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Press Release -- November 24th, 2013
Source: Verizon
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Farm to Fork: Delivering Thanksgiving in a Connected World

As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving holiday readiness circa 2013, here are some interesting facts from last season according to industry estimates:

  • Approximately 250 million turkeys were raised in the United States in 2012
  • 2.6 billion sweet potatoes were produced by major sweet potato producing states. North Carolina harvested more sweet potatoes than any other state in 2012, followed by California, Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • In 2012, Wisconsin led all U.S. states in the production of cranberries at 400 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (200 million), New Jersey (54 million) and Washington state (1.4 million)
  • Illinois holds the record for pumpkin production in the U.S. at 457 million pounds
  • 14 million Americans planned to dine at a local restaurant for the holiday in 2012 rather than prepare all the fixings at home.

In the U.S. Thanksgiving is a clear reminder that consumers not only want to know exactly where their food comes from but also better understand how it arrived on their table. Farm-to-fork refers to the stages of the production of food, harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sales and consumption. While the concept is not new, agricultural and food service companies, restaurant chefs, grocery chains, municipalities, entrepreneurs and of course farmers continue to up the ante year- after-year in order to give consumers the freshest and most sustainable possible experience.

“Delivering on the promise of farm-to-fork in a meaningful way requires a highly integrated and dependable supply chain network that links growers, distributors, carriers, grocers and consumers through multiple modes of transportation including air and express delivery services, freight rail and truck transport,” said Howard Faber, vice president of global enterprise sales at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Despite the widespread availability of the food supply in the U.S., according to market reports, 30 percent of the food that is actually harvested from farms never actually makes it to supermarkets.

Faber says that machine-to-machine technology is being used increasingly to help solve for these inconsistencies particularly in the area of logistics management which includes inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing materials handling and order fulfillment.

“Connected solutions are being applied across the entire supply chain. At the farm level, growers use machine-to-machine technology to monitor temperature, soil humidity and wind speed to help maintain crop quality. Once those crops are harvested, food distributors are tapping into the same technology through telematics, sensors, mobile devices and GPS to track orders and shipments, monitor inventory at various locations and test food temperature while receiving alerts, notifications and other analytics along the way. This end –to-end visibility is having a meaningful impact on reducing losses, improving safety, quality and meeting compliance for the food industry. It’s also helping to ensure that the freshness of the perishable items is not lost from the farm by the time it reaches the consumer.”

To learn more about Verizon’s solutions for the transportation and distribution industry, click here.

To learn more about Verizon’s Machine-to-Machine Application Development Environment Program (M.A.D.E.), click here.

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