Boosting regulatory compliance through technology: Traceability, adaptability and streamlining

At Food Ingredients Europe in Frankfurt in November, FoodNavigator spoke to ofi and FoodChainID about how technology, through enabling traceability and streamlining regulatory data, makes compliance easier and more straightforward.

Complying to EUDR

Global ingredients company ofi is a key provider of coffee and cocoa, two commodities which are coming under increasing scrutiny due to the fact that they are often linked to deforestation. This is important, as the implementations of the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) will become applicable in December this year. Companies selling in the EU, including ofi, must comply.

Central to this compliance is traceability. Coffee and cocoa are products with long, complex supply chains and are often grown in remote areas. Being aware of every aspect of these supply chains is extremely difficult. Luckily, technology can collect and store the relevant data.

Coffee is one of the commodities whose sources will come under particular scrutiny from the EUDR. Image Source: Aleksey Serikov/Getty Images

Ofi uses GPS to trace its supply chain, according to the company’s head of sustainability Dr. Christopher Stewart. The technology, which has been used for many years, has traditionally been ‘more onerous’, he told FoodNavigator, but, due to the introduction of the Forest Loss Risk Index in 2018, which evaluates areas by deforestation risk, the efficiency of ofi’s traceability is improving.

“We introduced this index which looks at historical deforestation for the last 20 years, knowing that with thousands of buying stations we can’t be everywhere at once, so we need to act on priority.” This is the initial step towards the eventual aim of 100% traceability.