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Traceability and transparency in supply chains for agricultural and forest commodities

A review of success factors and enabling conditions to improve resource use and reduce forest loss. Report








Fripp, E., J. Gorman, T. Schneider, S. Smith, J. Paul, T. Neeff, F. Marietti, L. Vary, A. Zosel-Harper. 2023. “Traceability and transparency in supply chains for agricultural and forest commodities:
A review of success factors and enabling conditions to improve resource use and reduce forest loss.” Report. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at doi.org/10.46830/
wrirpt.22.00156.



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    “Agrifood value chains of small and medium-sized producers in the Near East and North Africa region have the potential to generate more value through improved access to high-value markets. Limited logistics capacity in the region, coupled with lack of access to continuous cold chain, has resulted in weak supply chain management, high level of food loss, lack of compliance with food quality and safety standards; information asymmetries; and unfair value distribution, affecting income and livelihood of small and medium-sized producers. Improving traceability and transparency along the agrifood value chains can help building consumers' trust by better tracking the origin of food, identifying, detecting and mitigating the impact of food safety and quality issues in a timely manner and enhancing price visibility and information sharing on value distribution in each stage of the value chain. Digital technologies can play an important role in enhancing traceability and transparency by ensuring the collection of comprehensive, consistent and reliable data along the supply chain, real-time tracking, easy aggregation, integration, analysis and sharing of data. Despite the recognition of game changing potential, few studies have analysed the feasibility of application of these technologies to improve traceability and transparency of value chains, from farm-gate to market, in the region. To fill this gap in knowledge, this study was conducted to understand the digital landscape in the region, examine barriers and incentives for uptake of these technologies and to propose solutions that can improve the adoption rate and sustainability of digital technologies for small and medium-sized producers.”
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    Since the mid-1990s, traceability has become a popular concept in industrial logistics, regardless of the production regime and type of product. Implementing traceability systems across the food supply chain is seen as crucial for increasing food quality and safety, for optimizing production or for documenting sustainability. However, implementation of traceability systems in the seafood sector seems to be stagnating. Against this backdrop, the main objective of this study is to define and analyse in detail seafood traceability benefits related to regulatory compliance, supply chain management improvements, market access facilitation, and risk mitigation. To support this objective, the study collects and compiles policy incentives from governments and industry associations to encourage the establishment of company seafood traceability. In addition, this study updates information regarding existing traceability standards and norms serving various purposes in the seafood sector. Based on a thorough analysis of speciality literature and the extensive experience of the authors, this study formulates several recommendations that are relevant for a wide range of stakeholders in the seafood sector.
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    The new EU Regulation for Deforestation-Free Imports (EUDR) stipulates that by 2025, certain commodities may only be imported to the European Union if it can be proven that they have been produced on land that has not been subjected to deforestation or forest degradation. One of these commodities – coffee – is a source of income for farmers in Guatemala and Honduras, representing 14 percent and 52 percent of these countries’ agrifood exports respectively. In 2023, one fifth of all Guatemalan coffee and half of the coffee exported from Honduras was destined to the European Union, and the majority was produced by smallholders whose livelihoods face significant threats from climate change and rising production costs. In this context, the public and private actors who manage and govern the coffee supply chains in these countries must develop cost-effective traceability systems that can help farmers verify the deforestation-free origin of their coffee without worsening the economic pressures that they currently face. This report examines the economic and political structures of the coffee supply chains in Guatemala and Honduras with respect to potential traceability systems that could satisfy the requirements of the EUDR. This publication is part of the Country Investment Highlights series under the FAO Investment Centre's Knowledge for Investment (K4I) programme.

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