Information and Communication Technology as a Driver for Change in Agri-food Chains

Krijn J. Poppe, J. Wolfert, Cor Verdouw, Tim Verwaart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Agri-food chains will be changed in the coming years by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Technological trends and economic analysis suggest that ICT will be a major driver for innovation. Satellites and sensors make precision agriculture possible. More and more data are being generated in agriculture and the rest of the food chain, which helps to steer production processes with greater precision. However, there is a low level of integration of these data between actors in the food chain. By improving this ‘interoperability’ of data, processes in the food chain can be optimised and new business models developed. Data-intensive food chains have the potential to alleviate many of the current sustainability and food safety issues and contribute to human health. The economic and policy effects of such developments still need to be explored. At first sight it could lead to more closely integrated supply chains that make the farmer act as a franchise taker with limited freedom. But the opposite could also be true, with more transparency and easier options for direct sales via consumer food webs, using smart solutions for the ‘last mile’ delivery. New issues like a trade-off between transparency and privacy or pricing data might well arise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-65
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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