INTOFOOD is an intelligent system that monitors the energy costs mainly addressed to farmers characterised by perishable/fresh products and added value food: organic food, Zero-Km food, certified products. The INTOFOOD consortium is composed by EOStech and three business partners: CIA, Servizi Energetici and a farm.
Could you tell us something more about the consortium?
The development of the system is carried out by EOStech: it is specialized since 1997 in design software and digital boards for data acquisition and data processing and it has experience in data logger and data transmission.
CIA is the second most important farmer association in Italy. CIA Emilia Romagna provides the guidelines in order to follow the latest European standards and also the new rural development policies focused on the concept of “greening”. CIA will promote the dialogue between farms and consumers, highlighting the use of innovative agricultural practices that help mitigate climate change. The CIA program “La spesa in campagna” will help to raise awareness among consumers on the issue of reducing the environmental impact in the agriculture production. Moreover, thanks to the network and the experience of CIA in short food supply chain projects, it is possible to identify and contact a large number of potential customers of the systems during the Intofood service start-up, allowing a more effective and safe market penetration.
Servizi Energetici supports the evaluation process and it will test the environmental sensors (atmospheric temperature, water quality, soil moisture, fertility and chemical composition of soils, impact of pesticide treatments) and the energy consumption sensors (water, electrical energy). This type of automatic moni-toring will be followed by the real time registration of agronomic practices and stock movements per-formed by the farmers through the INTOFOOD system.
The consortium includes also the “Luciani Andrea” agricultural company that will allow EOStech to proto-type and perform a first test on the field diary. Moreover, thanks to this business partner it will be possible to better optimize the “field diary” service and the interface on the needs of farmers, making it the most practical and usable as possible.
EOStech’s technological expertise, coupled with deep knowledge of the agri-food sector of CIA and with the expertise in energy services of Servizi Energetici, will ensure the development of an innovative sys-tem both from the technological point of view and really responsive to user needs. Furthermore, the presence of the farm as business partners will help to refine the system on the real needs of users and to validate it.
Is Intofood service really innovative?
The system helps FARMERS and others players of the supply chain in order to better manage their pro-duction, saving resources and increasing competitiveness. The “FIELD DIARY” collects information on the status of the field (hydration, nutritional status, fertilization and irrigation treatments…) and allows farmers to develop more efficient production strategies. The collected data provide a register of field that gives information to farmer on tailored strategies to optimize production and save resources. The system provides also information related to the energy footprint of the farm that could be used to certify the conformity to national and European laws and to obtain certifications and incentives.
Moreover the system helps consumers and customers (such as restaurants, small fresh food stores, …) to organize their food purchase through a geolocation service on an interactive map.
Energy saving and resources optimization seem an important added value, can you better explain?
The Intofood service allows farmers to analyse the relationship between production strategy and the quantity/quality of products. Different types of benefits are expected (both related to reduction of production costs), such as irrigation costs (saving 20%), energy costs (saving 10-15%). Moreover the optimization in the use of fertilizers and the optimization of the timing of sowing and harvest is expected.