The project is a collaboration between Perfection Fresh and the Sense-T research group at the University of Tasmania, trialling the operation and validation of a decision support system (DSS) for two Calypso mango supply chains in real-time during the 2022/2023 season.
The project involves the integration of data from over 1,800 sensors throughout the mango chain with third party data, extensive modelling, and refinement of visual tools that enable decision making in relation to mango quality.
The major project outcome is the definition and operation of a pre-commercial minimum viable product consisting of a DSS that targets quality assessment at ripening centres and subsequent management of the mangoes in the chain; and determination of the required minimum sensor suite suitable for monitoring on farm and mango chain conditions.
A secondary outcome is the refinement of the DSS during the mango season and development of initial planning and recommendations for a commercial deployment of a minimum viable product.
Perfection Fresh and Sense-T have been conducting a research project jointly funded by the Australian Research Council, Perfection Fresh, and the University of Tasmania since 8 November 2018 with the completion date of 17 July 2021.
The purpose of this work was to understand factors in the Calypso mango supply chain that impact quality and provision of real-time visibility of critical control point data and decision support for key actors in the supply chain.
The project integrated key datasets from two Calypso mango farms, one in Far North Queensland and another in the Northern Territory and their supply chains across two seasons from on-farm to on-farm growing, picking, packing, cold chain logistics through to the ripening centres and retailers’ distribution centres.
New datasets were made available from the more than 1,800 sensors deployed within the project throughout the supply chain and from third party providers linked to Perfection Fresh.
A major outcome of the project is the development of an extensible and scalable web dashboard (decision support system) providing critical control point data visibility and managerial decision support tools for both Perfection Fresh and the two mango growers.
Those two Calypso mango growers are supportive of the project and able to be involved in the operational issues related to the project, including providing the necessary feedback to refine the decision support system.
Proposed project: 15 months – approximately 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2023 On completion of the previous work, it was agreed that a third season would provide an opportunity to both operate and validate the developed decision support system (DSS) in real time on both Calypso mango supply chains (Far North Queensland and Northern Territory).
The DSS provides data at the level of farm blocks of mango trees, incorporation of predicting the harvest period and crop yield (dependent on third party (e.g., FruitMaps data availability), and location of mangoes from farm blocks at locations along the supply chain from picking/packing/transport to ripening centres. Various levels of granularity are possible from consignments to pallet level to farm block depending on the point in the chain of the user and the desired decisions required.
In essence, the decision-making enabled by the DSS is targeted quality assessment at ripening centres and subsequent management of the fruit in the chain; along with the opportunity to audit trends in mango quality issues and feedback to growers. The proposed project will also provide an opportunity to refine the modelling during operations to enhance the DSS.
Success towards the end of the project from the perspectives of Perfection Fresh and the two Calypso mango growers would then require preparation for the rollout of a minimum viable product. The actual commercial rollout is out of scope for the proposed project.
The project has two phases, the first relates to operating, validating, and refining the decision support system, whilst the second phase is contingent on the success of the validation process and involves the necessary planning to enable the commercial roll out of a minimum viable product. The completion of Phase 1 is essentially a stop/go stage that determines continuation to Phase 2.
The major objectives for each phase are shown below:
- Operate and validate the decision support system in real-time during the 2022/2023 production season.
- Identify and prioritise future modelling refinements that enhance the DSS.
Phase 2 objectives (out of scope):
- Develop the initial planning and system for rolling out the minimum viable product to all Perfection Fresh related Calypso mango growers and ripening centres.
All images supplied by the Sense-T research group at the University of Tasmania.
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