystem for an agricultural revolution
Communication and dissemination for IoF2020
After four exciting years, our beloved project Internet of Food and Farm 2020 came to an end on 31 March 2021. IoF2020 fosters the large-scale take-up of Internet of Things technologies in the European farming and food sector. Thereby it addresses challenges related to improving the agri-food sector’s environmental sustainability, maintaining high quality standards, responding to international competition and enhancing transparency. Focusing on 33 use cases spread throughout Europe, the project provides innovations in 5 agri-food areas covering both conventional and organic farming. These are arable, dairy, fruits, vegetables and meat.
The IoF2020 consortium comprises over 120 partners from 22 countries and S&P was in the lead of ecosystem development. Our objective was to conceptualise and implement the communication and dissemination activities in view of a sustainable ecosystem for the long-term application of IoT technologies in the agri-food sector. Even though the global pandemic necessitated creative solutions and required precautions, we tried our best to stay in close connection with every single one of the 33 use cases within the IoF2020 project. Hence, we came up with the idea to pay them a visit to witness first-hand the achievements and results of their hard work and talk about the diverse challenges they had to overcome to get there. During our digital or, if the conditions allowed it, personal visits, we enjoyed the place of eternal spring, got a glimpse of how we will extend shelf-life in the future and drove through the heart of European viticulture. Below you will find a selection of three use cases and their respective test farms which play a significant role in revolutionising smart farming in the European Union and beyond. We invite you to visit the IoF2020 website to find out more about all the other use case innovations.
In the year 2020 we got the chance to visit the place of eternal spring, which is in The Netherlands. If you know the Dutch weather, you are probably furrowing your brow right now. So, let us explain! A sunny and warm day in spring are roughly the conditions the team simulates in their indoor farming facility at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven as part of their contribution to food security - especially for the urban population - in the future. Due to the absence of natural sunlight, the quality of any indoor crop depends on the perfect symbiosis of all factors such as climate control, lighting, sensors, software controls and logistics. After an initial degustation, we can confirm that Sjoerd Kessels, the Coordinator, and his the team of plant and data specialists within the use case City Farming for Leafy Vegetables are already very close to the perfect growth recipe for a variety of crops.
Table grapes are an important crop for farmers in the South Italian Regions of Puglia and Basilicata where the Fresh Table Grapes Chain use case carries out its main activities. However, the implications of its innovation reach far beyond those regions as they set out to revolutionise organic production and packaging of fruits and vegetables in Europe and beyond. One success factor is certainly the way each crucial segment is embedded in a holistic system that overarches the entire value chain of organic table grapes. This also manifests on a personal level. When Vincenzo Verrastro, the Coordinator, describes the work and research they are performing he always refers to the team as a community, a family.
On our last trip, we arrived in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region with Bordeaux as its capital, Mario Diaz Nava, the Coordinator of the Big Wine Optimisation use case, took us with him on a trip to the Heart of European viticulture. With over 2000 estates with an average of 35ha each, it is rightfully considered the epicenter of wine. One of them, the estate Denis Debourdieu, is part of this use case and dedicates their 135ha to the optimisation of the entire viticulture value chain. It is run by Jean Jacques, along with his brother Fabrice, who are following in their grandfather’s and father’s enthusiastic footsteps to improve viticulture in this region. While his grandfather initiated a step from quantity to quality as he identified the molecules responsible for the taste of wine, Jean Jacques now leverages IoT technology to control every aspect of the production process, putting the Dubourdieu family Domaines once again at the forefront of innovating wine production.
Does all this sound like you missed out on impressive applications of precision agriculture? Undoubtedly. But, fortunately, we did all that with a camera as our companion and are thus able to share all 33 use case movies with you! We uploaded them to the VoltaTV website for your viewing pleasure.