ALUR Highlands Coffee Alliance Project

Over the last 4 years, the ALUR Highlands Coffee Alliance (AHCA) has made a significant investment to support the development of the coffee market in rural northern Uganda. But what has the impact been?

The project works with farmers in an area of low income and high poverty. To date, over 16,000 farmers have been supported. The average age of the farmers is 46, and they have an average of 5 children. To improve the livelihoods of these farmers, the programme has provided extensive training on farming practices. This has included the development of demonstration plots for farmers to learn in a hands-on and visual environment.

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The GeoTraceability System has been used to collect data on the farmers (including GPS coordinates to create a map of their fields, socio-economic data and production data). The System has also been used to record the training delivered to each farmer and the location of the demonstration plots, nurseries and warehouses.

As the project draws to a close, the key activity is to evaluate its success and determine what lessons need to be taken forwards to future projects. As part of this assessment, the GeoTraceability System is being used to re-collect data on 5,000 farmers. The re-collection will include questions asked during the initial data-collection, as well as additional questions to assess the attitude of the farmers. To collect the data, a mobile application is being used, which is able to work off-line in the field where internet access is limited. Field agents then upload the collected data when they return to the programme office. With the data collected it will be possible to clearly see visually the impact of the project initiatives using the GeoTraceability on-line platform.

Another activity currently being undertaken by the project team is to find organisations to continue using the System and existing data once the current project ends later this year. If this is of interest to you, please contact Hannah h.hobden@geotraceability.com

The 4th Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture

GeoTraceability’s CEO, Pierre Courtemanche, will be delivering a keynote speech on ‘the contribution of smallholder framers to food and nutrition security in Asia’ at the 4th Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture

Asia has the largest number of smallholder producers in the world. Pierre will share his views on the importance of effective engagement with these smallholder producers based on the work GeoT is doing throughout Asia to support organisations engage more effectively with this vital group.

The conference will take place 14th and 15th March at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta.

Join us at the forum and be part of the discussion! http://bit.ly/2kxQCDM

Proposing a new deal to cocoa producers

Significant investments have been made over the last 35 years to support smallholder cocoa producers, mostly in Africa, but also in Asia and South America. Local governments and development agencies were the first to support producers with programmes focusing on training, accessing credit facilities and building the capacities of producers’ organisations. Private organisations joined the effort in the 1990s with ‘Public Private Partnerships’ facilitated by donors’ money. I’ve been an implementer, working

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GeoTraceability has begun tracing 3T minerals in the DRC

Quebec City, 30 November 2016 - GeoTraceability has launched a groundbreaking traceability project for the artisanal mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – delivering real-time data to support the delivery of conflict-free minerals to the global market.

The new system traces minerals from individual mine sites in the Maniema Province in the eastern part of the DRC to the point of export. Using a cloud-based database, information can be monitored in real-time.

Important for the industry, the traceability system has been adapted to allow stakeholders to comply with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and the Chain of Custody requirements from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Regional Certification Mechanism which itself is compliant with the OECD guidance. Deployment of the GeoTraceability system also supports information sharing with other initiatives, including the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative’s (CFSI) Conflict-Free Smelter audit program.

Momen Elleuch, Project Manager for GeoTraceability, commented: “The availability of our system will provide a much-needed option for advanced traceability services in the mining and minerals trade sector, increasing the amount of choice for local operators - a critical component of a healthy market place.”

GeoTraceability’s traceability system is implemented in combination with the Better Sourcing Program (BSP), which provides due diligence and assurance that the minerals being traced are sourced conflict-free. BSP complements the traceability system by digitally reporting real-time information on incidents and risks along the supply chain and delivering effective capacity building in support of upstream stakeholders.

Additionally, as part of this project, BSP aims to create alternative economic opportunities for women and other vulnerable community members based in communities surrounding the pilot mining areas. BSP’s support mechanism also offers an opportunity to expand better-controlled artisanal mining activities. This has the potential to increase tax incomes for the Maniema Provincial Government, and subsequently raise the level of local investment.

According to BSP’s Project Manager in DRC, Robert Bitumba: “The Maniema province is free of conflict and offers great opportunities for the procurement of minerals”. Beyond compliance, Bitumba sees great value in electronic traceability: “It has the potential to restore the confidence of international buyers and investors by providing more transparent access to information on local artisanal mining circumstances.”

Bitumba concluded: “For peace to last and communities to thrive, international partners must engage and develop economic opportunities.”

For this pilot project, specific BSP-supported mines were selected to create a closed-pipe supply chain for testing these advanced traceability and due diligence options. This was done in collaboration with exporter Belair African Metals.

Lance Hooper, CEO of Belair commented: “GeoTraceability provides us with data collection and data sharing systems which support us in meeting our conflict free traceability obligations. Their intuitive cloud-based platform streamlines data sharing with all downstream participants in the mineral supply chain.”

“Beyond capturing data related to traceability,” Hooper continued, “GeoTraceability's system also provides the flexibility to collect additional information that will assist with the geological understanding of our tin and tantalum concessions in Maniema.”

The pilot project has been made possible with support from the International Organization for Migration and USAID/DRC as part of the USAID-funded Responsible Minerals Trade Program.

About BSP
Better Sourcing Program (Better Sourcing, BSP) is an independent mineral supply chain support program providing a framework for sustainable procurement of mineral resources from Central Africa. BSP’s core objective is to stimulate procurement from, and associated investment in areas where mining could significantly contribute to local development, by ensuring compliance of these minerals with regulation- and reputation-driven expectations from international stakeholders. BSP implementation involves strict operationalization of the OECD due diligence guidelines, conformance of Better Sourcing supply chains to smelter-level audit expectations such as the Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP) Audit Protocol, and compliance with ICGLR certification standards.

For more information, go to: www.bsp-assurance.com

About Belair
Belair Maniema Corp. is a private Canadian company focused on tin, tantalum and tungsten (3T) projects in Africa.  The company has a 100% interest in Belair African Metals sarl, a commodity trading platform that specializes in sourcing conflict free minerals from qualified artisanal and small-scale mine sites.  The company also has a 65% joint venture interest in Belair Maniema sarl which holds 3T mineral concessions in Maniema province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

For more information, go to: www.belair.cd

About GeoTraceability
GeoTraceability is a market innovator in providing technology solutions to enhance supply chain visibility and transparency. GeoTraceability can be defined as the ability to link geographical information to traceability information, all along value and supply chains. GeoTraceability is currently operational in Africa, Asia and Latin America providing data collection and traceability solutions in multiple commodities.

For more information, go to: www.geotraceability.com

Media Contacts
Hélène Helbig de Balzac, Program Manager, BSP, helene@bsp-assurance.com 
Lance Hooper, CEO, Belair, lance@belair.cd 
Chelsea Bruce Lockhart, Communications Strategist, GeoTraceability, c.brucelockhart@geotraceability.com