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FoodNavigator Podcast

The FoodNavigator Podcast: How tech is transforming transparency in palm oil, soy, and coffee

Several key challenges are facing global supply chains, with a lack of transparency allowing for unethical practices to continue.In palm oil, for example, deforestation is a major concern. According to FAO data, palm oil has contributed to an estimated 5% of tropical deforestation in tropical areas, and globally the European Commission estimates that the commodity…

Several key challenges are facing global supply chains, with a lack of transparency allowing for unethical practices to continue.

In palm oil, for example, deforestation is a major concern. According to FAO data, palm oil has contributed to an estimated 5% of tropical deforestation in tropical areas, and globally the European Commission estimates that the commodity contributes to 2.3% of total deforestation.

In soy, deforestation is also front of mind for FMCGs looking to stamp out unsustainable practices. WWF estimates that two-thirds of soy imported to the UK comes from locations with high deforestation risk, including vulnerable ecosystems in South America.

The coffee supply chain is another exposed to challenges, largely in inequalities from crop to cup.

What role can technology play in uncovering these issues and identifying perpetrators? According to James Crawford, CEO of California-based Orbital Insight, technology is already helping brands made significant progress towards sustainability targets.

Orbital combines satellite images with geolocation data to provide specific information about the journey that palm oil fruit or soybeans travel from the plantation to a mill.

“We have seen some significant decreases [in deforestation] even though

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