The EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) will only allow the sale of deforestation-free cocoa, coffee, soya, palm oil, cattle, wood, rubber, charcoal and printed paper products on the European market. As a result of the EU deforestation-free law, the food supply chain of multinational corporations (MNCs) will be significantly affected.
To increase the sustainability of their sourcing and ensure compliance, agri-businesses must:
- Prove that their harvest is strictly linked to a field which has not been subjected to deforestation since 31 December 2020. This is the so-called geolocation requirement. In other words, crop importers must acquire a significant amount of farm-level data such as:
- Field coordinates
- The number of crops associated with each field
- Date of deforestation checking
- Store records safely for 5 years
- Provide reliable evidence of their data quality assurance during audits
Due to poor first mile traceability in their supply chains, fulfilling all these obligations is a major challenge for businesses.
That’s especially the case of Aka, a Sustainability Manager at a global cocoa importer in Ivory Coast. Aka oversees many cocoa smallholders spread over different locations. So far, he has relied on traditional record-keeping methods (i.e., data recorded on paper and/or in spreadsheets), which are time-consuming and error-prone.
Aka has struggled to:
- Perform high-quality field mapping in a cost-efficient manner.
- Link cocoa harvest to a specific field.
- Keep track of and update farmers’ information over time.
With EU deforestation due diligence looming, Aka is looking for more effective farm management software.
After discussing with Farmforce, Aka’s firm implemented our Integrated Enterprise Deforestation Monitoring (IEDM) solution. Our forest-friendly food tech comprises three essential tools that will help Aka comply with the other EUDR requirements.
This functionality allows Aka to map all his company suppliers’ fields accurately. Unlike other cartographic analytic systems, our food tech enables Aka to combine satellite-aided polygon mapping with on-the-ground quality checks via a mobile app. As a result of that, he can acquire EUDR-proof data.
This tool lets Aka fill the first mile traceability gap. The five features described in the next section will help him track each bag of cocoa back to a previously mapped deforestation-free plot.
Data Quality Assurance
Besides letting Aka collect reliable evidence of the link between cocoa harvest and associated fields, our IEDM also enables traceable and safe data storage for over five years.
- Digitising GPS-mapped areas (i.e., polygons) for fields and infrastructure (e.g., national parks) based on mappers’ on-farm coordinates gathering.
- Verifying the quality of the polygons created (i.e., correcting for any overlap with other polygons, removing duplicates, geography & size control validation). This is referred to as the quality checks step.
- Approving (or rejecting) polygons based on the quality checks step.
- Checking thousands of fields for deforestation in one go:
- Our supply chain visibility software will automatically generate a report detailing any overlap between mapped fields and infrastructures.
- Aka can export mapped fields as shape files and upload them onto the Global Forest Watch (GFW) database. Once done this, he can overlay his polygons with lands that have been deforested over the last 20 years worldwide.
- Allocating crops to a specific mapped field. This allows Aka to show that his cocoa is deforestation-free.
- Organising land areas by farms. This is very handy for Aka, who manages farmers owning multiple farms, each comprising many mapped fields.
- Creating dashboards and reports give Aka real-time visibility on his operations, enabling data-driven decisions and performance improvements.
Leveraging our agtech, Aka can easily track which farmers are certified and set specific certification criteria for them (e.g., being Rainforest Alliance-certified). Through Farmforce’s one-step certification verification, Aka is able to monitor his suppliers’ credentials in no time.
Customisable Quota & Real-time First Mile Tracking:
Before the harvesting season starts, Aka can set a quota for each farmer. This is the maximum amount of cocoa which farmers are allowed to sell. Harnessing Farmforce’s compliance functionality, Aka can also acquire farm-level information, like the amount of cocoa harvested by a certain farmer, in real-time during the harvesting season. Knowing their quota, he can promptly determine whether farmers deliver more cocoa than expected, thus flagging the risk of a harvest potentially coming from a farm with a reported deforestation violation.
This feature enables Aka to identify deforestation hotspots across his cocoa farms in advance and implement actions to mitigate the risk before it’s too late.
Analytics & Reporting:
Finally, tapping into our agricultural supply chain software, Aka can analyse his cocoa first mile data and spot any concerning trends. Moreover, our one-step due diligence reporting functionality lets Aka quickly condense all the information he needs in one document to comply with EUDR.
Why Does It Matter?
- Mitigate Sustainability Risks: Accurate field mapping prevents Aka’s company from sourcing cocoa grown on deforested land. On top of that, the enhanced first mile tracking lets MNCs like Aka’s demonstrate their forest protection commitment to consumers, investors, and other stakeholders. Thanks to Farmforce food supply chain traceability software, they will avoid greenwashing and consequent costly reputational risks.
- Market Requirements: Boosting sustainability, Farmforce’s IEDM allows Aka’s firm to sell products on the European market without fines.
- Collaborate Between Companies and Suppliers: Promoting sustainable farming techniques, agroforestry programmes, interoperability, and mutual trust.
- Improved Farm Management: Owning first mile data for the cocoa supply chain enables more informed decisions that optimise farm operations and increase profitability.
Thanks to our advanced traceability solutions, forest-friendly cocoa production is possible. This means that cocoa importers will retain their access to the European market. While this use case focuses on cocoa, the advantages of a supply chain visibility software like Farmforce are applicable to soya, coffee, palm oil and any other crops.