Brazilian soy traders CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Imcopa have committed to zero deforestation in their respective supply chains, adding pressure on larger traders to accelerate environmental commitments.
Their pledge involves a ban on trading soy grown on land deforested after August 2020 in all of Brazil, going beyond a previous agreements among traders that only applied to the Amazon rainforest.
Patricia Sugui, CJ Selecta's sustainability manager, said the three are part of a group promoting soy sustainability, adding the move to eradicate deforestation from supply chains immediately "is an answer to demands of civil society." The three companies mostly supply Norway's salmon industry.
Their commitment is the first of its kind for Brazilian soy suppliers, putting pressure on larger players such as Cargill and Bunge, which exported 5.6 million tonnes of soymeal last year, representing 23% of the total, shipping data show.
"We applaud this initiative by Caramuru, CJ Selecta and Imcopa to protect the Brazilian environment and wildlife outside the salmon value chain," Cargill told Reuters.
'The Earliest Deadline'
Bunge said in a statement it has committed to eliminate legal deforestation from all of its supply chains by 2025, "the earliest deadline in the industry."
In December, Brazilian oilseeds crushers' group Abiove, which also represents Cargill and Bunge, said it was "not feasible" to set 2020 as a cut-off date to ban new deforestation and land conversion for soybean areas in the Cerrado savanna, where most of Brazil's soy is grown.
Abiove did not have an reply to a request for comment.
Caramuru, which exported 817,000 tonnes of soymeal in 2020, said it will use satellite and government data to enforce the commitment.
The move means the entire European salmon sector will source soy from Brazilian suppliers whose soybean value chains are 100% deforestation-free, the Rainforest Foundation Norway said on Thursday.
Sugui said Norway, a key market for CJ Selecta, was the first country in which the initiative was publicized.