In recent years, there has been a growing demand for sustainable products and supply chains, especially in the agricultural and forestry sectors. Traceability and forest monitoring systems have become essential tools to ensure the authenticity and sustainability of products, from their origin to the point of sale. However, the lack of interoperability between these systems has been a major challenge for smallholders who struggle to comply with sustainability standards and gain access to global markets.
In addition, companies are facing new challenges, with Germany’s supply chain due diligence law as well as the upcoming EU deforestation regulation and the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. These regulations require proof of due diligence, creating an urgent need to trace and securely document the origins and sustainable production of agricultural products.
Therefore, the number of traceability solutions is constantly increasing. At the same time, these various systems lead to increasing incompatibility of the data created. This makes it difficult for both producer organizations and actors further down the supply chain to work efficiently, as they must collect, store, and convert data repeatedly, giving room for mistakes in the process.
The Digital Integration of Agricultural Supply Chains Alliance, initiated by the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains, is a multistakeholder initiative that focuses on regulatory requirements regarding deforestation and living incomes and wages. In view of the upcoming EU deforestation regulation, the Digital Integration of Agricultural Supply Chains Alliance is working to develop solutions and validate them through real-world reference projects, such as national initiatives in origin countries. It is intended to establish common best practice recommendations for overcoming the current challenges of data exchange between traceability applications by defining and applying global, open, and cross-sectoral standards.
The Digital Integration of Agricultural Supply Chains Alliance aims at facilitating and supporting:
- Compatibility between different systems, leading to far more efficient data exchange along agricultural supply chains;
- Greater efficiency of data collection at origin by making data comparable and (re-)useable for a variety of purposes;
- Freedom of choice and improved access to digital solutions for all supply chain actors;
- Participation of smallholder organizations in the benefits of due diligence legislation;
- Higher incomes for smallholders due to greater transparency in agricultural supply chains.