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‘The challenge is to find a single platform to monitor food, through the supply chain’

Loopholes in the food chain must be addressed and stakeholders in the industry must have a unified approach to the adoption of technology, says Technical Manager, IoT Plus

| | Nov 4, 2018 | 2:33 pm
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Mahmoud Al Charif, Technical Manager, IoT Plus

Dubai, UAE, 4 November 2018: The food chain and cold chain involve long processes in what we call “farm to fork” and the pressing challenge, today, is to find a single platform that can be used to monitor food, as it travels on the food supply chain, asserted Mahmoud Al Charif, Technical Manager, IoT Plus, during a conversation at the 12th Annual Dubai International Food and Safety Conference, held at World Trade Centre in Dubai.

The Food Watch Programme, Al Charif said, has definitely helped improve the situation when it comes to traceability, however, he pointed to additional challenges that need to be addressed. To date, he said, the food chain and transport chain is only 60% traceable and the challenge lies in improving this statistic. For instance, he said, “Let’s begin with the farm where you need animal tracking sensors to know the health of a cow, the soil temperature from where the animal grazes, to the point where the milk is packaged, transported and shelved in the supermarket.” Right through the process, he said, there is a need for improved traceability because, often, businesses are privately owned and not everyone is open to technology. RFID tags and sensors can be used to track food in its journey to the supermarket; however, every stakeholder must understand the benefit of using such a technology. Loopholes in the system must be addressed and stakeholders must take responsibility in ensuring traceability in the food and cold chain industry, Al Charif said.

Making the call for awareness about the benefits of integration, Al Charif highlighted that the IoT-provider market is an emerging one and IoT companies today need to come up with an end-to-end solution with a single platform. “Sensory data is captured from the Application Interface, the code of which can be accessed only from an application.” Having such a platform, he said, requires an investment of time, effort and focus from all the stakeholders. Here, the unified aim is to provide the best in service and quality products to the end-user. Al Charif said, “IoT, I believe, will be the data layer to blockchain and if we take this information and work together, we can achieve 100% traceability in the food and cold chain.”

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