Ramping Up Pressure on ADM & Bunge’s Board to Cut Off Deforestation 

Shareholders at two of the world’s largest agribusiness companies- ADM and Bunge- have filed shareholder proposals calling for transformational changes to end destruction of native ecosystems and related human rights abuses in those companies’ soy supply chains. Mighty Earth has been campaigning for years to hold these companies accountable for stopping deforestation and is calling on ADM and Bunge’s Board to immediately implement the practices necessary to address concerns brought forth by these shareholder proposals.  

ADM and Bunge are two leading agribusinesses, supplying many parts of the world with ingredients such as soy and grains. Many of these ingredients come from farms that cleared large swaths of land to plant industrial crops to export around the world. Both ADM and Bunge made commitments in 2015 to stop further deforestation and related human rights abuses associated with their supply chains. However numerous analyses from Mighty Earth and other leading organizations have found that both companies are failing to fulfil these pledges, particularly in their soy supply chains. Mighty Earth analysis through our Rapid Response program found that out of the major soy exporters, Bunge had the second-largest amount of deforestation in Brazil associated with its soy supply chain between March 2019 and November 2020, and data from Trase shows that Bunge’s total deforestation risk was 51 percent higher than any other soy trader in 2018. Meanwhile ADM had over 6,000 hectares of clearance detected in Brazil through Rapid Response cases in the same time period and nearly all of the clearance is potentially illegal- Similarly, Trase found ADM to have the fourth-highest deforestation risk in 2018 of all soy traders  in Brazil.  

Mighty Earth is working around the world to urge action from ADM and Bunge to stop deforestation. In Europe, Mighty Earth is working with policy makers, the financial sector, and supermarkets across Europe and the UK to develop policies that require soy suppliers to mitigate destruction of native ecosystems. Just two months ago, Mighty Earth helped mobilize a sprawling coalition of some of the world’s largest companies – including McDonalds, Walmart, and Unilever – in sending a letter to ADM, Bunge and other agribusinesses calling on them to stop dealing soy tied to the destruction of the Brazilian Cerrado. In France, Mighty Earth is driving supermarkets to comply with the Duty of Vigilance Law, requiring companies address their environmental and social impacts. As a result, we helped convened the French Zero Deforestation Soy Manifesto, signed by all the largest supermarkets in France, committing them to eliminating deforestation in their soy supply chains 

Groupe LDC, Europe’s largest poultry company, recently joined this effort following campaign pressure from French NGO partner Canopée and Mighty Earth, agreeing to eliminate purchases of soy grown on land cleared after 2020. Banks are following suit, with BNP pledging to stop financing companies linked to deforestation for either soy or beef following campaign pressure from Reclaim Finance, Mighty Earth and other French civil society groups.  

We are also putting pressure on ADM and Bunge’s board members directly to support the shareholder proposal. Our LinkedIn ad campaign targeting staff at both ADM and Bunge urging support for the shareholder proposal that has drawn views from more than 6,623 employees, and our petition has gathered 60,000 signatures so far. We have also sent letters to Board members highlighting the evidence of their companies’ involvement in deforestation and requesting meetings to discuss solutions.  

It is time for ADM and Bunge to fulfil their promises to end the destruction of native ecosystems and related human rights abuses caused by their soy supply chains.  

We are joining shareholders in calling on the Board of Directors at both companies to ensure no-deforestation sourcing policies are immediately implemented and enforced.