Sourcemap and Bluenumber now offer 100% Palm Oil Traceability

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Sourcemap and Bluenumber are teaming up to deliver the first solution to trace both where palm oil comes from and who produced it. The leaders in supply chain mapping and unique smallholder identification have co-developed a service to present verified and visualized data cheaper, faster and with greater assurance than traditional certification or sample-based fieldwork. 

Sourcemap, the global leader in supply chain mapping and transparency, and Bluenumber, developer and host for an independent registry of unique digital farmer and worker identities have jointly developed two groundbreaking offerings for palm oil transparency and traceability. The new services plug current data gaps in industry standard sustainable palm oil sourcing practices by creating end-to-end visibility. Users can now prove with precision that their palm oil supply chain is deforestation-free and socially responsible.

The basic 'Supply Map’ offering is designed to help buyers show their consumers and stakeholders from where and whom they source palm oil. The more advanced service, ‘Trace & Track,’ gives buyers highly detailed information on the origin, route and handling of every specific Palm Oil shipment received, including every smallholder and every mill involved in each specific delivery.

The new solution uses a proprietary technology suite including GPS enabled data collection apps for fieldwork. Bluenumber issues unique identifiers to verify every smallholder, estate worker and facility at every stage in the supply chain. The Sourcemap platform organizes and visualizes all data necessary to understand and present verified smallholders, mills and other actors. The integrated systems establish the relationships and transactions between people and places. The resulting visualization and data analysis reveals time-calibrated activity of smallholders and estates. Risk data associated with each actor or entity allow buyers at multiple levels in the supply chain to make more informed procurement decisions on where and whom to source from.

The solution works with palm oil supply chains that are certified under traditional programs, and with sources that are not certified.  To learn more, please get in touch.    

Sourcemap travels to Dhaka to launch massive digital mapping of Bangladeshi garment factories

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The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country: a Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh. Local data collectors equipped with mobile apps have begun to amass thousands of GPS-linked data points collected on the ground from factory owners, workers and organizations. As this data is fed into Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping and transparency platform, we will be able to provide global apparel brands and consumers with radical transparency in one of world’s largest garment producing regions.

The timing of the project is critical. April 24 will mark five years since the factory collapse at Rana Plaza outside Dhaka that took the lives of 1,135 people. North American and European apparel brands have already announced their intention to walk away from the safety tracking programs formed in response to the tragedy once they expire in May.  

Sourcemap is partnering with C&A Foundation and BRAC University (BRAC U) in Bangladesh to administer the survey. Together, we will create a new digital factory map that will democratize data collection and transparency by permanently transitioning accountability for factory improvements to Bangladeshis.  

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“A big part of our commitment to have Bangladeshis own and control this data comes down to designing the right interface,” said Rhea Rakshit, Director of Design for Sourcemap. “The goal is to make it as simple as possible to collect data from factories on the ground, and then allow apparel brands and other stakeholders to gain access to it through an easy to use mapping platform.”

While on the ground in Dhaka, our team witnessed just how critical the garment industry was to Bangladesh. The industry employs approximately four million people. Alarmingly though, most workers report to factories that are invisible on the supply chain – even to the multinational brands ultimately purchasing their products.

The BRAC U survey will put each of these factories on the map. In addition to factory and worker statistics, types of products manufactured, the names of clothing brands that each factory manufactures for will also be captured. All data will be uploaded on Sourcemap cloud servers and visible to the public. Ultimately, this transparency will increase the accountability of brands, decrease risk to workers, and add value to Bangladeshi products.

Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, CEO of Sourcemap, remarked on the project, “The crowdsourced garment factory map promises to make the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label an asset to apparel brands and a point of consumer pride worldwide.”

What it's really going to take for sustainability to work [Sourcing Journal]

by Tara Donaldson

Posted on January 23, 2018 in Feature.

The thing about sustainability in the apparel industry is that brands and retailers are either embracing it of their own accord, finding themselves backed into a corner with little other option, or faking it until they make it.

The latter, of course, is where the problem of compliance arises.

“I’m kind of pessimistic when it comes to sustainability, compliance, traceability,” Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman said speaking on a Texworld USA supply chain panel Monday.

Having spent years in sourcing prior to publishing, Hertzman said he’s had brands ask him to manufacture organic product for them, and he’s gone to factories to source it, only to find that the suppliers are selling the brands goods labeled as organic when they’re in fact no such thing.

“It’s very complex to trace this. There isn’t necessarily one set of standards that everyone follows,” Hertzman said. “I think we are a long way from this being part of every single company’s culture.”

