The approach followed by AGROinLOG contributes to the diversification and increase of agro-industries’ revenues, and ensures the continuous employability, avoiding seasonality. The project develops cost-effective and environment-friendly logistics, promoting biomass mobilization and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
The technical, economic and environmental direct impacts of the three agro-industries in which IBLCs will be implemented, have been estimated on the base of several indicators for each of them. Specifically:
- In the Spanish demo (Agroindustrial Pascual Sanz S.L.) it is expected to exploit a 60 % of equipment compatibility that is available, open 2 new markets in the agro-industry, avoid seasonality, increase a 7 % of employees and increase 22 % its turnover.
- In the Greek demo (Nutria S.A.), it is expected to increase of 1 M€ its turnover, avoid seasonality of specific equipment such as the dryer and open five new market lines.
- In the Swedish demo (Lantmännen) expected to avoid seasonality, open two new markets for the bio-oil and biochar production and commercialization, create 25 employment and increase 15 % their economic activity.
The positive aspects of the possible synergies that the incorporation of a new non-food based business can bring to an existing food based agro-industry are depicted as follows:
Agrarian products and primary residues are originated on the same fields. Instead of only harvesting the main value stream goods, main residues could also be collected. This can be done either simultaneously, or in different operations. At the moment, the processing agro-industries have already an established relation with their agrarian goods usual suppliers.
The synergy relies on the utilization of the already existing commercial connections to channel the new types of biomass resources through the current providers.
The investment devoted to a new integrated biomass logistics centre is less in comparison to the one needed for a regular biomass logistic centre, because the utilization of the facilities is optimized. This provides competitive advantages and impacts.
Agro-industries have already their current inventorying and labelling systems and information processing systems, since they are requested to trace for the products they handle. Taking this into account the flexibility of these processing systems can be used as an advantage to easily adapt the inventorying to the new non-food goods.
Considering than part of the final consumers of the non-food products are already costumers of the current agro-industries, the organisation of deliveries and the efforts to find clients will be less costly compared to a regular biomass logistic centre.
Combined harvest of food and non-food products supposes the paradigm of the synergy of food and non-food IBLCs. A reduction on costs and total GHG emissions will be a result of this approach.
Combining the business on the original agrarian products and the new residue streams helps to obtain better estimations of the raw non-food material availability, using the main product production as a basis.
This brings benefits like more accurate production planning, improved transportation planning, lower forecasting errors, lower storage and market mediation costs, and decreasing different losses.
Utilisation of existing transport services (if externalised) or own fleet for food and non-food goods will bring reductions in marginal transportation costs, considering the economy of scale of combining food and non-food products.
The utilization of the existing available facilities for storage, especially when they are empty during the idle periods of the agro-industry, supposes a clear synergy. This results in a reduction of investment for storage facilities, and in an increase of the amortization of handling systems and machinery.
The use of existing machinery causes a better amortization of products (dedicated to both food and non-food products) and thus a decrease in the production costs. Again, IBLCs are benefited from economies of scale.