Sustainability

Creating Transparency: a new supply chain alert system

The three pillars of supply chain development are Trust, Transparency and Sustainability. This can be difficult to achieve when smallholder farmers and artisan producers in developing countries are involved at the start of the supply chain. However, this is where GeoT focuses, offering innovative technology systems to help companies working with smallholder farmers and artisan producers. Trust and transparency are achieved through geo-data collection on the production of goods and tracing the movement of those goods from farm to export. The information gathered can then be used to support sustainability initiatives and monitor their progress. However, our latest feature – the Alert System – allows companies to go one step further.

In many supply chains, accurate timely data is important for managing and coordinating activities, whether this is organising delivery trucks or monitoring the quality of produce. With the GeoTraceability System, it is now possible to gather data on independent farmers, trace produce from these farmers through the supply chain (even when middle men are involved), record delivery of goods at processing plants, and send alerts (via email or SMS) when there are delays in the delivery of goods or issues with the quality. This allows action to be taken in a timely fashion.  

Whether you are a commercial company looking to improve your supply or implementing a development program to improve farmer livelihoods, the new Alert System (combined with the suite of other GeoT tools saves time and hassle). Instead of having to regularly check the data to be aware of issues, you can set-up alerts for the areas that matter most for your business and supply chain. The geo-data collection on farmers and farming practices combined with the traceability data allows you to target initiatives where they are most needed. The Alert System is another tool for monitoring the success of initiatives and improving the supply chain. Our competitive rates and flexible fee structure, means this is also an affordable option for many organisations.

You can learn more about the System by reading the case study below or by getting in touch with us (Contact us).

 

Palm Oil Case Study

A key challenge in the palm oil supply chain is minimising the time between when the fruit is harvested and processed. The quality of the Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) deteriorates very quickly and it should ideally, be processed within 48 hours of harvesting. However, this can be a challenge for the mills purchasing fruit from independent small holder farmers who are farming in remote locations. The new GeoT Alert System allows those managing the logistics of the supply chain to be informed when the time between harvesting FFBs and processing them is in excess of 48 hrs.  This allows the FFB procurement team to monitor these instances and minimize them in order to improve FFB quality and the oil extraction rate. In addition, alerts can be sent notifying the logistics team of farms where there is fruit that has not been collected and is still sitting on the roadside. This transparency can facilitate an efficient collection process.

Further information on GeoT’s innovative work in palm oil can be found here Geotraceability for Palm Oil.pdf

 

Innovative Smallholder Fresh Fruit Bunch Traceability System Improves Palm Oil Supply Chain Transparency

Canada, 8 November 2016 - GeoTraceability, Wilmar International Limited (Wilmar) and Wild Asia announced today that the first phase in the development of a new smallholder traceability system is successfully completed. The new system enables mills to map their smallholder supply base and trace smallholder fresh fruit bunch (FFB) deliveries from the mills back to their farms. A key innovation in this project is the ability to provide smallholders with agronomic recommendations from mills and supporting organisations for increasing productivity, as part of their participation in the traceability system.

This project, supported by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), is currently piloted in Wilmar’s Sapi Plantation in Sabah, Malaysia. The ability to trace smallholder FFB supply is critical to Wilmar in ensuring compliance by its third-party mill suppliers, and their independent smallholder suppliers with its No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policy. Since July 2016, more than 90% of the smallholder supply base of the mill has been surveyed and mapped, with 1,400 traceable deliveries of smallholder FFB recorded. The next steps in the project are to roll out the system to an additional Wilmar-owned mill as well as a third-party supplier mill, both in Sabah.

Jeremy Goon, Wilmar’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “Smallholders are a key stakeholder group in our pursuit of a sustainable and transparent supply chain. We have committed substantial resources to empowering smallholders to improve their livelihoods and to ensure they share in the benefits of oil palm development.

"Our collaboration with GeoTraceability and Wild Asia to develop this smallholder specific traceability tool is a win-win for the industry and smallholders.

