Press Release | 27 Jun 2022

Smart strawberries: How Vodafone IoT technology is serving up the perfect strawberry this Wimbledon

Hugh Lowe Farms, Wimbledon’s exclusive strawberry supplier, is piloting Vodafone IoT technology to help optimise farming.

Strawberries and cream is one of the longest standing traditions of The Championships, Wimbledon. This year, for the first time, Vodafone’s IoT technology is helping Hugh Lowe Farms – the exclusive strawberry supplier to Wimbledon – grow the best-ever strawberries for Wimbledon.

Hugh Lowe Farms has supplied all the strawberries to Wimbledon for nearly 30 years. Each year, more than 30 tonnes of strawberries are consumed by tennis fans at the event, so Hugh Lowe Farms’ operations must be as efficient as possible to meet the demand.

Vodafone’s IoT technology helps Hugh Lowe Farms grow the best quality crop and be as efficient as possible, ensuring they can meet the demand for over 1.5 million strawberries enjoyed each year by spectators, with more than 10,000 litres of fresh cream.

Credits: Vodafone

Strawberries are very susceptible to disease and the technology means that the farm can make better decisions on how to apply controls to protect them. This means better and more sustainable growing conditions, resulting in a better quality of strawberry.

The strawberries need to arrive at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in the best possible condition, so Vodafone has also provided Hugh Lowe Farms with a new tracker which enables the farm to track the journey of the strawberries. The technology will locate each load that is going to Wimbledon and provide detailed feedback on temperature, collisions and vibrations in the packaging.

The Internet of Things: Everything you need to know

The Internet of Things may sound like buzzword bingo, but this low-key yet wide-ranging technology is already changing our lives in many ways.

Nick Gliddon, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without strawberries! And we’re excited to show the power of our technology to make a huge operation like this more efficient and reduce the impact on the environment.

“We’re giving the Hugh Lowe Farms team invaluable new data-driven insights that make a real difference. This is a great example of how any industry can benefit from digital transformation.”

Marion Regan of Hugh Lowe Farms, said: “We are excited to be working with Vodafone and their support is helping us optimise the growing conditions of our strawberries. It is a great privilege to be the sole provider of strawberries to Wimbledon, and that’s a role we’ve had for nearly 30 years.

“Now, we’re using Vodafone’s cutting-edge technology to be able to deliver the best-ever quality strawberries, all produced in a more sustainable way, for fans to enjoy.”

The deployment of new IoT technology and software such as MYFARMWEB™ can have a dramatic impact on operational efficiencies, as well as offering greater insight to reduce carbon emissions. The MYFARMWEB™ platform collects farm data to support decision making for better soil and crop health, effective water use, and precision fertiliser and pesticide application. This helps improve farm productivity and optimises farming practices, to help reduce greenhouse gases. Vodafone estimates that the introduction of IoT technology could help the agriculture industries save 2.4-4.8 million tonnes of CO2e annually.

Vodafone recently announced it will work with business customers around the world to deploy IoT technology to save more than 350 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030.

Vodafone is the Official Connectivity Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon.

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Vodafone announces new partnership with Wimbledon tennis

As Official Connectivity Partner, Vodafone will use its world-leading connectivity and the power of 5G to help bring the sport to more people, working alongside Wimbledon and the Lawn Tennis Association.

About Wimbledon:

The Championships, Wimbledon, is the oldest of the four tennis Grand Slams and the only one played on grass. Managed by The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) and staged on the AELTC Grounds, Wimbledon has evolved from its origins as a private members’ croquet club in 1868, to one of the world’s biggest annual sporting events and one of the most well-respected brands in sport.

Visit www.wimbledon.com and follow us @wimbledon on all major social media platforms.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. Our full fibre services are now available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

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