Supply Chain Meaning & Definition | EcoOnline US
Health & Safety Glossary

Supply Chain


What is a supply chain? 

A supply chain is a network of individuals and/or companies who are involved in making a product for a consumer. 

An example of a supply chain can be illustrated through looking at the product of a chocolate bar. The supply chain of a chocolate bar may include producers (who grow the raw materials), processors (who turn raw materials into something you can make chocolate from), logistics (who move the product through each stage of production), packaging, and marketing. 

There can be significant challenges within supply chains. These include high risk commodities, business concerns, supply chain risk, and traceability and mapping. 

supply chain monitoring

An example of a supply chain: Cocoa and Deforestation

Building on the previous example of a chocolate bar, let’s dive deeper into the potential challenges within supply chain monitoring. The raw material used to produce chocolate bars is cocoa. Global cocoa production relies almost entirely on 5 to 6 million smallholder farmers.  

A key issue associated with cocoa production is deforestation. This produces specific challenges that can span the globe and range from: 

  • ensuring all cocoa supplies are legally sourced rather than from illegal farms in protected areas
  • having the ability to efficiently and effectively monitor deforestation and encroachment of protected areas linked with cocoa production
  • the decline in available land suitable for cocoa cultivation due to climate change
  • the limited capacity to identify areas suitable for the future expansion and relocation of cocoa growing areas which do not lead to further deforestation 

How to overcome Supply Chain challenges?  

Now that we better understand the challenges, the key question is, how can they be overcome? 

A combination of precision satellite observation, on-the-ground information and existing business intelligence utilizes the best way forward for the three main stakeholder groups to communicate, collaborate, plan and execute a better forest management strategy for sustainable cocoa production.  

EcoOnline’s Supply Chain Monitoring solution gives your team the tools to break down silos in various regions of your supply chain. It also gives you the ability to obtain real-time supply chain threat monitoring and analysis of environmental risks on a global scale.  

Achieving supply chain compliance becomes less complicated when you have the tools to gain actionable insights using authoritative data. It also empowers you to make informed decisions to enhance your sustainability performance year after year. 

With EcoOnline’s software, you can gain a full analysis of supply chain threats and uncover any potential problem areas with robust supply chain monitoring.   

supply chain monitoring