US-based GeoPoll has partnered with agricultural inspection and safety service provider Control Union to utilise mobile surveys to engage and educate smallholder farmers in Africa
GeoPoll provides technology for data collection, using mobile platforms for surveys.
According to the partnership, Control Union will use the data gathered via GeoPoll to connect with rural farming communities to educate, certify and link them to a global marketplace through its network of inspection operations, dedicated laboratories and independent worldwide cargo surveying.
Roxana Elliott, director of communications at GeoPoll, said that the idea of the partnership is to bring increased transparency to food supply chains globally with a focus on key products such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, fruits, vegetables, palm oil, rice and tobacco.
“Right now, it is very difficult to reach smallholder farmers and those in the surrounding communities to ensure social compliance. International exporters and suppliers want this information so they can buy from smallholder farms with the knowledge that they are engaging in suitable business practices,” added Elliott.
The surveys are meant to allow commercial organisations including suppliers, exporters and governments to monitor compliance with standard food safety practices and help ensure farmers operate ethically and adhere to set policies regarding issues such as employee rights, child labour and suitable work conditions, noted the director.