AI-assisted analysis and enhanced data tools deliver key gains with ofi Cocoa Compass report

The latest ofi (Olam food ingredients Cocoa Compass report has revealed core gains in its operations, including revealing that over 30,000 farmers are now earning a living income through its engagement, leaving it on track to reach 150,000 by 2030, reports Neill Barston.

Critically, the business explained that advances in data analysis and technology, including GPS-based satellite deforestation mapping and child labor monitoring, as well as AI-powered carbon measurement tools have enabled key progress agains its goals.

The business noted that its enhanced sustainability performance will be key to supporting companies across the food and drink sector, including within confectionery and snacks markets with improved traceability and transparency. This comes ahead of new EUDR deforestation legislation due to be rolled-out at the end of this year, as well as linked due diligence laws that are also making their way through the European Parliament, covering global supply chains.

As the company noted, key findings from its analysis showed a 395% increase in the number of children receiving education support in 2022, compared to the 2018 baseline. There was also a 15% increase in the number of households covered by ofi’s Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS).

Furthermore, a total of 6 million trees were distributed by ofi, working with its customers and partners, for agroforestry and income diversification, from 2018 to 2022, while a total of 79% of farms in ofi’s sustainability programs have been polygon mapped.

Commenting on the latest report, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Indonesia Mission Director, Jeff Cohen, said: “We are proud to be working together with ofi and the Hershey Company to encourage cocoa farmers to adopt more sustainable agriculture practices—like diversifying their crops and allowing more trees to remain on their land—which will strengthen their resilience against climate shocks and improve their livelihoods.”

As ofi added, critical to delivering impact with USAID and other partners is technology. ofi’s latest advancements leverage the capabilities of its sustainability management system, AtSource. This technology can be available to customers upon request, providing companies with detailed data and insights on where and how their cocoa and other ofi ingredients[4] are sourced, including their social and environmental impact.

It also complements specific solutions that ofi is implementing to prepare for the incoming European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). The technology includes: A Carbon Stock Monitoring and Measurement tool – created in partnership with geospatial specialists NGIS – uses AI-powered analysis to provide high-quality data on forest cover and tree loss to help customers monitor for deforestation, as well as understand how interventions like agroforestry and shade tree planting affect carbon stocks across different plots of land.

There is also an advanced Carbon Scenario Planner that enables customers to understand the impact of different agricultural practices on GHG emissions and model the most efficient methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain and delivering on their Scope 3 emissions targets.

Furthermore, it also includes an updated Cocoa Farmer Income Tool, which shows detailed income estimates for a representative sample of farmers in ofi’s cocoa sustainability programmes, providing a clearer picture for where actions on the ground are directly helping cocoa farmers earn more..

Significantly, the company explained that it is set to deliver a  refreshed Cocoa Compass ambition in the latter half of 2024 as part of its wider sustainability strategy.

ofi Cocoa, Managing Director & CEO, Tejinder Singh Saraon concluded: “The granularity of our data, coupled with our extensive footprint on the ground in origin countries and strong relationships with farmers, means we can continue to move the needle with collaborators like USAID. We’re also investing in technology to help some of the world’s biggest food and beverage brands meet the demand from their consumers for delicious, on-trend products with robust sustainability credentials. I’m incredibly grateful that our customers continue to partner with us on our Cocoa Compass sustainability journey. Although there are no easy solutions to the complex challenges facing cocoa farmers and the natural world, I’m proud of the impact we’re having together.”

Cocoa Compass was launched in 2019 as ofi’s ambition to collaborate with its customers, partners, and governments to play its part in making the future of cocoa more sustainable. It set challenging 2030 goals in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). In 2020, the company achieved its first set of Cocoa Compass targets, which included implementing 100% traceability and deforestation monitoring in its direct cocoa supply chain to farm or community.

 

 

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