Research Topic

The Digital Food Chain

About this Research Topic

This project was organized in collaboration with Steve Brewer of The University of Lincoln.

The digital food chain offers many opportunities to address key challenges relating to how we cultivate, distribute and consume food. Chief among these digital technologies is the Internet of ...

This project was organized in collaboration with Steve Brewer of The University of Lincoln.

The digital food chain offers many opportunities to address key challenges relating to how we cultivate, distribute and consume food. Chief among these digital technologies is the Internet of Things (IoT), essentially the glue connecting the data, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics across the supply chain.

The term IoT describes the systematic use of computing devices that connect and interact without direct human intervention. In the context of the food chain, IoT refers to a variety of devices and activities, from tagging animals and products with low-cost monitoring devices to using smarter devices that actively control processes within factories and other food production locations. With the digitalisation of the food production supply chain we have seen many examples of successful applications of these technologies at all stages including in agri-tech, smart factories, logistics, retail, and the home. While these innovations are welcome, they face meta- challenges regarding the integration of applications for greater societal benefits, such as improving public and animal health, reducing food waste, managing trustworthy data, and addressing climate change.

The aim of this Research Topic is to create a deeper understanding of key innovations and drill into the meta-challenges, including those related to open, closed, and shared data. As the digitalised food supply chain bridges technical and business challenges, research topics necessarily include the economic models needed to facilitate innovation for applying IoT to the food supply chain.

We aim to provide a panoramic view of IoT’s role across the digitalised food production supply chain across the UK and beyond. We anticipate that researchers will also discuss how the application of IoT can help address the greater overarching challenges including the climate crisis, health and wellbeing – of humans, animals, and indeed the planet – and security, both cyber-related, and food-related.

Suggested Topics:
- Logistics management, including security, temperature control and journey tracking
- Crop availability linked to producers and supply chain control
- Industry 4.0 concepts applied to food production
- Use of IoT to improve food-related health outcomes
- Applications for IoT to minimise food waste
- IoT devices for the food supply chain
- 5G solutions and challenges for the food supply chain
- Cyber-security: challenges related to the food supply chain


Keywords: Digital food supply chain, Internet of things, Big data, Artificial intelligence, Robotics, Smart farming, Agri-tech, Smart factories


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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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