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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions related to the topic of management perspectives for the adoption of new technologies.
Image with FAQ to represent Frequently Asked Questions

In this section you will find an answer to frequently asked questions related to the topic of management perspectives for the adoption of new technologies in the food sector.

1. Does the food industry use digital technologies?

Digital technology has already played a role in revolutionizing other industries, however, the food and agricultural sector is falling behind in the technology adoption curve. While technologies are adopted, their use in the food system is highly complex and involves a number of management considerations.

2. What technologies have the potential to transform the food industry?

In 2018, the World Economic Forum published a report named, “Innovation with a Purpose: The role of technology innovation in accelerating food systems transformation”. This report outlined the twelve promising technologies that could significantly impact food systems over the next decade.

These 12 transformative technologies include: Alternative proteins; Food sensing technologies for food quality, safety and traceability; Nutrigenetics for personalized nutrition; Big data and advanced analytics for insurance; Mobile delivery service; Blockchain enabled traceability; Internet of Things (IoT) for supply chain transparency and traceability; Precision agriculture for input and water use optimization; Microbiome technologies to enhance crop resilience; Gene-editing for multi-trait seed improvements; Biological based crop protection and micronutrients for soil management; and Off grid renewable energy generation and storage for access to electricity.

3. What are economic factors?

Economic factors are those which influence the profitability of a food business. In order to remain financially viable and compete in the global food market, food businesses must ensure income exceeds expenses. However, new digital technologies can be very expense and thus, this presents a barrier, particularly to small-medium sized enterprises.

4. What are environmental factors?

Environmental Factors are those related to the effect the technology has on the environment. Food technology can have both positive and negative effects on the environment. For example, it can lead to reduced use of resources (such as land, water and soil), however it may need more energy for production. The food business needs to carry out a cost-benefit analysis in order assess the current and future impacts on the environment, particularly as environmental welfare is of increasing concern among consumers.

5. What are political factors?

Political factors are those relating to government policies and administrative practices that actors across the food chain must adhere to.

6. What are technical factors?

Technical factors are those which have an impact on how a food business operates. They include: Training and Experience; Research; and Infrastructure.

7. What are market factors?

The market is an important consideration for food businesses, because it returns profits to the business. The landscape of what motivates and drives consumer choice is complex and personal. Some of the key influences are price, quality, trust and transparency, socio-cultural influences and more recently health and sustainability. A food business must consider who their target market is and if the technology aligns with their needs, wants and values before integrated it into the business.

8. What are welfare factors?

Welfare in the food system is becoming increasingly important throughout the globe, evident from the various surveys and increasing amount of legislation and policy initiatives. These welfare or ethical dilemmas may involve animals, people or the environment. Animal welfare is related to how food production effects the quality of life and health of animals and the industry must act in accordance to the Animal Welfare act of 2006. Human welfare is the welfare of people working in the food system. Environmental welfare is the effect of food production on the environment (covered by environmental factors). In terms of welfare, food technology can offer both positive and negative impacts. For example, food technology can include mechanisms to improve animal husbandry and welfare. However, it may result in a reduced and upskilled workforce affecting the livelihoods of many, particularly living in rural areas.

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Revolutionising the Food Chain with Technology

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