Bunge tests blockchain traceability platform for sustainable soy

To date, three shipments totaling 185 thousand metric tons of deforestation-free soybean meal have been sent from Brazil to Thailand

10.06.2024 | 08:17 (UTC -3)
Cultivar Magazine, based on information from Bunge and Mantana Lau

Bunge, in partnership with Bangkok Produce Merchandising Public Company Limited (BKP), a subsidiary of Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CP Foods), is testing a traceability platform using blockchain technology to promote sustainability in the soy production chain. To date, three shipments totaling 185 metric tons of deforestation-free soybean meal have been shipped from Brazil to Thailand. These products will allow CP Foods to trace the origin of soybeans, from the farm, through processing and transportation, to delivery to the final destination. Another three ships, with over 180 thousand metric tons of soybean meal, are scheduled to be shipped by July 2024.

According to the companies, the products shipped comply with Bunge and BKP's socio-environmental verification protocols. Grown in priority regions since 2020, without deforestation, the products comply with the criteria determined by CP Foods. In addition to meeting various socio-environmental criteria, the platform offers customers access to detailed information, including the carbon footprint of volumes sold and the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices by farms.

Paisarn Kruawongvanich, CEO of Bangkok Produce Merchandising, highlighted the importance of blockchain technology in connecting traceability solutions with suppliers, partners and farmers around the world. "In the early stages of our partnership with Bunge, we shipped the first ships of soybean meal verified as deforestation-free, fully traceable from farms to their destination in Thailand to CP Foods. This is a significant milestone for Charoen Pokphand Foods achieve 100% deforestation-free supply chains by 2025", he stated.

Rossano de Angelis Jr. (in the photo), vice president of agribusiness at Bunge in South America, highlighted that the addition of blockchain technology improves the transparency in the end-to-end traceability that Bunge has already been carrying out for years. "This ability to increase end consumer confidence in soybean projects is only possible thanks to the robust socio-environmental supplier verification and monitoring system that we have structured over the last decade, which uniquely positions us to connect proven sustainable products with markets where demand for them is increasing," he explained.

Since October 2023, the two companies have collaborated to develop technical, commercial and operational feasibility studies for a blockchain traceability solution, aiming to build a sustainable and digitally integrated supply chain. The agreement involves oilseeds and their derivatives, originated by Bunge in Brazil and destined for several countries in Asia, where BKP and CP Foods produce and sell feed and food.

The ongoing tests seek to automate the connection between Bunge and BKP's supplier management and socio-environmental monitoring systems with a digital platform. This allows the customer to monitor and receive product traceability data, in addition to accessing socio-environmental information from the farms of origin. Blockchain technology ensures an additional layer of reliability, making data immutable once entered into the platform.

For Mohit Purbey, Bunge's distribution director in Asia, the deep and trusting relationship that Bunge has built with CP Foods over the years was crucial to the project. "It's also an example of how Bunge can create customized solutions to help our customers meet their own sustainability commitments," he added.

Since the end of 2022, Bunge's supplier monitoring system covers more than 16.000 farms, around 20 million hectares in South America, using cutting-edge satellite technology, capable of identifying changes in land use and soybean planting on each monitored property. In Brazil, Bunge currently monitors all of its direct suppliers in areas at risk of deforestation and expects to fully cover indirect suppliers by 2025. More than 97% of the volume of soy purchased by Bunge in the country is free from deforestation and conversion, bringing the company of its goal of achieving deforestation-free supply chains by 2025.

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