Danone’s ethos is ‘One Planet. One Health.’ We’re a major global FMG provider of branded food products and half of our core business is in yoghurt – so we rely heavily on the dairy farming industry for our raw materials, but we also have a strong range of plant-based products too.
We have over 100,000 employees in 120 countries and all of our people are united in a quest to provide our consumers with high-quality products that deliver on both taste and health.
Today’s consumers are all about choice. They want more transparency in the food chain than ever before. So if a product claims to be organic, consumers want proof. When they’re concerned about animal welfare, they don’t just want to see the company’s policy – they want to see happy healthy cows and know that they’re in a nice field at a specific location.
For us, that means we need to develop trustful relationships with individual farmers and dairy suppliers - including the big dairy co-ops. We see IoT solutions playing a central role in helping us achieve our goals in this area.
Devices that allow us to monitor cow health and behaviour enable us to get the conditions right for optimum care of the herd, which in turn translates to optimum milk production.
Being armed with more data and insight improves our ability to plan, which then has a host of other impacts such as helping us to better manage our costs, organise a responsive, agile supply chain, or make smart choices on pricing and promotion at the point of sale.
We also reap the benefits in terms of quality. Sensors can be employed at any and every part of the process, from the field, through the dairy, into the way milk is collected, stored and processed. Sensors can be used to monitor quality – or importantly to identify any issues early, to allow prevention or correction. So, every intervention that reduces points of potential failure can also help us reduce cost, improve efficiency and positively impact sustainability.
We buy from 140,000 farmers globally. But inevitably that means our sourcing strategy plays out at a local level. Intelligence from IoT has the potential to give us granular insights ‘on the ground’ from several hundred locations simultaneously.
As IoT is a relatively new technology, Danone has taken an early adopter mentality - which means we can be running a number of local tech projects with promising innovative companies at any one time. Where we have successes and gather learnings, we look to share those globally – so the whole organisation is moving forward and benefitting from the best of the best solutions that are becoming available. That means we happily partner with smaller, early-stage companies if we can see a clear use case that will benefit our business, our partners
and our customers.
For Danone, investing in technology that supports sustainability is second nature. It is part of our responsibility to our customers, to our suppliers and partners and to the planet. That’s why we’re happy to be involved in innovative projects that employ leading-edge technology incorporating IoT, AI, Big Data and Machine Learning.