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DESC – Digital Evolution of Supply Chains IT in Food & Supply Chain

1This paper investigates how emerging information technologies can improve the food supply chain management. There is a wide range of innovations that businesses and consumers are looking forward in the agro-food industry: sensors providing more accurate data; visualization and predictions of farming conditions; autonomous monitoring and interventions in farming and food production processes; highly integrated communication from sensors to tractors to processing and logistics infrastructures; monitoring and control systems to inform and assure consumers about food safety and sustainability.

We will analyze how the concepts presented above could affect each step of the supply chain, and the potential impact on the business organization.


Our work aims at investigating how IT can modify the current supply chain-managing processes in food industry. By observing different contests (such as the “smart farm”), we want to examine how the actual organization could change and the potential social impacts that can be arisen by these changes.


This paper starts with a definition of IoT and Big data and their actual pervasiveness in the industry. The second section discusses the potential application of technology along the Supply Chain Model (SCM) focused on the food industry, and what projects are running. The third section describes the impact of IoT and Big Data on the supply chain management. Conclusions and limitations are drawn on the impacts brought by technologies adoption discussed above. The research paper uses different methods that include a review of the existing academic literature, using journal articles and sources from different databases.

Different case studies and ongoing projects are then analyzed in order to figure out the possible future in the food industry and possible benefits and/or problems are then evaluated considering the technical aspects and the possible social impacts (e.g. small farms can disappear, food sector controlled by few multinational enterprises). Furthermore, the work aim proceeds in a bottom-up logic to explain implications and changes in Supply Chain context.

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