Together for good food

think – act – seize opportunities

Think and act in a network!

“I know something you don’t know” was yesterday. Today, it means thinking and acting in a networked way and still retaining sovereignty over one’s own data.

Helmut Voßmann
Managing Director agmadata GmbH and initiator of the Farm&Food Hub

Digitalization has long since found its way into our economy, even if not yet equally in all sectors. Today, agricultural food production also takes place with diverse IT support and is hardly conceivable without it.

Now, however, it is time for a true Digital Transformation. More and more companies are realizing that they no longer stand alone, but are part of a larger process with many stakeholders. Every single player must be aware that their own success depends crucially on the entire chain working successfully – in the case of agricultural foodstuffs, that is, from the field to the plate. Whereas in the past people were content to say “I know something you don’t know,” today it is important to think and act in a networked way so that everyone’s overall result is right in the end.

The Farm&Food Hub stands for this change in conviction. It is intended to accompany and help shape the upcoming digital transformation in our industry and, with its software tools, can also make a direct contribution to its success: Where system participants work together on the basis of a digital platform, they automatically obtain information from the value creation process, which flows back to the process participants and helps them to optimize the organizational processes and ultimately the goods produced.

The required technology is available, and relevant research results are available. Now the challenge is to define the specific use cases and implement them with stakeholders in such a way that everyone retains sovereignty over their data. From the producer to the consumer, the aim is to demonstrate at every stage the potential that scientific knowledge holds and to translate this into real innovation.

To this end, the Farm&Food Hub brings together startups and established companies, authorities and interest groups, politics and business at a digital table, for the benefit of people and animals. Together we provide good food!

In the middle of Lower Saxony, Germany’s number one agricultural state, lies the Oldenburg Münsterland, the Silicon Valley of agricultural technology.

Future platform for practice

The Farm&Food Hub brings together people working on a shared vision of the future: Using the latest digital technology to produce agricultural food more efficiently, sustainably and conflict-free. For this to succeed, scientific findings must be aligned with the needs of practitioners and tested in operational practice. The Farm&Food Hub is an ideal platform for this fruitful cooperation on a variety of levels.

  • Even at the time of the Farm&Food Hub’s founding, very different areas of expertise were in demand. At the initiative of agmadata, renowned consortium partners have joined forces and bundled their strengths to achieve this goal – from research to strategy and implementation to application.
  • The Farm&Food Hub works closely with production companies and service providers in the region as well as many supra-regional participants in the food processes. This is where the application cases and use cases are found; this is where the improvements made through digital processes should have their positive effect.
  • With the 360°efood software platform, the Farm&Food Hub is developing the first digital ecosystem in the Farm&Food industry, a digital data space in which all direct and indirect process participants are represented. On this secure platform, the partners in the Farm&Food Hub can implement a wide variety of use cases from animal production to food on the plate.

Digital ecosystem for the Farm&Food industry

With 360°efood, the Farm&Food Hub is creating the first digital ecosystem in the Farm&Food industry in which all process participants can really find each other. The secure platform is based on Fraunhofer’s International Data Spaces (IDS), a development for digital sovereignty in business ecosystems. As a member of the International Data Spaces Association, agmadata is driving the Farm&Food IDS architecture. Thus, participants in the Farm&Food Hub can use 360°efood to implement a wide variety of use cases ranging from animal transport and welfare to stable climate control and marketing innovation.

Diverse platform offers are therefore available, the IDS Farm&Food shows solutions and concepts for a wide range of issues. Through the networked cooperation of topic-related working groups, we arrive at new and further thought-out solutions.

From our everyday life we know countless applications for modern technologies. We have become accustomed to people wearing a wristwatch while jogging, which records the running distance, uploads it with all the values such as heart rate and distance covered to an Internet portal, where you can view the data on the background of precise maps with terrain data.

In food production, too, many things are possible today that were unthinkable just a few years ago. Isotope analysis can be used to determine on which square meter of the earth a particular grain of wheat grew. We have sensor technology available for respiratory rate detection, which can be used to permanently monitor and document the stress experienced on each animal. LTE and, more recently, 5G allow almost nationwide data transmission throughout Europe at minimal cost.

For the benefit of humans and animals

The task now is to define and implement use cases that leverage existing technologies for the benefit of humans and animals. This requires three things: a sound knowledge of the industry to identify existing problems, sufficient imagination to come up with new approaches to solutions, and a mature technological platform to implement these approaches to solutions together with all players along the value chain.

Then, for example, an electronic animal travel log (TRTB) will be possible, which will enable a significant improvement in animal welfare and protection during the transport of farm animals. A newly developed sensor case accompanies the animal transport and records information such as the respiratory rate of the transported animals, the temperature in the hold, but also the route driven via GPS. All this information is continuously monitored and linked online. For documentation purposes, all data is permanently stored on the case – similar to a flight recorder – but also permanently transmitted to the TRTB platform.

This is where the decisive added value comes from linking with external information and involving other stakeholders: with the help of weather and traffic forecasts, route planning can be optimized in such a way that the animals’ transport stress is reduced. The arrival and departure to animal supply stations and the work done there are documented and checked online. Timely advance notice and selection of stations with sufficient capacity improves utilization. In the event of deviations from predefined parameters, a defined alarm chain is triggered according to the traffic light principle – for example, a technician can be notified in the event of a defective air conditioning system, and the trucking company can be notified if break times are not observed. All data remains accessible even after the event, for example for monitoring by the authorities.

Attractive work and networking

Becoming part of the Farm&Food Hub is easy. The co-working and hub space is tailor-made for the green start-up scene and established companies to network along the agribusiness value chain. Newly established companies can rent future jobs in the countryside here at particularly favorable conditions. They thus not only become users of the Farm&Food Hub, but can actively participate in the animal and food-related projects that are created there.

A workshop area allows agile collaboration, for example in seminars, workshops, hackathons and similar formats. In addition, a technical center is under development, which sees itself as a converter station between science and practice. Digital technologies can be demonstrated here, but public events can also be held.

The Farm&Food Hub will quickly become a permanent attraction for working and exchanging information in the Oldenburg Münsterland region. Likewise, it becomes active itself and is intended to have an impact far into the region, which forms a center of animal and food production with complex production processes and all the associated challenges. Ultimately, the goal is to translate scientific knowledge into workable solutions that are valued by farmers, growers, market companions and consumers, and that benefit all stakeholders.