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DEFRA to unveil new environmental data platform

The spotlight this week has been on food sourcing and sustainable supply chains challenges with news in that DEFRA are set to unveil a new data… View Article

FOOD AND DRINK NEWS UK

DEFRA to unveil new environmental data platform

The spotlight this week has been on food sourcing and sustainable supply chains challenges with news in that DEFRA are set to unveil a new data platform later this year.

With growing concerns around the environmental impacts of carbon emissions, material waste, energy consumption and resources, retailers are faced with complexities to rewire and drive healthier, sustainable and more resilient supply and value chains.

Building this future will require an entirely new understanding of the components, inputs, and resources that go into a business.

And it’s not just consumers looking for a commitment from retailers—suppliers, investors, employees, and shareholders are also expecting definitive and sustainable action from businesses. In fact, sustainability is fast becoming a way to evaluate the non-financial performance of companies and measure the purpose and values that drive a brand.

The path to this future may well be in data. Agrimetrics certainly believe it is.

Agrimetrics CEO, David Flanders says they are committed to linking environmental data with business decisions to reduce and reverse our global impact on the environment. By June 2023, the business will roll out a new platform for environmental data.

The Data Services Platform (DSP3) will make Defra’s data accessible to UK farmers, organisations and the food supply chain, helping them to make sustainable decisions, and potentially saving significant time and money as well.

Defra develops and implements policy on environment, food and rural issues to protecting biodiversity, the countryside and the marine environment.

One of the main driving forces for the new DSP3 platform is the Government’s 25-year environment programme. It wants the agricultural and food sectors to be able to use open data to innovate more to improve their environmental impact.

The new platform will help unearth data across Government and make it publicly available, helping businesses and farmers of all sizes to make more sustainable business decisions.

The news comes as agriculture and food sectors are facing significant challenges within the retail supply chain with increasing pressure and impact on the environmental.

Rebecca Geraghty, Agrimetrics Director and CCO explains how food producers can use agri-data such as the data sets that will be available through the new Defra hub:

“If you are sourcing commodities such as cereals from farms in the UK for example, you can look back and see what the rotation of the crops grown in the same fields has been, gather environmental data such as weather and rainfall patterns and soil types for the same fields, to understand more about the product you are investing in.

“You can also use data to look at whether you are sourcing from land that is at risk of flooding to help you manage risks within the season, or whether you are sourcing products from areas where there are protected species of birds or mammals or protected habitats.”

According to Geraghty, many of the challenges faced by the Agri-food sector, including soil erosion, yield plateau and supply chain efficiency, could be solved with the help of data-driven technologies.

“Too much data still remains locked away, underused and static – it’s a critical yet untapped asset, often hugely valuable in the learnings it can bring.”

Agrimetrics will host Defra Group’s environmental data, with more than 4,500 datasets across 30 applications and APIs. This will include nationally critical datasets on flood risk, drinking and bathing water quality, fish populations plus many more.

Flanders continued: “We’re excited that our proprietary platform has been chosen to unlock the potential of Defra’s rich data for public use. We firmly believe we can create the place to go for environmental data in the UK.”

Agrimetrics are working in partnership with Telespazio UK to deliver this key environmental data platform for Defra. CEO of Telespazio UK, Mark Hewer commented: “It’s very exciting to be working with Defra and Agrimetrics at the forefront of delivering and modernising such a critical UK data platform.”

The Agrimetrics platform also sits behind ForestMind, an initiative that links satellite imagery and isotopic analysis  to help food retailers like Sainsbury’s and producers to eliminate products that have caused deforestation from food supply chains.

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