Data Food Consortium: Creating a Common Language for Short Circuits

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To collaborate, he is happy to know how to speak the same language. But in the world of logistics and transport, this necessarily happens through the development of standards, around a digital language that allows interoperability, sharing and communication between actors. And it is precisely on this complex topic that the Data Food Consortium has been working for almost five years. Bringing together many professional actors and researchers to work on a common and open standard, focused on short and local circuits, it aims to promote their development while optimizing their logistics flows. Which offers a change of scale to these flows today closely monitored by local authorities. Defining the realities of short-circuit shops The project was launched through another organization, the association Open Food France, which had observed, already in 2016, while trying to establish cooperation between platforms for the sale of circuits short, the problem of lack of interoperability. “This represented a real barrier for producers who had to make multiple entries, reconcile data from one platform to another. The data did not circulate, it was difficult to imagine synergies, and especially from a logistical point of view. Consequently, producers organize their flows on both sides, with half-empty vans, and what this implies in terms of costs, time and environmental impact”, explains Clémentine Triballeau, in charge of the coordination and animation of this project within of Date. Food Consortium Open Food France therefore quickly gathered a number of agents to discuss this issue, including La Ruche Qui Dit Oui or Socleo, and decided to launch the Data Food Consortium project in 2017. Since then, s ‘has incubated within Open Food France. , benefits from different teams and also aims to define itself soon as a completely independent structure. The goal of the Data Food Consortium? It brings together different actors with a spirit of “coopetition” (“they are competitors, but they will think cooperatively”) to define a standard. “It’s about finding a semantics to describe the realities of these professions. Design the right terminologies to describe the processes, agree on the way to define the products (according to their nature, transport requirements, etc.)…” explains Clémentine Triballeau. A very particular language, which cannot be a simple copy and paste of long circuit standards, because local flows have to deal with specific problems, and cannot apply the limitations of certain already existing standards, adapted to industries and not to small actors. Optimization of logistics flows To carry out the proof of concept of this common language, the Data Food Consortium has developed a prototype to respond to specific use cases, called MonCatalog. “Thanks to him, we can group product catalogs. It is possible to modify or remove a product on one platform, for example, and automatically update it on the other platforms using the common language.” A fruitful parallel work, feedback from the field can thus feed into the design work of the standard. “We are now working on the next stages of the prototype, and taking into account the management of orders on different platforms, the aim is that a producer who sells on several of them can have a transversal view of his sales, to be able to then organize a pooling of logistics. Because once all the information has been shared, we can find compatibilities between producers”, explains Clémentine Triballeau. To do this, the Data Food Consortium therefore opened a dialogue with actors in logistics and short circuit transport, in April 2021, such as La Charrette or Chemin des Mûres. “At the moment we are defining the limitations and needs of this type of pooling: geographical proximity, similar needs in terms of transport (refrigerated trucks for example), shipments organized on the same day of the week… Our language it must be adapted to the logistics. , adding important information and criteria for transportation. We formed a working group to think about specific use cases”, says Clémentine Triballeau. A view of all orders and logistics flows The idea is to be able to optimize these short-circuit logistics flows, which even today suffer from a lack of optimization, compared to long circuits that are much more efficient in terms of environmental footprint. “There is a convergence of actors on the subject. The health crisis has changed behaviors and awareness, and food short circuits are increasing among consumers. But what currently blocks its development and prevents the change of scale is logistics. Therefore, we seek to solve this problem, starting with circulating the data”. With the aim of being able to quickly set up the first joint rounds. “The model is still to be defined, but it may be necessary to go through the establishment of permanent and fixed tours that the producers could request according to their orders”, points out Clémentine Triballeau. The Data Food Consortium therefore continues its work today, in order to demonstrate that its language facilitates the pooling of logistics, with, for example, impact studies to quantify the economic and environmental benefits that make this type of col· collaboration The project also counts on the adoption and integration of its language in the software of the actors in the sector, which will require debate to convince of its relevance.
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