January 20, 2021

Brazilian soy companies commit to zero deforestation


Brazilian soy traders CJ Selecta, Caramuru, and Imcopa have committed to a zero deforestation policy in their supply chains, putting the pressure on major commodity traders to fast-track their environmental commitments, Reuters reported.


The companies' pledge involves a ban on trading soy that has been grown on all Brazilian deforested land from August 2020 onwards. This is beyond a previous agreement between these companies that only covered the Amazon rainforest.


Patricia Sugui, CJ Selecta's sustainability manager, said the three companies are promoting soy sustainability and their pledge "is an answer to demands of civil society". The three companies mainly supply the salmon industry in Norway.


This sustainability commitment is the first among Brazilian soy suppliers, adding pressure on major commodity traders like Cargill and Bunge which exported 5.6 million tonnes of soymeal in 2020 or 23% of total exports.


Cargill said they applaud the initiative of the three companies. Bunge said they are committed to remove deforestation from their supply chains by 2025, the earliest deadline in the industry.


In December, Abiove, a Brazilian oilseeds crushers' group, said it is unfeasible to set 2020 as a cut-off date to ban deforestation and land conversion for soybean areas in the Cerrado savanna, a major hub for Brazil's soy. Cargill and Bunge are part of Abiove.


Caramuru said it will use satellite and government data to enforce their commitment. They exported 817,000 tonnes of soymeal last year.


The Rainforest Foundation Norway said the move by the three companies means the entire European salmon industry will source soy from Brazilian suppliers with 100% deforestation-free soybean value chains.


- Reuters