Bunge Increases Soybean Supply Chain Monitoring, Strengthens Partnership With Vega Monitorame
By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
In 2021 Bunge launched its Sustainable Partnership Program, a pioneering, large-scale initiative to track grain purchases with the goal of developing consistent and responsible supply chains, particularly in regard to sensitive areas at higher risk for deforestation in Brazil.
Through the program the company shares its methodologies, tools, and experiences with grain resellers to enable them to bring commodities to market that have proven sustainable origins. Toward this goal, the program provides access to verification systems, including satellite and farm-scale images designed to advance traceability and the monitoring of farms.
“The program reaffirms Bunge's active role in engaging and positively influencing the entire supply chain in Brazil and remains an important instrument in helping the company achieve its goal of deforestation-free chains in 2025,” said Pamela Moreira, sustainability senior manager for South America, Bunge.
Since the implementation of this program, Bunge announced that it has achieved 80 percent traceability and monitoring of soybeans from its indirect supply chain the Brazilian Cerrado.
“Since 2018, Bunge has been able to fully trace back to third-party elevators, so the next step was to expand our focus to soybeans acquired through our indirect supply chain in the Brazilian Cerrado. The strategy has led to positive results and strong adoption among grain resellers,” said Moreira.
Over recent decades, South America has grown to be the world’s leading supplier of soybeans, with Brazil surpassing the U.S. in 2017/18 when it produced 123.4 million tons. Furthermore, between 2008-2028, the country’s soybean acreage is expected to increase by 109 percent, according to CONAB.
This expansion in soy production has led to significant deforestation, according to Brazi’s Prodes deforestation satellite monitoring system, which found that 220,000 square kilometers were lost in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes between 2006-2017. Of this total, 10 percent, or 21,000 square kilometers (17,000 in the Cerrado), was due to the expansion of soybean farming, according to commodity supply chains analysis conducted by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Global Canopy’s Trase platform.
The world’s largest commodities traders, including Bunge, ADM, Cargill, LDC, and COFCO, have been taking measures, committing to support their indirect soybean suppliers to sustainably source soybeans from the Cerrado region.
Along these lines, and with a goal in place to reach 100 percent monitoring of its indirect soybean purchases, Bunge announced it is further strengthening its Sustainable Partnership Program by enhancing its partnership with Vega Monitoramento, an agtech company using LYRA platform it developed for remote sensing, AI, and structured data to conduct the socio-environmental determinations of agricultural properties.
Certified by Bureau Veritas, a leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), the LYRA platform is accessed through an exclusive web interface developed with Bunge. Resellers and cooperatives can directly access the tool without involvement from Bunge and with security endorsed by ISO 27001 certification - an international standard that meets a series of requirements, processes, and controls for the management of information security.
The resellers and cooperatives participating in the program are given full support from Bunge’s business team and complete technical support from Vega, which offers training for the implementation of the system along with unlimited free access to the Sustainable Partnership program platform.
“Investing in digital solutions is part of Bunge's strategy to expand the scale of its initiatives and positively impact the agribusiness sector,” said Braian Souto, senior manager of global digital office, Bunge. “We have a culture of continuous improvement and believe in collaboration, sharing practices, technology and information with our value chains to act faster, simpler and more efficiently.”
~ Lynda Kiernan-Stone is editor in chief with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s AgInvesting Weekly News and Agtech Intel News, as well as HighQuest Group’s Unconventional Ag. She can be reached at email@example.com.
*The content put forth by Global AgInvesting News and its parent company HighQuest Partners is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. All information or other material herein is not to be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Global AgInvesting and HighQuest Partners are not a fiduciary in any manner, and the reader assumes the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content on this site.