Growing demand for palm oil over the last decade has driven a lot of new eyes towards the industry.
Palm oil is also used as a conditioning agent in shampoos to restore natural hair oils. It is also commonly added to ice cream to help retain a smooth quality.
Currently, palm oil growers, processors, and related consumer goods manufacturers are grappling with how to solve problems while promoting sustainability — all throughout the notoriously complex palm oil supply chain.
Due to a relatively opaque supply chain, there is still no clear-cut way to trace palm oil back to its original plantation. Despite efforts from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), only 17% of worldwide palm oil production is classified as sustainable.
As a result, regulatory bodies within the industry have a difficult time with product certification. This is especially so when consumers demand details about specific items.
Still, a growing number of producers, regulators, and consumers in the palm oil industry believe that blockchain may be used to close current gaps in the supply chain. Not to mention the promotion of transparency.
Organizing Towards Blockchain
Recently, a number of palm oil industry leaders announced the creation of a group called SUSTAIN (Sustainability Assurance & Innovation Alliance).
The goal of the collective is to establish a blockchain-based palm oil platform to tackle landscape-level sustainability problems, as well as meeting goals related to NDPE (No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation).
Initial participants in the collective include palm oil companies Asian Agri and Apical. Other players in the palm oil supply chain will most likely join as the alliance develops.
According to Digital News Asia, SUSTAIN will eventually offer access to a system in which parties can download tools to monitor traceability and compliance, trade FFBs, and utilize best practice guides.
Patching Gaps in the Palm Oil Chain
Others feel that blockchain might be utilized as a support structure for a system that could check the geolocation of harvested fruit bunches. The system would then would be able to store information related to palm oil worker identities and harvesting times…
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