January 12, 2023: IRES Faculty Seminar with Patrick Meyfroidt (First Seminar of Term 2)

Traceability and Transparency for Improving the Sustainability of Commodity Supply Chains

Time: 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Location: Beaty Museum Theatre (2212 Main Mall)

[Coming soon] Click here to register in advance to receive a Zoom link.

Zoom Rule: If we encounter technical difficulties during the first 5 to 10 mins of the seminar, Zoom will be terminated.

No food or drinks allowed in the Theatre.

Talk summary:

Sustainability impacts of commodity production such as agriculture and mining activities are associated to complex and often opaque supply chains connecting producers to consumers across the globe.

Here, I will present our work, in particular as part of the Trase initiative trase.earth, to improve traceability, i.e. the capacity to a certain flow of products across the supply chain, and transparency, i.e. the public disclosure of that information, of supply chains. We combine production, logistical infrastructure, customs and other data to map supply chains from subnational sourcing to importing countries, identify actors operating the supply chain (in particular traders), and attribute the associated sustainability impacts such as deforestation.I will present insights on supply chains including soy and beef from Brazil, and cocoa from Ivory Coast, and discuss key lessons in how improving traceability and transparency can be key to designing, implementing and monitoring governance interventions to improve the sustainability of commodity supply chains.

Dr. Patrick Meyfroidt, Visiting Professor at IRES


Patrick Meyfroidt holds a PhD in geography (2009) and a degree in sociology from Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) in Belgium. Since 2016 he is Research Associate at the F.R.S-FNRS (the Belgian Research Funds) and Professor at UCLouvain.

His research focuses on how land use and more broadly land systems can contribute to sustainability.  He is visiting UBC (Liu Institute – SPPGA & IRES) from August 2022 to July 2023.