Digital Assets: Conglomerates Employ Technology To Track Deforestation

Brazilian meatpacker JBS will use the blockchain to check deforestation by cattle suppliers.

JBS S.A. (BVMF: JBSS3), the largest meatpacker in the world, has committed to maintaining a vigil against deforestation throughout its supply chain. The Brazilian company has been under pressure from investors and environmentalists because its beef production is leading to deforestation in the Amazon. Cattle owners have been known to clear forests to make way for pasture land. (Reuters)

Blockchain – “Together for the Amazon”

On Thursday, JBS announced its  “Together for the Amazon” program, a series of long-term initiatives aimed at conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon biome. The program will also advance the company’s commitment to combat climate change. That’s a global sustainability target that it set in 2019.

One of the initiatives in the program is the creation of the JBS Green Platform. It is a blockchain platform to enable the company to track the suppliers of its cattle by 2025.

JBS said it intends to cross-reference data regarding the Company’s suppliers with livestock transportation data. The blockchain technology will provide precise, confidential, and secure access to data on its suppliers.

According to Reuters, JBS and other Brazilian meatpackers do not buy cattle from farms that have illegally felled forest trees.

However, though JBS monitors its 50,000 direct cattle suppliers, so far it has not monitored suppliers further down the supply chain – the so-called “indirect” suppliers – for deforestation practices.

Unilever to use geolocation technology to combat deforestation

Last month, edie reported that Unilever (LON: ULVR) is testing new geolocation technology to ensure it meets its zero-deforestation targets.

These targets cover its supply chains including palm oil, soy and paper, and board.

The new technology, developed by the U.S. firm Orbital Insight, uses  GPS data and satellite images to identify patterns of land use and traffic.

Upon changes in these patterns, the system will flag the likelihood that a farm or plantation is supplying a mill and, in turn, the possibility of deforestation.

“By companies coming together and using cutting-edge technology to carefully monitor our forests, we can all get closer to achieving our collective goal of ending deforestation,” said Unilever’s chief supply chain officer Marc Engel.

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