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Challenges and new technologies in the dairy industry

dairy

Introduction

The dairy industry is a sector full of internal junctures and dotted with many challenges. Milk and derivatives have a limited shelf-life since expiry date is crucial; maintaining the correct temperature in all the stages of the cold chain is fundamental in order to provide any assurance about Food safety; having an end-to-end supply chain visibility is a key element to avoid hurdles and issues that might arise along the chain. 

In this industry it arises the necessity to employ innovative, advanced monitoring solutions to be aware of everything that happens in each stage of the supply chain, to offer a fresh, safe product and to drastically decrease product return rates. 

After illustrating some data on the dairy industry, we will consider its challenges showing how innovative technologies could be successfully used in this sector, and in conclusion we will show the solutions offered by Wenda, an Italian startup backed by European investors that offers an Information Management Hub for advanced supply chain tracking used by main Food&Beverage players, improving quality, logistics and sales.

 

Numbers of the European dairy industry

According to European Parliament and Eurostat, the EU dairy sector is the second biggest agricultural sector in the EU, representing more than 12% of total agricultural output. In 2017, the EU produced 170.1 million tonnes of raw milk, and in the coming years growing EU and global demand is expected to support world dairy markets, whose sustainability can be achieved with innovation, as a way to reconcile the need for farmers to earn a decent living, consumer demand for affordable and quality dairy products, and environmental/animal health requirements1.

In this sector, technological innovation is represented by the use of big data analytics and IoT solutions: biometric sensors and GPS can gather and analyse data, allowing a smooth data management and turning these data into useful information for company decisions. These technologies can be used for many purposes, from tracking animals’ movements and diets to advanced supply chain monitoring, up to the final consumer.

Industry challenges and targeted technological innovations

The dairy industry is full of challenges. Here we quickly look at them, then we show how an innovative technology can be successfully employed in this sector. Production efficiency is central because new markets such as China and India constitute growing sources for milk and derivatives demand. Due to  this constantly increasing demand, the dairy industry must develop more efficient production methods. However, the efficiency challenge must necessarily be balanced with concerns about sustainability and environmental protection.

Another challenge for the dairy industry is to equip itself with simple and efficient data management systems to save time, to be aware of animals’ reproductive, nutritional and health status, to monitor the whole supply chain and to launch operations to protect the brand from imitations. As early as the farming level, there is not any lack of data: over time, key performance indicators for milk production and animals’ reproduction and health have formed. But the subject of data is not over in the farming and milking stages: to protect the brand, to follow analytically the whole production and transformation cycles, to monitor the integrity of the many levels of the supply chain up to the final consumer, producers can use advanced sensors, predictive/prescriptive analytics and IoT solutions. All the collected data can be turned into key information to obtain a genuine, Food safety standard-compliant product, which stands out among its unfortunate imitations thanks to its quality and transparency towards consumers.

WENDA: Information Management Hub for Food&Beverage supply chains 

Wenda, an Italian startup backed by European investors, wants to understand the necessities and face the challenges of the dairy industry, supporting it with advanced technologies to offer an Information Management Hub for advanced supply chain tracking used by the main Food&Beverage actors , improving quality, logistics and sales.

Shaped for the dairy industry, Wenda’s Hub is a digital solution for cold chain advanced monitoring, instrumental to offer a fresh, safe product and to drastically reduce product returns. Wenda’s Information Management Hub can support all the dairy industry actors operating with perishable or sensitive products: data loggers are inserted into each box, pallet or container of any given shipment, in order to collect environmental data (geolocalisation, temperature, Food integrity); data are sent to the Wenda Information Management Hub, the web platform that aggregates, compares and processes them. Subsequently, you can follow in real time and from a single control point the product’s conditions via advanced integrity analytics embedded in the Hub, gaining knowledge of the hazard points in the cold chain, ensuring the best product care and enhancing internal processes.

Furthermore, the Wenda platform is equipped with both a cloud wallet of shareable journey documents and pictures, and differential data access levels: the configuration is entirely customisable according to the company’s needs and allows to share real-time shipment/storage documents, choosing which documents may be deemed accessible and whom can access them (among a list including clients, logistics, quality, sales, insurance companies and certification bodies).

Finally, in light of the IoT hardware constant evolution (in this case regarding the different data loggers commercially available), Wenda has made the Information Management Hub interoperable with the main devices, ERPs, traceability softwares and Blockchain ledgers present on the market. That way, you can be on the frontline of digital innovation and at the same time maintain your well-oiled management system.

To have further information, to know more about us or to schedule a demo of the Wenda Information Management Hub, we invite you to visit our website: https://www.wenda-it.com/.

  1. See here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2018/630345/EPRS_BRI(2018)630345_EN.pdf And here: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Milk_and_milk_product_statistics