AWS for Industries

Cropin increases visibility in the CPG value chain

For consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, increased visibility into the value chain can help them meet rising consumer expectations as well as comply with standards, certifications, and regulatory requirements. Compliance can also create new opportunities in terms of access to new overseas markets and revenue streams. Because CPG companies sell a wide range of products to consumers, there are several challenges they face in achieving value chain transparency, including supply chain complexity, fragmented data, and inconsistent data sharing.

Accelerating progress in the agriculture ecosystem

Many CPG companies procure raw materials from a huge network of farmers with small disparate farms located over a large area, notably in developing countries. Oftentimes these companies invest a large amount of time and money sending field agents to manually monitor the health of the crop.

This is where Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Cropin comes in.

Cropin partnered with AWS to build the first scalable and secure Intelligent Agriculture Cloud to help CPG companies digitize their operations. Through applications like Cropin Connect (AcreSquare) and Cropin Trace (RootTrace), CPG Companies can gather timely and accurate data from the field. This field data is:

The digitization of farms through a farm management solution suite eliminates the need for manual checks and intervention, enabling a 360-degree monitoring of farms on a near real-time basis. And with AWS’s cloud capabilities, Cropin can scale rapidly to onboard thousands of farmers to the platform. Data-driven insights passed on to the farmers throughout cultivation ensure that the produce is of the highest quality and protected against diseases and pests that could otherwise damage the crop.

Using technology in agriculture facilitates near real-time monitoring of plots under cultivation, allowing stakeholders to spot any anomalies early on, so corrective measures can be taken before any anomalies spread to the entire field. Cropin’s traceability solution harnesses the data collected at every point of crop production to increase transparency and visibility over farm operations. Producers can effectively monitor and regulate specific parameters that impact the environment, the safety and welfare of laborers, and the quality of yield.

Figure 1 – Cropin PlotRisk Dashboard showing plot parameters

Figure 1 – Cropin PlotRisk Dashboard showing plot parameters

Figure 2 – Cropin Disease Early Warning Forecast for potatoes covering about a 6 ½ month period

Figure 2 – Cropin Disease Early Warning Forecast for potatoes covering about a 6 ½ month period

Cropin’s technologies can help accelerate the adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), an approach that helps guide actions to transform agri-food systems toward green and climate resilient practices. CSA supports reaching internationally agreed goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. It aims to tackle three main objectives:

  1. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes.
  2. Adapting and building resilience to climate change.
  3. Reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions.

Reaping the benefits of Cropin technology

Developed with the vision to “maximize per acre value” for every stakeholder in the agri-value chain, Cropin technology delivers enterprise-grade performance for its clients and partners. Here’s how partners such as PepsiCo India, Unilever, and Loacker are driving transparency in the CPG value chain and leveraging the latest in technology to stay ahead of the agricultural curve.

PepsiCo India, through its Lay’s brand, announced a crop and plot-level predictive intelligence model to help farmers maximize potato yields while ensuring product quality through functional dashboards on user-friendly mobile apps. Launched in collaboration with Cropin, this initiative is a part of PepsiCo’s “precision agriculture” model for India and is being implemented as a pilot project in demo farms in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The knowledge that farmworkers gain through training and advisories empowers them to minimize improper or excessive use of agrochemicals and become better equipped to manage pests and crop disease.

Unilever field teams used Cropin’s SmartFarm Plus mobile app to support coconut farmers in Indonesia to increase their yields in a way that is kinder to the environment. When Unilever’s field teams visit farmers in the areas where they buy coconut sugar from, they update the app with information about the farms. For example, they check for how mature the trees are, any issues they are facing, and productivity levels. The app then gathers the data to provide location-specific advice that the teams share with farmers. In this way, Unilever can track how much coconut sugar they are likely to receive, strengthening the resilience of Unilever’s supply chain. More importantly, this helped smallholder farmers become more resilient, improve their harvests and better care for their land.

Loacker deployed Cropin’s farm digitization and traceability apps, Cropin SmartFarm Plus and Cropin RootTrace to meet its objectives of quality and sustainability in hazelnut production. With features such as geotagging farm plots, monitoring input usage, weather, pest, and diseases advisory, Cropin SmartFarm Plus was able to help the brand digitize, manage, and monitor their farms. This helped Loacker improve data capture accuracy and make data-driven decisions leading to increased productivity and profitability. With the help of Cropin’s RootTrace solution, each stakeholder in the supply chain can add production details pertaining to their scope of operations, making end-to-end traceability possible for the end-product.

Scalable solutions for a global footprint

By digitizing farm operations from farm to fork, Cropin is helping organizations leverage near real-time data and actionable insights. Not only does this help businesses make more effective decisions, but it helps businesses comply with (and be transparent about) the standards, certifications, and regulatory requirements that consumers want to see. The geo-location of the farms, details of farm workers, protocols for workplace safety and employee welfare, and other relevant information can also be accessed by authorized users to prepare reports specifically for certification purposes, such as GLOBALG.A.P. or FairTrade. This significantly reduces the time and effort required for compliance needs.

Governments, NGOs, and other key stakeholders can leverage Cropin’s AI/ML-powered engine to map historical land usage on satellite-imaging data. Corporations can benefit from this intelligence to verify claims of sustainable production and make the right decisions to source from farms that do not have a negative impact on the environment.

With Cropin’s mobile app, organizations can register each farmer to enable the organization to verify that no child or forced laborers are employed on the farms. Certifications for sustainably produced products can now fetch a premium price, which can improve incomes and livelihoods for farmers.

Interested in digitizing your operations? Learn more about AWS Partner Cropin and how its interconnected data platform is helping companies solve their most complex agricultural challenges.

Partner Spotlight

Cropin is an Earth Observation & AI-led AgTech organization that empowers the farming community to ‘Re-imagine Agriculture with Data’. CropIn is positioned to engage in a multi-disciplinary approach towards AI, Earth Observation, Agriculture, Meteorology and Computer Sciences, all collaborating together to bring meaningful insight to improve the ag-ecosystem and impact the livelihood of a farmer.

Madeline Steiner

Madeline Steiner

Madeline Steiner leads Amazon Web Services’ Retail & CPG worldwide strategy and thought leadership for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Solutions. In partnership with the AWS Retail and CPG leadership teams, Madeline works to shape and deliver go-to-market strategies and innovative partner solutions for consumer enterprises looking for guidance on how to integrate environmental and social initiatives into their business operations. Madeline has 8+ years of experience in retail and retail technology, including 5 years of merchandising and fashion product development roles at Gap, Inc., and 3 years in customer success at Trendalytics, a consumer intelligence platform for data-driven product decisions.

Kevin E. McCurdy

Kevin E. McCurdy

Kevin E. McCurdy is global CPG segment lead at APN for AWS, responsible for identifying and engaging relationships with strategic ISV and SI Partners. Previously, he served as VP of demand signal management at E2open; was cofounder and VP of strategic accounts for Orchestro, which was later acquired by E2open; and was also cofounder and VP of business development and services at Mercari Technologies. McCurdy has over 25 years of experience in supply chain management, category management, and demand signal management, working with global CPG companies and retailers, including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Kraft-Heinz. He holds a BSc in business logistics and international business from Penn State.