Digitalization challenges and skills: Swedish Living Lab meeting 01.07.21 update

December 17, 2021

The first Swedish Living Lab (LL) was organised by the Halmstad university team on  July 1st  as an online meeting.  The 12 participants represented different stakeholders in meat and milk value chains: dairy and beef farmers, a cheese producer, an ICT-consultant focusing the agricultural sector, the chair of the regional farmers’ association, public regional veterinarians, representative of a county regional board, and researchers. The purposes of the LL were to introduce the SustainIT project and to identify opportunities and barriers to the use of ICT in the beef and milk value chains. The perspectives of the actors depend on their role and place in the value chain. The stakeholders agreed that, in the digitalized value chain of today, the data collection is not a problem. Instead, the challenges concern other issues; selection of data collected, spread of data, and commercialization of data. The challenges discussed included how to focus on relevant data; what are the trade-off between the human touch/daily supervision and cost-effective ICT-solutions. Other important trade-offs are traceability versus integrity and security versus cooperation/exchange of data. The actors discussed the need for co-operation regarding small producers’ logistics and for openness towards consumers. Education and training could help to address the barriers such as the level of competence and skills of the ICT users. Important aspect is that ICT-solutions must be developed for practitioners, not ICT-specialists.