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Briefing document: digital technologies for improving productivity in food manufacturing

On 2 April 2019, the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technologies (SMART) and the Internet of Food Things (IoFT) Network Plus hosted a conference, ‘Digital technologies for improving the productivity in food manufacturing’.

The event brought together more than 50 industrial leaders, professional bodies and academics in a workshop-style meeting to identify next steps for the uptake of digital technologies across the food manufacturing supply chain. The opportunities were discussed under three lenses.

This report aims to provide a balanced analysis of the evidence presented at that meeting and actionable insights to inform policy and practice.

The purpose of this report is to provide actionable insights in support of these next steps for incorporating the opportunities offered through Industry 4.0. These opportunities are discussed under three lenses: 1) real time resource efficient production, 2) resilient and productive food supply chains, and 3) the use of digital technologies for improved consumer engagement.

At the Centre for SMART and IoFT we look forward to hearing from stakeholders across the food supply chain on your plans and proposals in support of these next steps.

Centre for SMART, Loughborough University - email:

Internet of Food Things (IoFT) Network Plus - email:

Publication date: October 28, 2019

Report available here: DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3457891