Key enabling pillar in "Internet 

of Food"

By Dr. Mechthild Rohen, Head of Unit Internet of Things,

European Commission, DG Connect

The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered to be one of the main enablers of the next industrial revolution. The changes are already happening in all sectors. In agriculture, this new era of digital transformation is clearly visible in the way farmers are using robots, sensors and other IoT devices.

One of the most exciting ramifications of adopting IoT in agriculture is its potential for improving food safety and traceability: the mechanisms to ensure and monitor that food products are healthy and safe, with the highest possible quality, throughout their whole lifecycle, from farm to fork. Consumers now want to know more and more about the contents and safety of their food, where and how it is produced, and its environmental and societal impacts. Modern farming techniques, including those based on IoT, have enormous potential in bringing on a more efficient, sustainable, and environmentally responsible production of food.

Image credit: Mauricio Lima/Flickr

The Commission is supporting the IoT Large Scale Pilots project IoF2020 with a budget of EUR 30 mil. in smart agriculture and food security, with the specific challenge to increase the deployment of IoT solutions in Europe through integration of advanced IoT technologies across the whole food supply chain.

"One of the most exciting ramifications of adopting IoT in agriculture is its potential for improving food safety and traceability."

The IoT disruptive nature requires the assessment of the benefits of the deployed IoT innovation compared to the traditional way of working. This is clearly a prerequisite for any market adoption. IoF2020 can help in showing clear benefits and added value of the deployment of such IoT innovative solutions in real settings. IoF2020 can demonstrate that the whole internet based food supply chain can benefit from the deployment of IoT technologies. IoF2020 should also measure the level of user acceptability of IoT solutions in the "internet of food" by addressing user needs, expectation in terms of food safety and traceability and data security and privacy.

Dr. Mechthild Rohen

Head of Unit Internet

of Things, 

European Commission

DG Connect