Industrial Transformation Research Hub
Digital and data solutions for agri-business
Pathways to Market conducts leading edge research in on-farm and supply chain sensing to enhance decision-making from paddock to plate using business and computer and information science. The project develops smart applications relating to food provenance, environmental performance, food value chain optimisation, consumer choice and market behaviour in diverse food supply chains.
Two prototype digital dashboards have been developed – one facilitating the optimisation of farm management based on the acquisition and manipulation of disparate, dynamic datasets; and the other supporting marketing decisions based on the application of discrete choice modelling to consumer survey data.
The Pathways to Market project is a five-year research collaboration providing digitally-backed solutions to Australian food exporters and their supply chains. This $5 million project is funded jointly by the Australian Research Council, the University of Tasmania and industry participants.
Our focus is rich information sharing through food supply chains and creating value for industry, government and community.
Consumers and regulators around the world are demanding more information about the source, sustainability and quality of food. Growers, processors, distributors, and buyers must respond effectively to compete and remain in business.
This Project is funded by the Australian Research Council
Transforming Australian food value chains
Creating opportunity for Tasmanian, Victorian and South Australian producers
Using novel approaches to data harvesting and management, visualisation and traceability protocols, we are creating real impact along the beef and cool-water rock lobster supply chains.
The aim is to identify and implement novel digital and modelling solutions that solve challenges and improve decision making at a range of levels, from individual farm to whole of State.
This is a huge opportunity for participants and stakeholders across the Australian produce and food industries, particularly those who are striving to establish, capture and maintain premium status and value in international markets.
The future of how all Australians travel and receive their food and consumables will be affected by the new iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) over the next ten years.
The iMOVE CRC is a consortium of 45 industry, government, and research partners engaged in a concerted 10-year effort to improve Australia’s transport systems through collaborative R&D projects. It will help companies — and Australia — be more competitive, productive, and prosperous.
The University of Tasmania is very pleased to be a partner in iMOVE. Given Tasmania's future export freight challenges we have a particular interest in the second of iMOVE's three themes: "End-to-end freight solutions" that focuses on the efficiency and effectiveness of coordination within and between the four modes of logistics: road, rail, sea and air.
Research & Development Streams
Generating data-driven models to predict the safety and quality attributes of food products as they move through the supply chain from the farm gate to the consumer.
A model has been developed to predict the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria in vacuum-packed premium beef, validated in both simulated and actual commercial supply chains.
For simulated conditions, meat packs were subjected to static and fluctuating temperatures to simulate increases in temperature during loading operations and potentially abusive temperatures.
For commercial supply chains, temperature sensors were positioned in consignment containers and count levels determined for product prior to shipment. At the end of shipment, sensors were retrieved and count levels measured. The results validated the use of a laboratory-generated model in actual commercial supply chains, providing industry with relevant tools for supply chain risk management.
Led by Professor Mark Tamplin from the University of Tasmania.
Creating systems to track and monitor food items as they move from production to the consumer.
This will help address issues of resource management and food safety and respond to a range of supply chain requirements, including those of regulators, buyers/importers, as well as end-point consumers.
Consumer Choice and visualisation
Helping to increase brand value by providing buyers and consumers with data-driven information and interactive applications about food provenance and sustainability of source.
We’ve developed a clearer understanding of consumer behaviour in purchasing high quality beef products through application of discrete choice analysis and modelling. Australian consumer research modelling is operational and further USA research is underway.
A baseline model has now been used to construct a decision support system (DSS) dashboard, a tool which allows complex market analyses to be presented via a visual decision-making device, facilitating experimentation with “what if” scenarios though an easy-to-interpret web-based interface.
The first iteration of the dashboard provided numeric outputs related to consumer choice for meat products. It’s now been upgraded to include an intuitive web-based visual representation of a supermarket meat cabinet shelf. This allows easier elicitation of marketing and sales data required for product pricing and positioning decisions. The system creates real-market scenarios, building visual pictures of merchandising displays, the set-up of simulated supermarket shelves, and the ability to save scenarios and generate likelihood-of-purchase information and market share data. A smart phone visualisation app has been designed, focused on the premium beef consumer experience.
Environmental sustainability and natural capital
Supporting better production and environmental resource management practices through novel modelling, environmental sensing and data acquisition strategies.
A natural capital indicator (NCI) model has been developed to help evaluate the dynamics of natural capital on farms. It focuses on soils as the natural capital asset rather than on water. Using historical data collected for an individual farm, the NCI provides an indication of the changes in natural soil capital over time, and can be used for ongoing monitoring of the stock of natural capital on farm. Once fully validated, this indicator model will provide a guide to the impact of farming practices on soil sustainability.
- Grey Innovation Ltd
- Sasha Courville and James Bentley, National Australia Bank
- Dr Samad Azad, University of Tasmania
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)
Value chain-analysis and performance innovation
Developing novel digital solutions in design collaboration with Sense-T to assist performance management in the supply chain, and assessing how the economic benefits can be shared equitably by the businesses involved.
Led by Associate Professor Laurie Bonney from the University of Tasmania.
Our Principal Partners
Enquiries from additional parties interested in realising the benefits of the research are welcome. Please contact:
Associate Professor Laurie Bonney
Director, Pathways to Market
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
University of Tasmania
+61 (3) 6226 7460
+61 (0) 400 696 165