Satellite data for managing supply chain risk


Sainsbury’s has been working to understand adaptation, management and mitigation for sustainability and climate change within its supply chains. 3Keel managed an Innovate UK-funded project, testing the opportunity for satellite data to be used to better understand issues facing stone fruit production in South Africa.

3Keel managed the project for Sainsbury’s, working closely with suppliers Mack and Chingfords, Esri UK for mapping services and with researchers from Leeds University and Imperial College London. Sainsbury’s sells over 10 000 products from over 2000 suppliers and produced by 10 000’s farmers across the globe. The aim of the project was to develop a methodology to assess multiple risks – climatic, environmental, social and others – that could be applied to all of Sainsbury’s agricultural supply chains.

During the project, the team developed a step-by-step methodology for understanding supply chain risks. They systematically recorded product/crop vulnerabilities for different growing regions across a 12-month cycle to inform which data sets were required, before compiling a database of publicly available satellite data. These data were queried for specific fruit-growing locations in South Africa for temperature conditions, and validated against weather station recordings. The next steps are for the lessons learned and overall methodology to be passed to category teams, to support ongoing aims for strategic supply chain planning.

Project lead

Simon Miller

3Keel are a valued partner. We rely on the quality of their thinking, approach to problem solving and the outputs they consistently deliver.

Stuart Lendrum – Head of Sustainable & Ethical Sourcing, Sainsbury’s