Woodpecker – a Digital Solution for Sourcing and Tracing Wood in Laos
'Woodpecker' has been designed by KIAG following a joint specification workshop with Burapha and PEFC in Vientiane, Laos.
The application’s principal purpose is to promote sustainable practices in Lao timber chain by tracking volumes of different wood species (Teak, Rubber, Eucalyptus, Acacia) and associated sustainability claims (Lao, Verified, Controlled, Certified) through the local value chain. This will avoid the creation of counterfeit claims and the introduction of wood from unknown sources. Deliveries of wood are thus documented in a protected and closed digital CoC, tracked and photographed in order to avoid misallocations or replacements of wood. Through this digital protocol of all wood transactions and their origin Burapha can detect any irregularities in their local supply chain and will build a stronger and more transparent linkage to wood producers in their sourcing area. Woodpecker also provides automated value estimations of different wood types based on variety, grade and dimensions. This helps small scale plantation owners and producers to value their wood appropriately and to benefit from sustainable logging practices.
Woodpecker is a browser-based application operated on mobile devices and desktop computers featuring off-line functionality. The application’s principal purpose is to serve as a market match- making platform which connects smallholders, traders and final buyers in the Lao timber value chain. Wood volumes entering the chain are tracked by different species (currently Teak, Rubber, Eucalyptus, Acacia) and associated sustainability and legality claims (Lao, Verified, Controlled, Certified) through the local value chain to avoid the creation of counterfeit claims and the introduction of wood from unknown sources.
In the following we will give insight into the main functionalities provided by the solution.
Wood volumes enter the system through Sales Propositions made by Farmers. Those Farmers usually are small-scale producers growing timber together with other crops.
Entering volumes into the system allows them to offer and assign timber consignments to Traders. Traders are likewise registered in the system.
If the Farmer decides to assign a Sales Proposition to a particular Trader, this Trader can make a purchase which is documented in the system based on a contracting procedure.
Each Trader, thereby, generates a digital stock of wood volumes and associated claims which can be sold onwards to Buyers such as Burapha, using Wood Movements integrated into the Woodpecker solution. The Buyers are wood processors and exporters thus acquiring wood with defined legality claims and traceable origin.
Deliveries of wood are thus documented in a protected and closed digital CoC, tracked and photographed in order to avoid misallocations or replacements of wood from unknown sources.
Both Farmers and Traders electronically confirm that the information they provide is adequate and correct. Legal documentation for plantations, certificates and contracts is uploaded into the system.
Timber Value Estimation
Woodpecker also provides automated value estimations of different wood sales based on variety, grade and dimensions. This calculation is based on wood value figures contained in the system which are updated regularly by the system owner. This helps Farmers to price their wood appropriately and to not sell under value. Farmers are of course free to propose their own price, independently of the value calculated by the system.
Through this digital workflow all stakeholders of the wood supply chain do experience benefits:
The Farmer has the possibility to offer wood consignments to a whole range of Traders operating in the region. There is no limitation anymore to one given trader (trader lock-in).
When proposing consignments, the Farmer is supported in estimating the value attached and thus protected from selling below market value.
Both Farmer and Trader have the possibility to refer to the contract concluded.
The Trader is offered improved sourcing possibilities, allowing access to a wider range of producers.
All stocks and movements are maintained automatically for the Trader
For both the Farmer and Buyer the system generates high transparency and ensures that claims put forward really are valid.
The Buyer has an electronic book keeping tool of wood receipts and reasons for refusal at the saw mill.
The CoC of claims attached to the wood is maintained by the system and can be validated subsequently.
Hence storing and following up all documentation, legality claims, sustainability and wood transactions, Burapha can detect any irregularities in their local supply chain and will build a stronger and more transparent linkage to wood producers in their sourcing area, thus satisfying requirements of export markets.