Objectives of the service
In the past 25 years, rainforests have shrunk by 195 million hectares (almost the size of Western Europe) with over 75% in the three tropical regions – South America, Southeast Asia, and West Africa. With at least 10 million hectares of tropical forest continuing to be converted and degraded every year, and commercial agriculture responsible for well over half of this loss, new approaches must be developed to support agricultural supply chains in minimising their impacts.
Our mission is therefore:
- To work with and enable others to provide the evidence organisations need to keep agricultural supply chains within ecological limits whilst supporting inclusive economic progress
- To leverage specialist knowledge and capabilities from business and research to deliver actionable insight to validate and enable supply chain decisions
We are first focused on enabling commodity sourcing organisations to understand and act on deforestation risks in supply chains globally. We are doing this through leveraging specialisms in artificial intelligence, remote sensing, economics, traceability, enforcement and sustainability from a consortium of 10 UK industry, innovation and research partners. We plan to address broader environmental and social risks beyond the project for all parties within the supply chain from farmer to customer.
Users and their needs
ForestMind will enable decision-makers across the global agricultural supply chains to understand the compliance of production and then operationalise deforestation commitments for imported commodities. Enacted at the request of members of the UK Food system, ForestMind builds on 18 months’ concept development and discussions with that community to shape a service that will overcome the problem of siloed activities in the consumer goods community hampering progress in tackling deforestation.
ForestMind will be a service provided to buyers (primarily retailers, but potentially also intermediaries and food product manufacturers) helping them to initially check their supply chains for deforestation.
ForestMind is being designed to facilitate assessments of the forest footprint of new suppliers and advice on risks, as well as a proactive system for flagging changes in forest cover associated with existing/on-going supply contracts. For end users with location data on their supply chain ForestMind will provide deforestation compliance intelligence on those locations and future risk analysis.
Core user requirements:
- Enacting legislative compliance
- Demonstrating commitment progress
- Verifying supplier claims
- Supporting environmental protection
- Oversight of supply chains
- Managing reputational risk
Service/ system concept
ForestMind is a service that is being co-designed with its users to deliver the actionable information that they need to be able to eliminate products that have caused deforestation from our supply chains.
Using service user data to identify locations of interest, it will bring together technology, data, and expertise to form a package of support delivered by Forestry Analysts to help users understand and act on deforestation risks in their supply chains.
Image credit: ForestMind, Satellite Applications Catapult
Space Added Value
ForestMind is leverage satellite Earth Observation data extensively across the project for deforestation and landcover monitoring elements. Through combining this data with other partner capabilities, data and knowledge, ForestMind is creating a unique service and package of support for food retailers and producers to enable them to make truly informed decisions.
The project started in July 2020 and ForestMind and the Business Design Review (BDR) milestone has been completed at the end of November 2020. Leveraging the partner expertise and relationships with many of the supporting supply chain user within ForestMind, the consortium is undertaking extensive interviews to capture user requirements and are moving towards creation of a minimum value product (MVP) within focus commodities.