"Benefiting from agronomic expertise is an important incentive that will further strengthen sustainability take-up amongst smallholder producers. We hope this tool can help facilitate the traceability agenda of our external mill suppliers and the wider industry.”

Dr. Reza Azmi, Executive Director and Founder at Wild Asia said, “Our Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) is a programme to promote traceability and better production among groups of small independent palm oil producers. Systematic, electronic data on the small producers means that we can accelerate our work, and that our agronomists can deliver individualised support to our group members.

"More importantly, we want to be able to empower local producers with tools that can provide meaningful insights to their own production data.”

Pierre Courtemanche, Chief Executive Officer at GeoTraceability, said, “Our software and training is designed to support mills, NGOs, development agencies and Governments in better delivery of support to smallholders. This combination of tools supports a ‘New Deal’ for farmers: allow us to use your data to improve transparency and you’ll receive improved support services.”

GeoTraceability’s Digital Agronomist is a new software technology which allows the delivery of agronomists’ expertise to each individual smallholder farmer, and his or her fields. The agronomic recommendations for increasing smallholder productivity are compiled in individual “Farm Business Plans”, which can be further supported with field-input credit, training and ultimately Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Group certification. This package of opportunities to improve productivity and profitability for smallholder farmers presents a compelling alternative path to the farm expansion model.

IDH has been working with industry actors to coordinate and accelerate progress on traceability since 2014 and is supporting platforms such as GeoTraceability as critical innovations on the path to sustainability. IDH is supporting the project financially and has informed project design with the objective of maximising lessons learned that may be of value to the wider industry.


ABOUT WILMAR’S SUSTAINABILITY

As a leading agribusiness group, Wilmar recognises we have a fundamental role to play in developing quality products required by the world while ensuring a responsible and sustainable manner of production. We adopt a holistic approach to sustainability that is fully integrated with our business model. Guided by the philosophy that our business must enhance stakeholder value while minimising our environmental footprint, our business practices are aligned with universally acceptable social and environmental standards. Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policy underpins our aspiration to make a positive impact and drive transformation across the palm oil industry.   

For more information, go to www.wilmar-international.com/sustainability.

ABOUT WAGS

WAGS (Wild Asia Group Scheme) is an initiative of social enterprise Wild Asia. As a methodology, it has been developed from the ground-up, to addresses the challenges of traceability in the palm oil supply chain, to understand the challenges palm oil suppliers face to meet “zero deforestation” commitments and challenges of small producers in enhancing their productivity and best management practices. Visit http://oilpalm.wildasia.org/small-producers/wags/ for more information.

ABOUT IDH

IDH convenes companies, CSOs, governments and others in public-private partnerships. Driving the joint design, co-funding and prototyping of economically viable approaches to realize green and inclusive growth at scale in commodity sectors and sourcing areas. Approaches are designed to drive sustainability from niche to norm, delivering impact on the Sustainable Development Goals. Impact focuses on deforestation, living incomes and living wages, working conditions, responsible agrochemicals management, and gender. IDH is supported by multiple European governments, including institutional donors: SECO, DANIDA and BUZA and over 500 companies, CSOs, financial institutions, producer organizations and governments in 11 sectors and 11 landscapes in over 50 countries worldwide. www.idhsustainabletrade.com

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

GeoTraceability: Steven Ripley, Head of Palm Oil, s.ripley@geotraceability.com

Wilmar International Limited: Iris Chan, Corporate Communications,  iris.chan@wilmar.com.sg

Wild Asia: Smita Jairam, Technical Manager, smita@wildasia.org 

IDH: Reuben Blackie, Program Manager,  blackie@idhsustainabletrade.com

Our Alliance with Borealis: assessing social and environmental impact and engaging supply chain actors

Together, GeoTraceability and Boréalis provide tools for gaining visibility on the social and environmental impact of businesses and addressing challenges around stakeholder engagement at the start of supply chains.

Increasingly, the media and consumers are interested in the social and environmental impact of companies. Investment banks and equity funds are also concerned about possible impacts and want assurance that evaluations are performed and mitigation strategies are available. This is starting to influence commercial decisions, beyond the traditional CSR activities of organisations.

