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 enables 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 built 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 has created and tested a service provided to buyers such as UK retailer Sainsbury’s and UK coffee roaster and ethical sourcer, Union Coffee, helping them to check their supply chains for deforestation conversion risks.
ForestMind was 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.
Space Added Value
ForestMind leverages satellite Earth Observation data extensively across the project for deforestation and landcover monitoring elements. Through combining this data our other partner capabilities, data and knowledge, ForestMind created 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 completed the Final Review (FR) milestone in November 2022. Leveraging our partner expertise and relationships within supporting supply chains, ForestMind has created and tested a minimum value product (MVP) monitoring, verification and reporting deforestation conversion risk service within focus deforestation risk commodities coffee, soy and related animal feedstocks. ForestMind now plans to develop towards commercial roll out by leveraging this experience and expertise to stimulate the sector to resolve collective barriers to forest protection.