Using Data to Drive Sustained Improvements in Dairy Supply Chain Operations towards Net Zero

Project Details


The digital transformationof the dairy sector through IoT data and analysis has ushered in a new era ofbioeconomy management (Akhigbe et al., 2021). The growing usage of hybridcompute architecture (Taneja et al., 2019) for real-time data handling presentsan opportunity for a step change in the workload management of milk producersand processors. A network of sensors and computation in coordination with analyticscan provide farm and business managers with: just-in-time tasking of theirdaily operations; in depth insight into their energy usage; access to objectivepeer benchmarking; and contextualised motivation for sustainabilityimprovements.

Given high energy costs,milk cooling and bulk storage affects the profitability of a dairy (30% of thetotal cost). Electricity is also used to heat water for system washdown oncemilk has been uplifted. Monitoring these systems is a well-recognised datadriven solution to reduced energy wastage and ultimately greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions of the farms. We aim to explore the potential of a digital solutionthat enables dairy farmers to maximise efficiency of their milk cooling/storageequipment in sync with the transport operations of a milk processor in theSouth West of Scotland.

The Milk Supply Association (MSA)with over 130 farms is a milk marketing cooperative delivering > 200millionlitres of milk per annum to a creamery run by Lactalis. We aim to define andexplore common key performance indicators (KPIs) between the dairy farms, thetransport fleet and the creamery itself. Alignment of these KPIs with thetarget of least environmental footprint of the supply chain to improve dairyproduct quality and shelf life is the primary milestone of this project. Itwill also explore whether on-farm data can be used to further optimise haulier routeplanning and "en-route" actions.

A significant part of achieving Net Zero is behaviouralchange of individuals. By scoping GHG emissions from the milk vat to thecreamery, along with the data solution built by this project enables farmersand dairy plant operators to edge closer to their net-zero targets and engageas wide a spectrum as possible of stakeholders in that process. This projectwill leverage the data produced by stakeholders to identify opportunities forimprovement and to quantify the impact of changes made along the supply chainmanagement to benefit all involved (better premium for the farms, energyefficient milk transport and longer shelf life for creamery products).
Short titleColdSpot
Effective start/end date1/10/2330/09/25


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