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SXSW Eco: From Cell Phones to Satellites - Tech Tools for More Sustainable Palm Oil

Tools to create a more efficient and transparent oil palm tracking system with lower impacts on forests and communities.

Producing palm oil is a complicated business. After growing, harvesting, milling, shipping, refining, distributing and finally incorporating it into consumer products, it can be incredibly difficult to track what happened along the way.

Different organizations have different definitions of sustainability, different standards as guidelines, and different values - from workers rights, to environmental impact and carbon emissions - so even discussing the issues presents unique challenges. Like so many industries, creating a more efficient system with lower impacts on forests and communities requires greater transparency from start to finish.

How do basic technologies such as sensors and cell phones stack up against advances in satellite tracking and sophisticated mapping? What technologies are having the greatest impact and what is next on the horizon?

Speakers

  • Rhett Butler, Founder, Mongabay.com
  • Crystal Davis, Director, Global Forest Watch, World Resources Institute
  • Colin Lee, Director of Corporate Affairs, Cargill Tropical Palm Holdings
  • Christine McGrath, VP Internal Affairs, CGA External Affairs, Mondelez International
  • Gemma Tillack, Agribusiness Campaign Director, Rainforest Action Network

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