hen you see a fresh strawberry, the first thing to spring to mind may not be Internet of Things (IoT) technology. But, in today's connected world, IoT is touching every industry and every aspect of life, from the cars we drive to the media we consume to, yes, the strawberries we eat.

Strawberries have been grown as a food crop since 200 BC and have been cultivated in North America since 1835. They're just one of many crops that Canadian farmers have long grown to feed Canada's people. Today, the agriculture and agrifoods industry accounts for 6.6% of Canada’s GDP, and employs more than 2.3 million people. This isn't a small industry. As the realities of farm-to-fork logistics and food safety continue to evolve, industry leaders have recognized that they can't afford to rely on practices that are two hundred (let alone two thousand) years old.

Modern society puts many competitive pressures on farmers. We expect food to arrive in our urban supermarkets fresh and to be available when we want it. Our growing population demands ever larger yields, while our pocketbooks demand affordable prices. Among the many innovations that are helping our agriculture industry keep apace of the modern market, IoT plays a key role.

Through the use of Internet-connected temperature monitoring in vehicles and warehouses, and aided by IoT logistics solutions to enable timely deliveries, farmers and their partners are finding new ways to ensure that produce reaches customers quickly and without spoilage. And we have barely scratched the surface of what these technologies can do.

Let Farmers Farm

It would be madness, of course, to expect every strawberry farmer to become an authority on IoT. That's why, increasingly, farmers are bringing on as partners experts like Rogers Communications who can offer the IoT solutions they need.

IoT as a service means that information from the entire agrifoods supply chain can be seamlessly integrated, providing real-time data and analytics every step of the way. These tools translate to greater efficiency, reduced costs, better food safety, and peace of mind to both farmer and consumer. All without interfering with the core operations of the agriculture industry.

As urbanization continues, with two thirds of the world's population expected to live in urban centres by 2050, we should all remember that bringing the bounty of our farms to the tables of our cities is an enormous undertaking that involves a massive logistics network and a tremendous wealth of data. And we should be thankful next time we bite into a ripe strawberry that smart and dedicated people are working hard to modernize that process, while allowing Canada's farmers to continue focusing on what they do best: growing the finest produce in the world.