Companies need to understand and manage, their impact on the environment and communities at a local and global level throughout their supply chain. They need to engage with stakeholders in order to secure their supply, protect their brand, and ensure the success of their investments. Initiatives with smallholders / small-scale producers at the start of the supply chain are no exception.

Consideration needs to be given not only to the processes and practices used during an initiative but also the people – how to most effectively interact with, and engage, local communities and individuals. Too often investment is made in gathering supply chain data from smallholders with little consideration as to how to obtain their buy in. This could influence the quality and reliability of the data collected and even threaten the survival of the initiative and the investment.

The value of GeoTraceability and Boréalis working together

Both GeoTraceability and Boréalis are passionate about helping organizations make data-informed decisions. This partnership brings together data on the start of a supply chain with data on broader Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and impact management tools so that clients can report holistically and respond to issues. This will support clients wanting a transparent view of the social impact of their business and an easy mechanism for reporting, monitoring and management.

For Patrick Gregoire, Boréalis CEO, and Pierre Courtemanche, GeoTraceability CEO, working together makes a lot of sense. Our combined expertise and technology will help transforming supply chains into value chains in which all stakeholders will get tangible benefits.

But who are GeoTraceability and Boréalis?

GeoTraceability specialises in large scale data collection and traceability programs adapted to producers and smallholders in developing and emerging countries. GeoTraceability builds trust and transparency throughout supply chains. Since April 2014, GeoTraceability has been a part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) network of professional services firms.

Boréalis offers a suite of tools and technologies and years of experience to help clients address challenges such as:

o   Community relations- maintaining your social license to operate through successful stakeholder engagement

o   Impact assessment and monitoring – measuring and mitigating social and environmental impacts

o   Land access – successful land access and resettlement on time, within budget

o   Socio-economic contributions – sharing business benefits with the community

o   Governance, risk and compliance – reporting performance and complying with regulations

GeoTraceability and Boréalis look forward to the synergy which can come from combining GeoTraceability’s expertise and tools for data collection and management with smallholders and small scale producers in remote locations, with Boréalis’s stakeholder, community engagement and sustainability management solutions.

For further information, please contact Sarah Busque, Marketing Strategist for Boréalis (sarah.busque@boreal-is.com) or Hannah Hobden, Project Manager, GeoTraceability (h.hobden@geotraceability.com).

IFC Sustainability Summit 2013

GeoTraceability will be at IFC Sustainability Summit 2013, June 18-21, 2013, Washington D.C.

Pierre Courtemanche, GeoTraceability’s CEO, will be one of the panellists on June 19 discussing Climate-Smart Agriculture based Livelihoods.


In an increasingly uncertain world, one thing is for sure: companies must adapt and evolve to stay successful and thrive. Building on IFC's flagship Sustainability Exchange, this year's summit will focus on what the big-picture emerging sustainability issues are, and how companies can deal with and prepare for uncertainty, especially in difficult operational contexts

To learn more, consult IFC web site at:
http://www.ifc.org/sustainability

Benchmarking Progress to Ensure an Optimal Success in Program Implementation

GeoTraceability will be at Cracking the Nut 2013 addressing Sustainable Sourcing for Agricultural Supply Chains, 25-26 June 2013, Dresden, Germany.

Matthieu Guemas, GeoTraceability’s Head of Business Development for Europe, Africa and Asia, will animate a workshop on “Benchmarking Progress to Ensure an Optimal Success in Program Implementation” on June 26 at 2:45 PM.

The conference is organised by AZMJ. The focus will be on companies that are creating long-term social and economic value through their sustainability initiatives. As a private sector led discussion, the conference will highlight best practices for sustainable sourcing to help participating companies, along with development and finance organizations, to align their initiatives in a way that leverages resources for increasing social impact.

The conference will also feature a dynamic panel session where leading impact investors will go head to head with agricultural entrepreneurs to provide insight into how they assess real investment opportunities aligned with sustainable sourcing.

For more info on the Conference visit www.crackingthenutconference.com