Soy is one of the most grown and consumed plant proteins globally. Due to the global uptake, the soy global supply chain is one of the most advanced, with many players such as farmers, retailers, distributors, and other companies.
Despite all these streamlined structures, the supply chain has significant transparency and accountability issues brought about by different practices and processes within different countries.
The trust and transparency challenges in the global soy supply chain can be attributed to various conditions limiting accurate data collection and analysis. Equally, there are significant barriers to achieving the supply chain trust and transparency exhibited by other products.
The push to restore trust and transparency would be significant to the sector in different ways, such as evaluating the crop’s impact analysis and effecting corrective measures and changes. Here is a critical analysis of the supply chain and how to improve it to promote trust and transparency.
- Barriers to The Supply Chain
Lack of Systems and Protocols
Obtaining all the related soy statistics has been a problem for years since the data available is not extensive, and the data is from only some global supply chain players. One main hurdle is the need for more streamlined monitoring, audit, and control processes.
Most of the data available is obtained from only large-scale farmers willing to provide the data. A bulk of the data is obtained from major companies dealing in soy, such as processing, selling to retailers, or other activities. This leaves out medium and small-scale producers, other agencies, and players unwilling to provide the data.
Most farmers are unaware of the quantity produced; the data available is sometimes speculated, and farmers can increase the value produced.
Visibility and Illegal Practices
Visibility is also a key issue since most farmers need to be recognized, and some do not sell their products directly to key companies and corporations. Instead, they target retailers, or they are the retailers.
Illegality is another issue affecting transparency and trust in the soy supply chains. In countries such as Brazil, one of the leading soy producers and a significant player in the global soy supply chain, some soy is grown illegally since people are not allowed to cut trees.
The logistics and transportation are also done secretly to avoid detection. This leads to the inability and unwillingness to disclose the production volumes and sources; hence, the soy produced in Brazil’s capacity may differ from the exact value.
- Why Need for Transparency and Trust?
Accountability and Statistical Verification
Various soy production and supply agencies annually release data and statistics about soy products. These statistics include the central production region, volume produced, major consumers, markets, etc. Such statistics can only be compiled when all the data sources are reliable.
These statistics are critical for measuring soy production and supply chain activities against other crops. It is ideal for comparison with other protein products globally. Once all these statistics are understood, the world can make critical decisions such as increasing production and adopting it as an ideal protein replacement.
The data is critical for agencies fighting global hunger to rely on when advising on sustainable nutrition and reliance on plant protein.
Soy is one of the crops with major impacts on the global economy, environment, and other societal aspects. Environmentally, soy is considered one of the causes of environmental degradation in areas such as the Amazon due to the impacts of deforestation. The clearing of land to create soy plantations is devastating to the environment and sustainability.
Due to the impact, the world needs statistics about trees cleared for soy planting reasons. This will help communicate the exact impact on the environment within Amazon. Other noticeable activities, such as gold mining in Amazon, lead to deforestation; however, many blame soy.
Soy is also considered one of the crops promoting global sustainability and reducing ozone gasses. As a potential replacement for animal replacement, soy can prevent extensive animal farming, leading to environmental impacts.
This includes animal destruction of vegetation and grassland, leading to dusty air and atmospheric debris. Animal farming is also one of the leading sources of methane; hence soy helps reduce the methane gasses in the atmosphere.
The other impact of soy is on the economy. This includes reduced protein food prices, easy access to proteins, and an increased number of retailers. Full statistics such as volumes sold, purchase frequency, and preference of soy over other proteins are needed for such assessments.
Registering an increase in uptake and the number of retailers is also necessary. Since it is hailed as an ideal animal protein replacement, consumption volumes must be captured to show increased uptake over animal protein.
- How to Boost Trust and Transparency
Targeting Key and Relevant Data Sources
From these statistics, the government, major soy supply chain players, and non-governmental agencies can enforce various policies about soy to curb its negative environmental impacts, promote sustainable practices and increase consumption among people for balanced diet needs.
These statistics must focus on the key areas of the supply chain to enable effective decision-making about the use of soy. When enforcing measures to prevent deforestation, relevant agencies must capture data about destruction and monitor the ongoing practices and the potential damage done.
These measures would require targeting farmers, soy producers, and logistics companies.
Enforcing trust and transparency policies will require a global supply chain and systems that cover everyone. The system should cover all producers, retailers, processors, and logistics services. This will help in data collection from major players in the industry who are mostly ignored or not considered ideal data sources.
This will also involve streamlined coordination between governmental and private sector agencies to capture and disclose all the relevant data.
Incentive-Driven Data Collection
In collecting data, there must also be incentives to encourage farmers and massive players to disclose and share their data with relevant agencies. This should also cover logistics companies which must all provide the cargo volumes related to soy products, destinations, and sources.
Notably, this process is called mapping, and it involves capturing all the stages to determine their impact on the global supply chain.
Awareness initiatives are necessary for major players to understand the impacts of the global soy supply chain. The related agencies and significant players can release data and education about the farming effects in regions such as Brazil.
With the information, companies can focus on the benefits of data collection to help determine effective corrective measures. Through engagement, the supply chain players will be willing to share data and contribute to corrective measures.
Streamlining and improving soy supply chain trust and transparency involves using incentives, streamlined systems, and cloud and digital technologies to collect relevant market data. The focus should be mapping the supply chain to target key players and collecting all the relevant data from them.
With all the accurate and relevant data, companies can understand the soy global impact and deal with environmental challenges and other issues.