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Supply Chain Traceability Key to Fulfilling Sustainability Promises

March 30, 2016

Supply Chain Traceability Key to Fulfilling Sustainability Promises

by Daniel Prakarsa

Consumers these days want to know that when a business says that it is producing something ethically and sustainably, that it can back up such claims throughout its entire supply chain. After all, a business’s claims to operating sustainably are only partly fulfilled when it can’t confirm the sustainability of its raw materials or other products involved in production. So customers increasingly expect businesses to make sure their supply chain is as committed as they are to principled behaviour.

Meeting this expectation is one of the biggest challenges that businesses now face, which is where supply chain traceability – a company’s ability to map its supply chain thoroughly and to know exactly who produces what at which stage of the business, from raw material to finished good - comes in.

Getting that mapping done can be a laborious journey. This is particularly true of agricultural and retail sectors, which tend to have very complex supply chains. The Indonesian palm oil industry, for example, has over two million smallholders running over 40 percent of plantations across the country. The effort it takes to map the supply chain down to the individual farmer is enormous.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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