Home5GVodafone rigs-up 1.5 million Wimbledon strawberries with IoT monitoring, tracking

Vodafone rigs-up 1.5 million Wimbledon strawberries with IoT monitoring, tracking

Vodafone is working with Hugh Lowe Farms to use IoT to deliver 1.5 million strawberries to Wimbledon, the UK grand slam tennis championship, which started in London this week. The 2022 supply of strawberries are sustainably produced, efficiently delivered, and the best-tasting, said Vodafone, which has deployed its MYFARMWEB data management platform for the strawberry farmer, along with sensors to collect data from its crop.

Hugh Lowe Farms has been using the IoT solution to improve soil and crop health, and to optimise water, fertiliser, and pesticide usage with targeted irrigation and application. The result will be healthier crops, higher yields, and low carbon emissions, said Vodafone. It has also supplied a new IoT tracker, which plugs into MYFARMWEB, to monitor strawberries in transit, and also to keep tabs on the temperature, plus any collisions and vibrations in the packaging.

As always in its press releases, Vodafone has said nothing of the IoT connectivity technology in play, but its UK business is offering cellular-based low-power wide-area (LPWA) NB-IoT for various customers, and continues to load its 2G and 4G networks with IoT traffic, as well. It said the package for Hugh Lowe Farms, like for other IoT customers, will bring operational efficiencies, which will create new cost savings and a lower environmental impact.

Vodafone reckons IoT “could” save the agriculture industry save 2.4-4.8 million tonnes of CO2e per year; it said 5G and IoT “could” help the UK reduce its carbon emissions percent per year, with the biggest impact in the transport, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. It has said it will “work with business customers around the world” to deploy IoT to save more than 350 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030.

It provided some more detail of the web app and the tracking solution. MYFARMWEB is being used in pilots by farmers in Europe, and has been deployed commercially by around 8,500 farmers in the US, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. It can help farmers to track pests and diseases on a timeline with geographical coordinates to plot  a precision spraying programme, in order to apply pesticides in response.

It also enables farmers to monitor “good parasites” alongside to tackle harmful pests and diseases naturally in high-risk areas. Higher precision-control over irrigation, fertilisers, and pesticides reduces environmental impacts, while also improving operational efficiencies, noted Vodafone. Meanwhile, its asset tracking portfolio is well developed and varied, it said, with sensors to cover asset location, temperature, humidity, speed, shock, tampering.

Nick Gliddon, business director at Vodafone UK, said: “Technology has the power to change society for the better and we can see it in action at Hugh Lowe Farms. Not only does our IoT technology help the team make their operations more efficient and produce the best strawberries, it also helps them be as environmentally friendly as possible by reducing excess water usage and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.”

Marion Regan of Hugh Lowe Farms, said: “We are excited to be working with Vodafone and their support is helping us optimise the growing conditions of our strawberries. It is a great privilege to be the sole provider of strawberries to Wimbledon, and that’s a role we’ve had for nearly 30 years. Now we’re using Vodafone’s cutting-edge technology to be able to deliver the best ever quality strawberries, all produced in a more sustainable way, for fans to enjoy.”

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