Historic Futures

To make better products tomorrow, we must know where they come from today.

We make it possible for companies to collect and manage value chain data, from primary production to finished product and to communicate good practice to their customers.


Ask questions and get answers about products and value chains

Pre-register for String3

After more than 10 years in the field, we’re creating something new. If you’re struggling to find out where your products came from and how they got here, we want to talk to you.

What we are doing

Knowing where products come from and how they got here is important – to consumers, to companies, to regulators, and to the planet.

We've learnt that...

We make it possible for companies to collect and manage value chain data, from primary production to finished product and to communicate good practice to their customers.

We work with any product, anywhere in the value chain, and don't judge specifications ("organic", "Fair Trade", "GMO" etc.) Our mission is to create a framework to measure value chain performance rather than define what that performance should be.

It's not impossible

The lack of accurate and complete information about the history of individual products makes informed sourcing decisions and reliable product claims impossible.

We know that getting that information is hard to do, but it is possible - we’ve done it.

We are currently working on a new solution, researching radically improved mechanisms for increasing the scale and efficiency of value chain mapping. Reducing the cost, expanding the reach and improving the benefits for all.

Why should I care?

We believe that value chain maps can unlock real business value. Understanding a product’s history reduces risk and provides an important and powerful opportunity to create sustainable value.

We have a real opportunity here to extend our leadership in forest product certification by introducing innovative yet proven technology to improve integrity, speed and efficiency of the FSC certification scheme

Phil Guillery, Systems Integrity Director at FSC

Our mission

Our story

Over the last ten years we have worked with some of the world’s largest brands and retailers to collect accurate data about millions of items from thousands of businesses throughout hundreds of value chains - from finished product back to raw material.

We developed an online solution, called String, that allows organisations throughout the value chain to share selected information related to the products they make with the customers who buy them. Many organisations are using String 2 to manage their data right now.

We're now building String3, taking our learnings and experience of String to build something simpler and more focused on risk management.

Questions like "which country did the raw materials come from that are in my product?" are very difficult to answer - many people in many organisations need to be involved to get reliable answers.

String3 makes it simple - just ask your question to the organisation who supplied your product, and the system will do the rest - moving the question along, getting answers and keeping you informed of progress. Find out how to pre-register for String3.

We are delighted to have achieved formal certification for the ISO 27001 Information Security Management Systems standard. This certification demonstrates our commitment not only to the security and control of our customers’ data, but also our serious commitment to information security and safety of client data to our growing global customer base.

Meet the team

Get involved

We want to learn more about the challenges and opportunities you face with regards to mapping your value chains - what data you think is actually required, how often and why? We are reviewing the ‘state-of-the-art’, analysing the underlying requirements and elaborating the business cases. We would love to hear from you.

What information do you need about value chains?

Take our survey

Email us


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Our thinking

The power of algorithms & the case for String3

During the large-scale implementation of Historic Futures’ String2 technology we signed-up and trained users in more than 700 different organisations forming part of the global supply chain of a major UK brand. Towards the end of the project, we noticed a significant trend. If we prepared information for a String2 user that compared their use of the tool (more accurately, the performance of the organisation they worked for) with that of a relevant peer group, they became noticeably more motivated to improve.

Read The power of algorithms & the case for String3 in full