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Frequently asked questions

Please find the answers below to common questions. If you still have a question, please contact us using the contact form here

1. Who can purchase a CFI report? 

CFI signatories are encouraged to access CFI reports by the Ghana Forestry Commission as the system has been adopted by the Cocoa and Forests Initiative at the national level and developed to support CFI companies to report and comply with the CFI commitments. 

 

If you are a branded company without discrete supply chain locations, you are encouraged to expect this type of report within your contractual agreements with traders. 

 

2. What commodities are eligible? 

All crops and goods with deforestation risks exported from Ghana are eligible to be assessed by Ghana Forest Compliance. 

 

For cocoa, the CFI has officially adopted this service at the national level for CFI monitoring and signatories are encouraged to use it to report and comply with their CFI commitments. 

 

3. Why should our company purchase a CFI report?

You will receive a report that will enable you to: 

Report on (both internal and external) and comply with your commitments as a CFI signatory

Meet contractual requirements from clients who ask for evidence of reporting to CFI and other forest related indicators

Use authoritative, high quality data to improve decision making in your supply chain 

Be involved in stakeholder discussions at the national and regional level to improve the process, facilitated by Ghana Forest Compliance organizations 

 

4. What information is contained in the CFI Report and will it be public?

The CFI Report assesses your farms against 10 key indicators that correspond directly to CFI action plans. 

The report should be accompanied by a company statement explaining the numbers and what actions are being taken. An example report can be found in our sample. 

The reports generated for companies will not be made public

 

5. Is the RMSC’s National Land Use map suitable as a reference source for evidencing supply chain compliance?

Yes, the RMSC (Resource Management Support Centre of the Ghana Forestry Commission) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have developed the National Land-Use map and associated information over the past three years with support from the UK Space Agency. The Forestry Commission has a constitutional mandate to report on the state of the forest to the parliament and people of Ghana.  RMSC is the technical wing of the Forestry Commission with the mandate to assess, map and report on the state of Ghana’s forests. 

 

The map:

Covers the extent of Ghana’s commodities-forest landscape

Differentiates closed forest, open forest, agroforestry cocoa and unshaded cocoa and some other classes relevant for reporting progress on compliance with international forest laws and reporting to initiative objectives (such as the CFI)

Includes associated information on boundaries of protected areas including forest reserves, as well as admitted  farms and other areas needed for reporting

Has been independently assessed by experts drawn from academia, research and relevant stakeholders to be of high accuracy (presentation provided in accompanying materials)

Has been reviewed by local community and government 

Has a plan for periodic updates on local and larger scales

Is a core component of Ghana’s National Forest Monitoring System

Is consistent with / part of Ghana’s official Climate and Biodiversity reporting framework

 

You can access the data here.There are versions for 2019 and 2021. The Forestry Commission will update the map every 2 years. 

 

6. Why is the Ecometrica Mapping Platform being used?

The Ecometrica Mapping Platform is being used by the Forestry Commission as a tool within the National Forest Monitoring System to manage the distribution and use of geographic information by end-users in government and the private sector.

 

Ecometrica is partnering with the Forestry Commission, through RMSC and the Forests 2020 Project, to develop structures for forest monitoring and reporting, the platform is one of these structures. 

 

The platform operates, using data generated by RMSC and others. It allows RMSC to control access to the cocoa-forest map and other geographic information to ensure that users are:

Using the correct version of the product within any reporting period

Querying the map layers correctly and consistently

Generating summary reports correctly and consistently

 

The platform allows users to view and query RMSC (and other) data layers in an application where their own data is kept secure, confidential and easily managed. It allows users to efficiently generate the reports needed for commodities compliance reporting and other purposes.

 

The platform has a permission system that allows users to define who within their organization should have access. It also records activity on the system for audit purposes.

 

The platform has been thoroughly user-tested by RMSC and KNUST over the past three years and shown to be reliable.

 

Further information on the security of the system is provided in the accompanying materials.

 

7. What data will be needed from commodity companies and will it be kept confidential?

The essential data needed from trading organisations is the location, preferably the boundaries, of the farms supplying you within a reporting period. You may wish to add additional data to these boundaries, such as categories of farms, production information that will allow you to generate additional reports and analysis, or to provide a report to a buyer. However, these are not needed for reporting to the Forestry Commission. If your organisation is participating in off-farm forest restoration activities, please also provide the boundaries of those areas. 

 

Your data will be kept confidential and only accessible to authorised users within your organisation and those to whom you give permission to access. A non-disclosure agreement template is provided with the accompanying materials and should be  completed as part of the setup process.

 

8. Can we use our own or other mapping data on the system?

Official summary reports must be generated using the RMSC National Land-Use Map. If you have additional map data for certain areas you are welcome to use this for internal purposes and comparisons between different map products may be discussed at the stakeholder consultation stage of the process.


 

9. Will the system generate alerts for land use change?

The monitoring and reporting system is able to incorporate change detection based alerts from various sources and this is expected to develop over time. However, the emphasis at this stage is to generate periodic reports on progress towards compliant commodities sourcing and other relevant initiatives (such as the CFI).


 

10. What if we purchase our cocoa from 3rd parties who do not disclose farm locations to us?

If you purchase cocoa from a CFI signatory trader you are able to request a summary report from them in your supplier contract, covering all or a sub-set of their supply that relates to your production.

 

If you want to double check results, you can purchase a report at a regional level - Ecometrica can supply proxy farm locations if you do not have a suitable dataset. 

11. What is the recommended data format? 

To facilitate quick generation of your supply chain compliance report we ask to share your data in either spreadsheet or ESRI Shapefile formats. An example of simulated  farm data where the farm locations are represented as points and the data are shared as a spreadsheet is shown in TABLE 1.

TABLE 1 - the green colour-coded columns are mandatory to extract the CFI report while yellow colour-coded columns are optional. Additionally the “name” column should include unique values.


An example of simulated farm data where the farm locations are represented as polygons and shared as an ESRI shapefile is shown in TABLE 2

 

TABLE 2 - the green colour-coded column “name” is mandatory and should be populated by unique values while yellow colour-coded columns are optional. Notice how latitude and longitude columns are now missing due to the farms polygon representation being held in the ESRI Shapefile

 

We have controlled the quality of the data for a wide range of commodities in the past and we find that duplicate records cause significant delays. For example having more than two records with all the column values the same - example below

 

Having duplicate coordinate pairs (e.g. in the case of farms being represented as points) and having unique values in the “name” column - example below

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