Three game-changing ways ERP technology will make your food business more sustainable

Mar 13, 2022
  • finance
  • operations
  • food
  • SAP

It is widely accepted that sustainability is one of the biggest challenges facing your food business right now. Today’s consumers expect sustainable food production from brands they support, so it is no surprise that recent surveys of industry leaders all point to sustainability being a priority in your sector.

However, it may be news that the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology will make your processes more sustainable, whilst also boosting your business and giving you the edge on your competition. Find out how in this blog.


What is sustainable food production?


To be sustainable, your food production methods should be: 

  • non-polluting, conserving natural resources and non-renewable energy,
  • economically efficient,
  • safe for workers, communities and your consumers, and
  • not compromising the needs of future generations.


An issue right now


Global food production methods must change to support the world’s capacity to produce food in the future, whilst minimising the impact on the environment.


Currently, crop and animal production and forestry cause approximately 25% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, occupying 60% of the Earth’s land surface and using 70% of freshwater resources. By 2050, the world's population may have grown by as much as a third, to 9.1bn. To feed this (mostly urban) population, food production will need to increase by 70% whilst using less land, water and energy. 


Technology’s vital role 


Investment at every step in the supply chain will help make the food industry operate more sustainably. Your first priority in increasing the sustainability of your food sector operations will be to modernise your critical processes, eliminating manual functions and paper records. A great place to start is with an ERP system that has been designed specifically for the food sector and is therefore equipped to perform highly specialised tasks effectively and efficiently.

Three ways an ERP system will make your food business operate more sustainably


Three strategies for sustainable production that will make a real difference right now are:


Responsible sourcing 


  • Work with farmers/producers who use more sustainable farming practices including biodiversity and crop rotation, leveraging renewable energy sources and conserving water. 
  • Use local providers wherever possible, decreasing the need for transport that runs on fossil fuels.
  • If ingredients must be sourced abroad, be informed of the impact of your partners on the local communities in which they operate. 


An ERP solution will make it simpler for you to add or change suppliers with total visibility, empowering you to trade with more sustainable producers.


Reduced waste


  • Reduce waste in your manufacturing or processing operations with inventory management and more reliable ways of monitoring expiration dates and products’ shelf lives. 
  • Adopt the widely-used picking “first-expiry, first-out” (FEFO) protocol model.
  • Start predicatively maintaining your equipment and routinely checking quality – thus avoiding costly processing errors or mid-processing breakdowns.


An ERP tech system can undertake this more reliably and accurately, eliminating human margin of error. With your database now updating in real-time, you’ll have accurate stock data, automatically scheduled equipment maintenance, and product evaluation straight off the production line.


Increased efficiency


Inefficiencies in your processes slow down your production lines and cause waste. Finding a cause can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a data gathering solution performing robust analysis or delivering highly visible key metrics.


An ERP system will be constantly collating data, delivering it to your interface and identifying anomalies requiring your intervention, helping you pinpoint and resolve the cause of production hold-ups or errors. 


Automating will optimise and streamline your operations, empowering you to offload more mundane tasks from your people and freeing them up to concentrate on crucial responsibilities that only trained workers can perform. 


Making sustainable food production a reality


With your solution in place, you can establish supply chains with more sustainable partners, effectively manage your inventory to eliminate waste, banish inefficiency and automate to achieve a leaner, more agile way of working. 


This will give you a competitive edge as you become part of the solution and boost your business whilst you protect our planet.


Find out how we will help boost your food or beverage business. Discover FAST Food, an ERP-packaged solution Delaware have developed for ambitious mid-market food and beverage companies like yours looking for a state-of-the-art platform for growth.


Alternatively, contact us to discuss your unique challenges and explore our commercial and innovative solutions.


Delaware’s approach


Our experience, insight and expertise helping businesses like yours implement and derive optimal business value from ERP systems will provide you with effective solutions to the challenges and pain points you are facing right now – and in future.


We have never walked away from a project and will get involved at any stage. We invest in building and nurturing strong organisational, professional and personal bonds - enjoying long term relationships with many of our clients.