From farm to shop: bringing IoT to the supply chain

Friday, 17 June, 2022 | Supplied by: Wiliot

One of Israel’s largest supermarkets, Shufersal, has begun to utilise small devices that allow it to carefully and dutifully keep track of its produce in order to maintain its freshness while reducing waste. To achieve this, it turned to Internet of Things specialist Wiliot.

The partnership follows a successful trial of a system in 2021 where crates were affixed with the small trackers that send data to servers for analysis.

The system now put in place uses two pieces of technology from Wiliot: its Pixel stickers, which are small tracking devices that can be attached to boxes or crates to collect data, and its cloud platform that communicates with the devices. The Pixels do not require batteries as they are powered through the harvesting of radio frequency energy and can track information such as temperature, motion, location and whether the devices have been tampered with. The data collected is sent back to the cloud platform so that analysis can be performed. Over a million of the supermarket’s crates will be tracked with the technology, which provides real-time location and temperature information.

The result is that Shufersal can keep track of crates of fresh produce, from the farm where it is picked to the store where it is sold. This means it can optimise shipping and storage to increase efficiency of its operations, including making sure that vegetables that are closer to expiry can be quickly put on store shelves.

“Being able to see in real time that produce shipments were kept at the right temperature and knowing exactly how many days passed from when it was picked to when it arrived in stores has been eye-opening,” said Zvika Fishheimer, Shufersal’s Executive Vice President.

“Shufersal is committed to offering our customers the highest quality and our ability to trace produce through our supply chain means we and our farmers can take every step necessary to deliver the freshest food in the market.”

The result of the system is that inefficiencies can be located and reduced, while fresher food is provided to consumers, all while waste is reduced.

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