Learning Journey on Palm Oil, Coconut and Rice Supply Chains


Client: Sustainable Food Lab

Location: South Sumatra, Indonesia


In January of 2013 STC Indonesia assisted the Sustainable Food Lab of Hartland Vermont in creating a Learning Journey for the sustainability team of one of the largest food companies in the world.  The intention was to give the sustainability managers an experience within the supply chains of palm oil, rice and coconut that would deepen their understanding and stimulate new thinking on how they could impact these supply chains in positive ways.  The participants had a chance to study the systems closely and to engage in dialogue with various stakeholders who were part of the system or had important perspectives on it.  For this 8 day experience STC Indonesia arranged for the sites to visit and the stakeholders to speak to who could offer the most insight into the complexities of the supply chains and their social and environmental impacts.


The Learning Journey offered a way to see and experience aspects of the palm oil, rice and coconut supply chains that are complex and not easily understood.  The goal was to help participants “see” the supply chains through new eyes through dialogues with their colleagues during the journey as well as through the visits to various stakeholders.  The Journey  served several purposes.  Participants ;

  • Gained an understanding of the “whole system” and their role within it.
  • Experienced the periphery of the system because that is the place where the most rapid innovation and change occurs.
  • Engaged with stakeholders; mapping and assessing stakeholder needs
  • Built more intuitive and holistic pictures of the system
  • Learned about the whole system from each other as well as from external stakeholders
  • Increased the capacity to innovate
  • Extended the client team network beyond the traditional boundaries
  • Built their team by creating a shared language and understanding based in a common experience.