SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — A traceability platform using blockchain technology has been jointly tested by Bunge Global SA and Bangkok Produce Merchandising Public Co. Ltd. (BKP), a subsidiary of Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co. Ltd. (CP Foods), loading three shipments totaling 185,000 tonnes of deforestation-free soybean meal in Brazil for delivery to Thailand.

The shipments allow CP Foods to trace the soybeans from farm origin, processing and transportation to delivery at destination. Three additional ships carrying an additional 180,000 tonnes of soybean meal are expected for shipment by July. BKP is a feed ingredient trading business unit of CP Foods.

These products comply with Bunge’s and BKP’s socio-environmental supplier verification protocols and were grown in high-priority regions with zero deforestation since 2020, aligning with the cutoff date determined in the sourcing standard developed by CP Foods. In addition to compliance with different socio-environmental criteria, the platform offers customers access to information including the carbon footprint of the volumes sold and whether the farm has adopted regenerative agricultural practices.

“Adding a layer of blockchain technology improves the transparency in end-to-end traceability that Bunge has been doing for some years,” said Rossano de Angelis Jr., vice president of agribusiness in South America for US-based Bunge. “This ability to increase end-consumer confidence in soy projects is only possible thanks to the robust supplier’s socio-environmental verification and monitoring system that we have structured over the last decade, which uniquely positions us to provide the connection of proven sustainable products with markets where the demand for them is increasing.”

Paisarn Kruawongvanich, chief executive officer of BKP, said the company is working to connect blockchain-based traceability solutions with suppliers, partners and farmers across the world, ensuring transparency across its supply chain.

“In the initial stages of our partnership with Bunge, we have shipped the first vessels of soybean meal verified deforestation-free, fully traceable from farms to their destination in Thailand for CP Foods,” Kruawongvanich said. “This marks a significant milestone for Charoen Pokphand Foods to achieve 100% deforestation-free supply chains by 2025.”

The two companies have been collaborating since October 2023, when they announced a partnership to develop technical, commercial and operational feasibility studies for a blockchain traceability solution aimed at building a sustainable and digitally integrated supply chain. The agreement involves oilseeds and their byproducts sourced by Bunge in Brazil destined for several countries in Asia, where BKP and CP Foods produce and sell feed and food.

The ongoing tests aim to automate the connection between Bunge and BKP’s supplier management and socio-environmental monitoring systems with a digital platform. This enables the customer to monitor and receive product traceability data, in addition to accessing socio-environmental information from the sourced farms. The blockchain technology ensures an additional layer of reliability, as it makes data immutable once it enters the platform.

Mohit Purbey, distribution director in Asia for Bunge, said the relationship and trust that Bunge has built with CP Foods over the years was key to the project. 

“It is also an example of how Bunge can create tailored solutions to help our customers fulfill their own sustainability commitments,” he said.

Since the end of 2022, Bunge’s supplier monitoring system covers more than 16,000 farms, around 20 million hectares, in South America and features state-of-the-art satellite technology, capable of identifying changes in land use and soybean planting on each monitored property. 

In Brazil, Bunge currently monitors its entire direct suppliers in areas at risk of deforestation and is expecting to fully cover the indirect suppliers in 2025. More than 97% of the volume of soy sourced by Bunge in the country is deforestation and conversion free, which brings the company closer to its goal of achieving deforestation-free chains in 2025.