The problem, according to Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain-mapping software company, is that the apparel industry has faced structural issues that haven’t exactly served to fuel transparency and traceability.

Until recently, Bonanni said, “You actually couldn’t map a supply chain for an apparel product,” largely because brands themselves couldn’t see past their Tier 1 suppliers—a problem which still remains for some companies.

Read the rest of the article at Sourcing Journal.

More than 2,000 factories have already registered for the new, Sourcemap-powered #HiggIndex platform!

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We're proud to announce that more than 2,000 facilities have already registered for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's brand new Facility Environmental Module (FEM).

It's only been two months since Sourcemap launched a completely re-engineered Higg.org.

From the SAC:

The Higg FEM, optimized for use at an industrial scale, enables factories of any size, anywhere in the world, to assess sustainability performance and easily share results with supply chain partners.

The new Higg.org is a powerful, scalable platform built on Sourcemap Enterprise software. It features a powerful, incredible fast user interface on elastic Amazon Web Services hosting with a slew of features to ensure universal access including with support for multiple languages and intelligent questionnaires that adapt to the needs of suppliers based on their industry and performance. We are well on our way to supporting the SAC's goal of targeting 20,000 facilities in 2018! 

Public registration is available at Higg.org and a full guide is posted at HowtoHigg.org

Sources: Outdoor Industry AssociationApparel Mag 

Mapping the World's Smallholder Farms [White Paper]

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In 2013, Mars Chocolate chose Sourcemap to map the Vision for Change cocoa sustainability program in Côte d'Ivoire. Since then Sourcemap has emerged as the pre-eminent software platform to monitor and engage with smallholder farmers in Indonesia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Brazil and dozens of other countries.

How does it work? Simply put: we work with users from every tier in the supply chain to make certain the software provides value, every step of the way. Want to know more?

 

Meet Eileen Fisher's Head of Supply Chain Mapping [Video Interview]

Meet Megan Meiklejohn, Eileen Fisher's Sustainable Materials and Transparency Manager. She is responsible for ensuring that the company's ambitious Vision 2020 sustainability goals are met, and she uses Sourcemap to do it.

How? Megan sends out quarterly questionnaires to every supplier for every garment, every collection. The questionnaires cover commercial, compliance, sustainability and social impact data every step of the way. Find out more by watching her exclusive video interview above.

What is the cost of climate change to smallholder farmers? Sourcemap joins forces with CIAT to find out

 Adaptation zones in the Ghanaian cocoa sector overlaid with Cost of Inaction estimates

Adaptation zones in the Ghanaian cocoa sector overlaid with Cost of Inaction estimates

Smallholder farmers are going to save the world. Today, over 80 percent of the food in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa is grown by 500 million small-scale farms. Despite the great volume of food produced by smallholder famers, they generally have low access to technology, resources, and global markets.

Given that smallholders comprise over 30 percent of the world’s population and the majority of the world’s poor, smallholder sourcing programs provide a unique opportunity to make large-scale livelihood investments and support global poverty alleviation. And with the global population expected to exceed nine billion people by the year 2050, we are going to need to produce a lot more food—a lot more sustainably.

Global food companies are betting big on smallholders as the key to feeding the world and fighting climate change. Just two weeks ago, Mars committed to invest $1 billion in its value chain, promoting sustainable farming as a means to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and reversing the impacts of climate change. In a written statement, Mars CEO Grant Reid said that "the engine of global business — its supply chain — is broken and requires transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it."

Although brands and governments are working to account for climate change’s projected impacts on global food production, the complexity of current models makes it difficult to drive actionable decisions. In order to spur the kind of transformational, cross-industry collaboration that Reid called for, Sourcemap and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) are working to create a Cost of Inaction Calculator—an easy-to-use modeling platform that translates future agricultural climate change risk into potential lost revenue to smallholders; helping identify smallholder producers’ climate adaptation needs and ensure sustainable supply chains.

By allowing users to easily model agricultural supply chains and climate risk exposure, in terms of lost revenue to smallholders, the COI Calculator will streamline decision-making and increase the resilience of agricultural value chains to climate change. Leveraging Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping technology and data, such as commodity volumes and prices, along with CIAT’s climate risk projections, the COI Calculator will measure the cost of doing business-as-usual for each farmer in a given supply chain; helping users identify the producers and crops for which investments will be most impactful for the coming decades. The COI Calculator democratizes long-term and strategic climate change planning for a wide range of stakeholders, bridging the gap between emerging climate science and the tactics of climate adaptation.

Update: the COI Calculator has been named as a finalist in the CGIAR Inspire Big Data Challenge! Join us at the CGIAR Big Data in Agriculture Conference to find out more.