A Blind date and a Cereal Passport
How can we trust that the cereals we buy were produced in a sustainable manner? Both consumers and farmers struggle with this question. Consumers ask for increased transparency, whilst farmers desire fair prices to increase their profitability. Furthermore, farmers struggle with low profitability of such cereals as well as additional environmental pressures. Our FIE offers the solution: data!
We work to introduce ‘climate footprinted grain’. In practice, this means a validated digital passport per grain lot, which contains – among others- information about energy consumption, the use of fertilisers involved in producing the grain, and the emissions from transport. We calculate the carbon footprint per grain lot on the basis of data gathered from sensors on the farms. In this way, farmers know exactly what requirements they need to meet, and which ones they have already met, and can thus label their products as environmentally friendly. Thanks to this solution, farmers no longer have to sell their grain at a lower price and can become more profitable. the consumer knows that they are having an environmentally friendly breakfast.
Currently, we are in the starting phase of our experiment. This means we have a lot of Skype-meetings! We are working to facilitate the right interpretation of data because this is crucial to the success of the FIE. For instance, how do we calculate the fuel used by harvesting machines per grain lot? These are the type of questions we are addressing at the early stages of our FIE, so that we do not miss any important data at the start of the growing season.
The benefit of being a member of SmartAgriHubs is obvious to us. We have two Digital Innovation Hubs which support us. One helped us draft the FIE’s consortium agreement and connects us to experts on co-creation methods between farmers and consumers. The other assists us in finding the right stakeholders for workshops and interviews.
When we started this project, the partners involved in our team were unfamiliar with each other’s ideas and competences, yet we all wanted to create a well-functioning digital solution for farmers. It was like starting a happy family through a series of blind dates!