Port of Dover

The project is designed to help goods move through the supply chain more efficiently

A ground-breaking project to establish an industry-wide system for ‘trusted’ data exchange is aiming to boost supply chain productivity and streamline regulatory compliance.

Funded by Innovate UK, the £2.8m Trusted Bytes project will use novel digital technology to connect the fresh produce supply chain with central government and other key partners at a time of Brexit-related trade disruption.

This will help facilitate the flow of fruit and vegetables across international borders and drive productivity within the UK food economy.

Professor Simon Pearson is director of the Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology at the University of Lincoln, which is involved in the project. He said: “Given the changes to UK terms of trade post Brexit, this project is extremely timely. We hope to provide technology to help the flow of the fresh produce trade but also lead innovation to establish the trusted sharing of data in complex supply chains.”

Technology will be developed to create proof of food provenance, digitise border transfer processes, and develop the world’s first ‘trust framework’ to govern trustworthy data exchange and sharing across the food supply chain. Novel telecoms will provide real-time digital connectivity for supply chain operators.

Contained Technologies’ BlueRing software is at the heart of the project, and it is designed to integrate external systems, such as HMRC, quickly and easily.

The new system will be extended by a new BSI standard to enable businesses to automate the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification process.

Trusted Bytes will deliver a complete service that can integrate across multiple ERP systems, from order to compliance and submission.

Information will be made available on a transparent data sharing platform that tracks product conditions and location, as well as enabling this data to be easily integrated in companies’ forms, templates, and enterprise business and procurement systems.

The consortium, led by Produce Logistics, includes leading fresh produce supply chain operators Fesa UK, Worldwide Fruit, Davis Worldwide, Hain Daniels, FreshLinc, and ukFPN Lincolnshire.

It is supported by tech companies Contained Technologies UK, British Standards Institution (BSI), and Excelerate Technology, as well as the University of Lincoln, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Manufacturing Technology Centre, and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Angie Stuart of ukFPN Lincolnshire said: “This is a major achievement and another great example of the level of innovation found within the fresh produce industry in South Lincolnshire. We’re super excited to be working on this project with our members and partners.”