4media group recently worked with electronics giant Bosch on a broadcast campaign centred around food wastage, and how their app can help farmers to tackle the issue.
Joining us in the studio to tell us more about the app and what else can be done to cut food waste, was Jack Ward, CEO of British Growers Association and Thijs Verploegen, Biosystems Engineer and product manager at Deepfield Connect.
Food waste from farms in Britain has been a talking point over the last few months. A recent survey highlighted the staggering amount of food that is wasted on farms in the UK.
Farmers surveyed reported an average of 10-16 per cent food wastage in typical years, equal to around 22,000 to 37,000 tonnes: enough food to provide 150,000 to 250,000 people with five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a whole year, about the same as the whole population of Wolverhampton.
Over half the farmers agreed they were forced to overproduce because there is pressure to always meet buyer orders, or risk losing contracts.
But why is this? The population is growing at a faster rate than areas of farmland and British consumers are eating less seasonally, which puts pressure and high demand on farmers to produce fruits like strawberries all year round. To meet these demands, farmers are having to extend its seasonality.
Farmers are being encouraged to adopt new, smarter technology which can play a vital role in making UK produce even better than it is now and, ultimately, reducing waste. The Bosch Deepfield Connect field monitoring system measures temperature as well the humidity of the air and soil through smart sensors. From the field, data is transmitted to the grower’s smartphone.
Using an app, farmers can stay in touch with their crops – anytime, anywhere. If the soil is too dry, or if temperatures exceed a defined limit, growers are alerted. Equally, if frost occurs, they immediately receive a notification so they can perform countermeasures, such as covering or frost irrigation.
The coverage for the campaign was brilliant with 18 broadcast interviews secured, 7 of which were BBC radio interviews, as well as interviews with UCB, Bolton FM, Wycombe Sound, and more.