forest loss, forest data

Traceability and transparency in supply chains for agricultural and forest commodities

A review of success factors and enabling conditions to improve resource use and reduce forest loss


Close to 90 percent of forest loss is associated with expansion of agriculture, resulting in an urgent need for better solutions to identify and help manage the risk of forest loss associated with commodity supply chains. Traceability and transparency are increasingly called on to help halt and reverse forest loss.

The Traceability and Transparency in Supply Chains for Agricultural and Forest Commodities Report shows that despite the rapid progress seen to date in developing traceability and transparency solutions, key challenges and data gaps remain. It also examines what is needed to ensure that initiatives, tools and policies are set up for success.

The report aims to inform collaborative action among governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations that are working toward enhancing traceability and transparency. It focuses on seven commodities: cattle, palm oil, soy, cocoa, timber, coffee, and rubber, but also offers insights applicable to other commodities.


Key Findings


  • Independent verification is necessary for traceability systems to be credible. Definitions need to be applied consistently.
  • Governments should provide an adequately resourced policy environment that facilitates traceability and transparency within the challenges of complex supply chains. Investments are rarely one-off since continued funding is usually needed. Approaches to traceability and transparency must consider the needs of smallholders to be effective.
  • Data gaps remain, especially where there is a large smallholder component, but equally important is ensuring that data are accessible and usable. Investments are needed to help close these gaps.
  • Despite gaps, there is enough existing data and information for supply chain actors to take meaningful steps toward assessing the risk of forest loss in supply chains, and to prioritize areas for action.

Author: Fripp, E., J. Gorman, T. Schneider, S. Smith, J. Paul, T. Neeff, F. Marietti, L. Vary, A. Zosel-Harper.

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Forests

Location(s): Africa, Asia, Latin America

This publication is focused on value chains in support of the work of the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program (FOLUR), with funding from the Global Environment Facility.

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