Global food company Nestlé is set to implement a satellite-based service for monitoring its palm oil supply chains worldwide.

Called Starling, the service is a global verification system that uses a combination of high-resolution radar and optical satellite imagery to provide unbiased year-round monitoring of land cover changes and forest cover disturbances.

It was developed by Airbus and The Forest Trust (TFT) to identify deforestation issues and create greater transparency, inclusiveness, direct supply chain engagement and capacity building throughout the palm oil supply chain.

The service is expected to help accelerate Nestlé’s plans to reach its No Deforestation commitment by 2020.

Nestlé’s executive vice-president and operations head Magdi Batato said: “Nestlé has always been committed to sourcing the raw materials we need to make our products in a responsible manner.

“Nestlé has always been committed to sourcing the raw materials we need to make our products in a responsible manner.”

“In 2010, we made a No Deforestation commitment stating that all our products globally will not be associated with deforestation by 2020. In order to accelerate this journey, we have worked with Airbus and TFT since mid-2016 to embark on a pilot project over the Perak landscape in Malaysia.”

Using the radar and optical satellite imagery data captured by Starling, companies will be able to manage risks and perform field intervention strategies.

Batato further added: “Starling satellite monitoring is a game changer to achieve transparency in our supply chain and we are pleased to extend this collaboration to cover all of Nestlé’s global palm oil supply chains by the end of the year.

“We will also extend this programme to cover our pulp and paper supply chains next year, as well as soya at a later stage.”

Earlier this year, Nestlé announced that it intends to achieve 100% Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified sustainable palm oil by 2023.

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