Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Nestlé Aim To End Deforestation In Brazil
A group of 23 major international retailers and food companies have signed a letter supporting the 'Cerrado Manifesto', which aims to end deforestation from agriculture in one ecoregion of Brazil.
Cerrado is an area of tropical savannah in the South American country, which is home to many species that do not exist anywhere else, but has been increasingly used for agriculture in recent years.
The group of companies, which includes Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Nestlé and Walmart, says that it is committed to halting the forest loss associated with agricultural commodity production in the area, and protecting natural landscapes.
The letter says that the businesses 'recognise the critical importance of the Cerrado for its role in climate-change mitigation, as a repository for biodiversity, as the source of many of Brazil’s fresh-water systems, and, additionally, as a production region for the agricultural commodities used in our products'.
According to Carrefour, the percentage of agricultural land in Cerrado increased by 87% between 2000 and 2014, which is 'threatening its economic, social and environmental richness'.
The increasing cultivation is being fuelled by soya production, much of which is exported to Europe and elsewhere.
"We are making a commitment to help protect the Cerrado, which is Brazil's second-largest biome, after the Amazon," added Jan Ernst de Groot, chief legal officer at Ahold Delhaize.
"This is a key step toward developing sustainable sourcing strategies in partnership with local and international stakeholders," he continued.
The two-page letter outlines that current regulations are insufficient for the protection of the Cerrado area, and calls on governments, investors and society to help establish change.
It concludes that the 23 companies 'seek to collaborate to develop the policies needed to steer all actors towards a more sustainable land-use pathway, and the monitoring and verification systems to give us confidence that our actions are having the desired outcome of protecting the unique landscape of the Cerrado'.
The full list of signatories includes Ahold Delhaize, Ajinomoto, Carrefour, Colgate-Palmolive, the Co-operative Group, ICA Gruppen, IKEA Food Services, Sainsbury's, Kellogg's, Lidl UK, L'Oréal, Mars, McDonald's, Metro, Marks & Spencer, Nando's, Nestlé, Nutreco, NorgesGruppen, Tesco, Unilever, Waitrose and Walmart.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.