Fair & Smart Data Spearhead

Close the information gap between consumers and farmers in the Global South, by developing a methodology for converting data into suitable information for end-users of an online platform.

The Project

The Project

Do you want to contribute to a better life for smallholder farmers in the Global South and the sustainability of their farming practices? Then join us at the Fair & Smart Data spearhead in developing our online platform.

Considering data availability, the existing scientific literature, the socio-economic realities and environmental issues of small-scale farming, we would like you to help us improve the traceability of supply chains and provide structural solutions for smallholder farmers.

Your team work will include the following tasks:

  • Developing a practical model for analysing the value distribution in a supply chain of an agricultural commodity;
  • Defining a set of requirements and tools for implementing traceability and transparency in global supply chains (what data and tools are necessary? What are the obstacles and bottlenecks in the process?);
  • Defining a clear methodology for determining a liveable wage/income for smallholders farmers in the Global South;
  • Specifying the essential ecological indicators and benchmarks to evaluate the environmental impact of cultivating a commodity at farm-level;
  • Summarising the research work and results of the project team in an easy-to-read report and clear oral presentation for the client.


In this project, the focus is on “discovering something new”

The Client

The Client

Fair & Smart Data (FSD) is one of the three spearheads created by SBE at Maastricht University in 2021. The spearheads focus on societal challenges related to Sustainable Development, Digitalisation, and Globalisation. FSD combines these three focal points with an emphasis on sustainability, and where digitalisation is a way to innovate global value networks, making them smarter, fairer, and more sustainable, in particular in the interest of smallholder farmers in the Global South.

Within the FDS spearhead, we create a collaborative research and working environment for academics, practitioners, and students to provide a hands-on interdisciplinary learning experience and to increase the societal impact of our research output.

An important goal of FSD is to create an online platform that scrutinizes the sustainability and current value distribution in global supply chains.

The first application of this platform aims at informing consumers in the West about the living conditions of smallholder farmers in the Global South and the ecological footprint of their farming activities. However, the lack of transparency and traceability in global supply chains makes this ambition particularly challenging.

To circumvent this obstacle, the proposed project wants to close the information gap between consumers and farmers by developing a reliable methodology for converting several types of data (about supply chains, living income, ecological footprint, etc.) into suitable information for end-users of the online platform.

Co-Creator Client

This client might join the team for brainstorm sessions, meetings, and preparatory session. The co-creator is more actively involved in/during the project execution.