Agriculture, industry and transport are some of the sectors that have the greatest impact on the environment. Suffice it to say that production techniques involve high labour intensity and extensive use of synthetic inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides. However, the agricultural sector is experiencing the devastating effects of climate change on its own skin, from severely stressed crops to increasingly vulnerable farm budgets.
Alongside environmental problems, however, there are also social ones: the areas and labour dedicated to agriculture in Europe are progressively decreasing, while more and more agricultural land is threatened by urbanisation; and it is precisely the EU that has intervened with the Green deal, setting an agenda of objectives aimed at making Europe a carbon neutral territory by 2050. Within the programme, a specific strategy, the ‘Farm to Fork’, has been dedicated to the agricultural sector, precisely because agriculture has a key role to play in the ecological transition process, and is, for example, able to store carbon and contribute positively to the achievement of the goals.
The forthcoming new CAP has integrated the principles of the green deal by introducing ‘eco-schemes’: a list of virtuous practices that farms can follow to improve their environmental performance and for which the CAP recognises a contribution.
Why does the digitisation of production processes become essential at this point?
Sustainability is as important as a form of profit. The market for products that can certify the sustainability of their processes, including through sustainability labels, is growing rapidly; soon, carbon farming will be launched, a European market where virtuous farmers will be able to sell carbon credits generated on their land and receive payment from the most polluting companies.
And so digitisation and process data management are key elements for companies that want to demonstrate their commitment and counteract income erosion. By monitoring the factors of production (machinery, fuels, labour, technical means, etc.) the farmer can make production processes more efficient and enhance the value of products by guaranteeing their traceability and thus meeting the needs of consumers and really working in the name of sustainability.