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The ultimate digital platform for full transparency and efficiency in the fruits and vegetables trade

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - B2FRESH (The ultimate digital platform for full transparency and efficiency in the fruits and vegetables trade)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2018-09-30

The fruit and vegetables (F&V) supply chain is one of the most complicated chains to manage due to the perishable nature of the product, the high number of small suppliers, the variety and dispersion of the supply base and the uncontrollable impact of climate. Producers, traders and retailers have to face obstacles every day that threaten the F&V supply chain’s efficiency: decentralised trading requirements, lack of transparency, inefficient communication and access to data locked in the supply chain, market uncertainty and food waste.
These problems not only translate into F&V spoilage (currently, best-practice retailers suffer from 3-5% spoilage levels), but also into inefficient management of the supply chain and stocks and products that, sometimes, do not match customers’ requirements and expectations.
B2FRESH aims to solve these problems by providing F&V operators (producers, traders and retailers) with the first one-stop-shop digital platform that will offer all the tools they need to perform their trading tasks in a more efficient and convenient way and to take adequate long-term decisions based on accurate predictive insights.
During this Phase I we have carried out a feasibility study with the intention of determining B2FRESH’s technical, commercial and financial viability. For the technical part, we have identified the best approach for our predictive insights’ tools (pesticide residue forecast, shelf life optimization and harvest forecast), outlined specifications and mock-ups of the supply chain management module and designed a way to include third-party apps on the platform.
For the commercial viability, we have carried out a deep market study on F&V supply chain management platforms, including an assessment on the current economic conditions and analysing potential competitors. We have investigated potential risks that could arise during market launching and defined mitigation and contingency measures for each of them, as well as the impact that the Brexit could have during commercialisation. In addition, we have set up a technical working group with key potential customers to validate the concept and specify and prioritise the B2FRESH’s features, ensuring this way the platform meets the needs and demands of the different supply chain stakeholders.
Finally, in the financial assessment we have designed a pricing strategy for the modules and services that will be provided by B2FRESH and we have integrated them into a business strategy, considering the knowledge we have obtained from the technical and commercial assessments. In addition, we have updated our financial projections in light of what we have learnt from our assessments.
The EU is one of the biggest F&V production, trading and fresh produce markets.
The growing need to respond to consumer expectations on real time access to information (where is my food coming from, authenticity of the food, environmental impact of production and transport, food safety, pesticide residues, worker welfare, child labour, etc.) and IoT is going to increase data exchange exponentially, creating a need for new and more efficient systems to manage supply chains.
B2FRESH will provide a platform that will allow the industry to cope with these new needs, will increase the sector’s productivity and efficiency simplifying the management of trading requirements, reducing the time spent on checks and analysis costs. It also fights the lack of transparency, access to data and communication problems by providing a platform that centralises all information exchanges and out of which it elaborates reports, business profiles and, ultimately, predictive insights.
The access to information previously locked in the supply chain and benchmarking reports will enable the industry to take data driven decision to improve the base suppliers´ performance. As an example, it is expected that this approach will have a massive effect on rationalizing and reducing pesticide use by producers worldwide, at a scale never seen before.
B2FRESH’s forecasts will allow F&V operators to optimise resources such as pesticides (whose use will be reduced) and also to improve fruits and vegetables’ shelf-lives, allowing an extension in the best-before-date of 1 to 2 days.
Ultimately, this will improve the quality of the fruits and vegetables consumed as well as the global productivity and efficiency of the sector, which will, at the same time, be reflected on the agriculture sector.