THE strawberries served up at Wimbledon this year will be tracked from plant to punnet with new high tech sensors for the first time to make sure they are completely perfect.
Specialist gadgets record everything from the nutrient levels in the soil, how often the seedlings need watering, and how much fertilizer is needed to help the SW19 staple grow.
The beloved courtside snacks need to arrive in the best possible condition so a new tracker also provides feedback on temperature, collisions and vibrations in the packaging while they are en route to The All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Marion Regan of Hugh Lowe Farms, which has exclusively provided strawberries to Wimbledon for 25 years, said: “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.”
Each year more than 38.4 tons of the fruit – 1.92 million strawberries – are picked and consumed during the tournament.
Strawberries are very susceptible to disease and the MYFARMWEB technology means that the farm can make better decisions on how to apply controls to protect them and grow a better quality of fruit.
Vodafone‘s new software will also help to reduce CO2 emissions by making the farming process more efficient.
Nick Gliddon, business director at Vodafone UK, said: “Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without strawberries! And we’re excited to show the power of our technology to make a huge operation like this more efficient and reduce the impact on the environment.
“We’re giving the Hugh Lowe Farms team invaluable new data-driven insights that make a real difference. This is a great example of how any industry can benefit from digital transformation.”
Vodafone, the official connectivity partner of Wimbledon, estimates that the introduction of the smart technology could help the agriculture industries save 2.4-4.8 million tonnes of CO2e annually.
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