Traceability in food supply chains for improved global and national competitiveness
The war in Ukraine is doing untold damage to food supply chains. Food products consumed locally and exports will be under increased scrutiny for their quality and safety due to damage to infrastructure and the environment, as well as human resources issues. This project will lay the groundwork for collaboration on the improved management of agri-food supply chains (resilience, sustainability, and ecological embeddedness) to develop competitive marketing strategies via traceability for food security, safety, and quality by connecting the strategic management of socio-economic systems at national level with tactics at the supply chain level supported by Industry 4.0 technologies.
The partnership between the University of Leicester and Poltava State Agrarian University (PSAU) was formalised in September 2022 by the signature of a memorandum of understanding that affirms the commitment to creating a sustainable, long-term partnership between the two universities. The initial focus is on identifying ways Leicester can support PSAU during the current Russian aggression and following this, aims to provide a framework for both institutions to work together on the development of the Ukrainian partner and to develop a range of academic collaboration opportunities.
The proposed activities in this project fit closely with areas of mutual research interest identified in an initial scoping exercise. The project brings together experts in agri-food supply chains to develop and deliver an international agri-food supply chain conference. A roadmap will be outlined based on the information collected from the conference and workshops to inform future collaboration on the under-researched area connecting country (macro) level to food supply chains (meso level) and Industry 4.0 technologies (blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, sensors, etc.) at the micro level.
- Start: Saturday 1 April 2023
- End: Thursday 31 August 2023
Planned project deliverables
- Produce a map of complementary research expertise and infrastructure in the research areas of agri-food supply chains, food safety and security, and marketing (month one).
- Leicester hosts two in-person and three virtual visits from researchers from PSAU prior to hosting the international agri-food supply chain conference to inform selection of conference participants and initiate bilateral knowledge transfer (month two-three).
- Hold a two-day international agri-food supply chain conference alongside hybrid capacity building workshops (month four). Travel, subsistence and conference fees for all attendees from the Ukraine and invited guests will be covered.
- Identify national and global challenges for agri-food supply chains from and within Ukraine and identify those most likely to benefit from the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies to mitigate the national and global challenges in Ukraine (month four).
- Develop a roadmap of joint research opportunities to sustain safe, appropriate and robust research collaboration (month five).