IoT is playing a key role in serving up strawberries and cream at this year’s Wimbledon Tennis tournament, which kicks off today. Vodafone is supporting Hugh Lowe Farms – the exclusive strawberry supplier to Wimbledon – with cutting-edge IoT technology that will help them sustainably produce and deliver 1.5 million of the best-ever strawberries to The Championships.
Hugh Lowe Farms has supplied all the strawberries to Wimbledon for nearly 30 years. Each year, more than 30 tonnes of strawberries are consumed by tennis fans at the event, meaning Hugh Lowe Farms’ operations must be as efficient as possible to meet the demand.
It is vital that the strawberries arrive at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in the best possible condition, so Vodafone has also provided Hugh Lowe Farms with a new tracker which enables the farm to track the journey of the strawberries. The technology will locate each load that is going to Wimbledon and provide detailed feedback on temperature, collisions and vibrations in the packaging.
The deployment of Vodafone Business IoT technology and the MYFARMWEB platform can help Hugh Lowe Farms have a dramatic impact on operational efficiencies, as well as offering greater insight to reduce carbon emissions. The MYFARMWEB platform collects farm data from IoT sensors to support better informed decision making to improve soil and crop health, effective water use, and precision fertilizer and pesticide application. This helps improve farm productivity and optimises farming practices, to help reduce greenhouse gases.
Strawberries are very susceptible to disease and this technology means the farm can make informed decisions on how to apply controls to protect them. This allows for better and more sustainable growing conditions, as well as ensuring Hugh Lowe Farm has a good return on yield and quality of crop.
Nick Gliddon, Business Director, Vodafone UK, says: “Technology has the power to change society for the better and we can see it in action at Hugh Lowe Farms. Not only does our IoT technology help the team make their operations more efficient and produce the best strawberries, it also helps them be as environmentally friendly as possible by reducing excess water usage and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.”
Marion Regan of Hugh Lowe Farms, adds: “We are excited to be working with Vodafone and their support is helping us optimise the growing conditions of our strawberries. It is a great privilege to be the sole provider of strawberries to Wimbledon, and that’s a role we’ve had for nearly 30 years. Now we’re using Vodafone’s cutting-edge technology to be able to deliver the best ever quality strawberries, all produced in a more sustainable way, for fans to enjoy.”
Vodafone estimates that the introduction of IoT technology could help the agriculture industries save 2.4-4.8 million tonnes of CO2e annually[i] and new technologies such as 5G and IoT could help the UK reduce its carbon emissions 4% a year, particularly in the transport, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Vodafone recently announced it will work with business customers around the world to deploy IoT technology to save more than 350 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030.