A host of local companies are among those signed up to a new project that will aim to boost the fresh produce supply chain industry.
The £2.8m Trusted Bytes project created by the University of Lincoln will use novel digital technology that connects the supply chain with central government and other critical partners to help facilitate the flow of goods across international borders and drive productivity within the UK food economy.
This includes the development of technology that creates immutable proof of food provenance, digitises critical border transfer processes and develops the world’s first trust framework to govern trustworthy data exchange and sharing across the full food supply chain. There are also novel telecommunications technologies providing seamless digital connectivity for supply chain operators.
The consortium, led by Produce Logistics Limited, of Clay Lakes, includes leading local fresh produce supply chain operators Fesa UK Ltd; Worldwide Fruit Ltd; Davis Worldwide Ltd; Hain Daniels; FreshLinc Ltd; and ukFPN Lincolnshire, supported by technology companies Contained Technologies UK Ltd; British Standards Institution (BSI); and Excelerate Technology Ltd, as well as the University of Lincoln, UK; the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Manufacturing Technology Centre; and the Satellite Applications Catapult.
Contained Technologies’ BlueRing software is at the heart of the project, and is designed to integrate external systems, such as HMRC, quickly and easily. It will be extended by a new BSI standard to enable businesses to automate the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification process.
The university says a further challenge for the rural food sector will be addressed by ubiquitous end-to-end telecommunications developed by Excelerate Technologies Ltd.
Trusted Bytes will deliver a complete service that can integrate across multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, from order to compliance and submission.
The information will be made available on a transparent data sharing platform that tracks conditions and location, as well as enabling this data to be easily ingested into their forms, templates, and enterprise business and procurement systems.
This integration is crucial for businesses seeking to streamline their processes and regulatory compliance, those behind it say.
Alex Szymborski, Contained Technologies UK Ltd, said: “I am delighted to lead the Innovate UK funded Trusted Bytes project; helping to create critical innovation in the food supply chain to bring about long-term benefits in trust, security and resilience. This is a great team, with an abundance of skills from technology and industry, bringing together the very best of Britain.”
Angie Stuart, ukFPN Lincolnshire, said: “This is a major achievement and another great example of the level of innovation found within the fresh produce industry in South Lincolnshire.
“We’re super excited to be working on this project with our members and partners.”