Transformative innovation in the UK food system
The UK’s Global Food Security programme has published a report on innovation within the UK food systems, focusing particularly on the contribution of data technologies and artificial intelligence to food security.
Key areas in the report include:
- Data-driven supply chains guided by AI, with large data sets that reveal patterns and predict behaviour to improve resource efficiency, improve sustainability, and reduce levels of waste in food supply chains
- Distributed ledger technologies that have the potential to improve trust, traceability and provenance, improving connectedness and improve management of risks associated with food fraud incidences
- Internet of Things (IOT) and cloud computing to increase use of robotics and automated decision-making
The report focused on five major challenges for the food industry that it claims would benefit from transformative innovation:
- Traceability, transparency and disclosure
- Food safety, fraud, and security
- Efficiency, productivity, and sustainability
- Improving diets and health
- Reducing waste
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.