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Tech-Based Solutions Combat Food Price Volatility

William DawseyBy: Rick Heicksen


Fresh fruit, produce, and dairy prices have spiked nationwide, prompting the agriculture industry to reevaluate methods to maximize yields, reduce supply chain bottlenecks and facilitate access to fresh food in communities severely impacted by rising costs.

Coupled with high demand, food prices continue to climb. Recent studies completed by the U.S. Department of Labor state grocery prices have jumped over 11% compared to last year’s data. Grocery chains have attributed price increases to supply chain expenses, which have limited access to fruit and produce.

The agriculture industry needs to respond faster. However, utilizing software-based resources to address these growing challenges may prove beneficial as industry leaders and officials work to implement solutions that include technology resources.

New Data Studies Prompts Industry Action

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecasted ongoing price increases, noting dairy products will jump 7% and fruits and vegetables will increase 3%.

Supply chain bottlenecks have been largely responsible for significantly increased costs but software experts have created new resources implemented by the logistics industry to mitigate the issue.

Enhancements in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) implementation have enabled seamless synching of inventory across multiple channels, providing accurate and expedient delivery of goods. Additionally, SCM warehouse management tech provided companies with real-time inventory updates ensuring less product shortages.

The agriculture industry continues its foray into tech-based solutions, most recently utilizing Artificial Intelligence to monitor crop progress in real-time and deploying sensors to monitor and compile data sets to accurately predict yields. Additionally, drones are used to compile visual data analytics of soil and crop conditions.

Food producers have embraced tech-based resources driven by software to map crop yields accurately. Using Machine Learning algorithms to analyze 3D mapping, agriculturists can make accurate and informed decisions to better determine crop yields before planting, thanks to soil mapping. This cutting-edge technique of yield mapping is just one of several solutions software developers can create and implement to assist today’s food producers.

Dairy farmers have recently utilized facial recognition software to quickly identify cows that may show signs of illness. This enables farmers to proactively monitor cows that are at risk and reduce hefty costs associated with treatment. Additionally, dairy farmers can make informed decisions based on compiled data on which cows yield the most milk, requiring less food. This data directs dairy farmers to prioritize which animal requires the least budgeted food expense compared to its production, facilitating efficiency and reducing costs associated with animal care. Utilizing this technology provides unprecedented insight into the well-being of dairy cow herds.

Food Deserts Prevalent Amongst Vulnerable Communities

Communities that offer limited access or convenient options for fresh produce and fruit have been termed ‘food deserts’ by industry researchers and community stakeholders. The USDA has identified over 6,500 food deserts in the U.S., using factors such as total distances traveled to obtain fresh food, average education level earned, and average income data are compiled to determine if a community is in fact, a ‘food desert.’

Food deserts continue to plague the nation, prompting the USDA to draft the Food System Transformation to shore up supply chain issues and mitigate the sharp increases in food costs. The transformation framework includes the following goals:

Customized Apps Play Crucial Role in Food Access, Reducing Carbon Footprint

Software developers continue to play an important role, not exclusively limited to creating resources to counter supply chain bottlenecks. Customized apps linked to participating restaurants and grocery stores enable end-users to purchase unsold food, including fruits and produce packaged in ‘surprise bags’ at reduced prices. Studies conducted by Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic reveal the U.S. wastes 35 to 40% of food produced.

Businesses claim the buyers assist with reducing carbon footprints associated with waste management companies that pick up unsold food and transport it to landfills, despite the food being safe to consume. The apps continue growing in popularity and generating revenue from fees paid by participating businesses.

Custom applications designed to alleviate food deserts feature information directing end-users to resources with fresh, affordable fruit and produce, transportation options to facilitate access, and streamlined information resources promoting nutritional facts.

Agriculture and Tech Intersect

The agriculture industry continues practicing well-proven techniques and strategies with food production, but the severity of increased food prices warrants a reevaluation of production strategies.

The agriculture industry continues to accept the crucial responsibility of producing food to feed communities while working to reduce expenses and maintain revenues. Significantly rising food costs during a rebounding economy exacerbate issues surrounding consistent and optimized production, supply chain efficiency, and the factors that hinder communities’ access to healthy food choices that are vital for all individuals.

Technology resources designed and implemented by expert-level software developers are crucial in transcending the economic challenges government officials, industry leaders, and community stakeholders continue to grapple with.

Software-based enhancements continue modernizing the agriculture industry, but more effective partnerships with officials and stakeholders would provide the necessary responses to food-related challenges.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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