Workable work in more and more digitalising agrifood chains


How do individual employees of agrifood companies actually deal with digitisation on the shop floor and the digital transformation throughout the chain? ILVO, Flanders' FOOD and Workitects are looking for an answer to this research question in a European-Flemish action research project. Interested agri-food companies can participate in the project as pioneering companies.

"From a technical point of view, we have better and better mastered digital data sharing between companies in a production chain, and the advantages and opportunities are now well known. But do we also succeed in organising the cooperation in the chain in such a way that the implementation on every shop floor goes smoothly and that the employees involved also benefit from it?"

Stephanie Van Weyenberg

The CHAIN project, a European Social Fund (ESF) project, therefore aims to achieve and maintain a good workability balance in the technical process of data sharing and the data economy.

Organising data sharing smoothly: need for guidance?

The world is digitising and automating. The agro-food sector, which by nature has a lot of data, has not missed this digital train. By making optimal use of data and sharing data throughout the chain, both upstream and downstream, processes can be optimised, existing products made smarter or new digital services developed. The data sharing platform DjustConnect supports various chain partners in this process.

But how do you organise collaboration across companies when sharing data, so that the digital transformation is successful for each partner and the individual employee also feels helped and supported? These are some of the questions ILVO, Flanders' FOOD, Workitects and Alimento asked themselves. In the CHAIN project, Connecting Humans in the Agrifood INdustry, chain partners from the agri-food sector are guided in their data sharing process and multidisciplinary teams are put together and supported.

"The impact of technological innovations on the workplace is also uncovered and a sustainable solution is sought that will be tested through a mentoring programme."

Karl Boumans
Flanders' FOOD

CHAIN chooses two chains as case

The CHAIN project officially started on 1 November 2021 and will receive financial support from the European Social Fund Flanders (ESF Flanders) for two years. Two different agrifood chains will be intensively involved. The final goal of the guidance projects is to help data sharing between companies run smoothly from an organisational point of view, to make the digital transformation easy to implement in each of the companies and to maintain or improve the commitment and workability of the individual employees.

Is digital data sharing changing your job too?

The starting point of the project is that the digital sharing of data and better cooperation between chain partners will ultimately lead to more workable jobs.

"For example, operators get the right information faster or have a greater impact on work planning, which can lead to greater efficiency, as well as less work stress and greater commitment."

Lieven Eeckelaert
Advisor and Project Manager at Workitects

Call: keep an eye on CHAIN, or get involved

The action research CHAIN promises useful results: On the basis of the elaborated guidance paths and an extensive feedback loop, an inspiration brochure and script will be produced to make companies enthusiastic about data sharing with appropriate guidance. These handy tools will be usable by all sectors of the agro-food industry.

If you would like more explanation about this CHAIN project or if you are interested in participating and prioritising workable work for your employees, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact ILVO:

Stephanie Van Weyenberg, ILVO promotor ESF-project CHAIN
+32 9 272 28 18

Contact Flanders' FOOD:

Karl Boumans, Flanders' FOOD partner ESF-project CHAIN
+32 477 52 71 38

Contact Workitects:

Lieven Eeckelaert, Workitects partner ESF-project CHAIN
+32 476 96 16 99