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Victory! Sumitomo Corporation Withdraws from Matarbari 2 Coal Plant Project

March 1, 2022

On February 28, 2022, Sumitomo Corporation announced a revision to its climate policy closing the loophole to its "no new coal" pledge. That exception would have allowed the company to proceed with the proposed Matarbari 2 power plant (units 3& 4) in Bangladesh.

"We applaud Sumitomo's belated realization that the construction of new coal plants runs counter to any realistic climate change strategy,” stated Mighty Earth's Japan Director, Roger Smith. “As this week's IPCC report warns of the imminent impacts of climate change, Sumitomo needs to accelerate its adoption of non-biomass renewable energy, hasten the retirement of existing coal plants and transition away from all polluting fossil fuels," Smith continued.

Environmental organizations in Japan, Bangladesh and globally had criticized Sumitomo for its lead role overseeing construction of the Matarbari 1 coal plant (units 1 & 2) and called upon the company to not have any involvement in the planned Matarbari 2 coal power plant.

The Matarbari coal plants are relics from a different era, made increasingly obsolete by a glut of power capacity in Bangladesh, long delays and cost overruns, and the declining cost of renewable energy relative to expensive fossil fuel imports.

Mighty Earth exposed the controversy over these power plants in a report released to shareholders in advance of Sumitomo's annual general meeting in June 2021. A shareholder resolution by environmental NGO Market Forces called upon the trading company to align its policies with Paris Agreement goals and garnered the support of 20% of investors, holding $2.5 billion in Sumitomo shares.

Now attention turns to whether the Japanese government will still push forward with the project. Japanese NGOs have called upon the Japanese government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) not to move forward with financing for the project. Japan has faced international criticism that Matarbari 2 is inconsistent with last year's G7 leaders’ agreement to build no new coal plants, as well as a pending complaint at the US Securities and Exchange Commission against JICA’s inclusion of coal projects in JICA bonds marked as coal-free to investors.


Une nouvelle étude approfondie révèle que les principaux fabricants de chocolat n’ont pas tenu leur promesse de mettre fin à la déforestation

Le rapport Petites douceurs révèle que le cacao contribue encore à la destruction d’aires protégées et de l’habitat des chimpanzés et des éléphants, malgré les promesses faites il y a quatre ans par le secteur. 

Lire le rapport complet [FR]
Read the full report [EN]

14 février 2022 — Plus de quatre ans après le lancement très médiatisé de l’Initiative Cacao et Forêts (ICF), les principaux pays africains producteurs de cacao sont toujours confrontés à la destruction de vastes zones forestières au profit des plantations de cacao, indique une nouvelle analyse de données réalisée par Mighty Earth. Petites douceurs: Le secteur du chocolat n’a pas tenu sa promesse de mettre fin à la déforestation dans ses chaînes d’approvisionnement en cacao révèle que, même après la publication des plans de mise en œuvre par le secteur, la Côte d’Ivoire a perdu 19 421 hectares de forêt au sein des régions productrices de cacao, et le Ghana 39 497 hectares. En additionnant ces chiffres, on obtient une superficie équivalente à celle des villes de Madrid, Séoul ou Chicago. 

« Ce rapport dévoile une dimension peu ragoûtante du secteur du cacao et montre qu’il est urgent de rompre le lien unissant les produits chocolatés à la déforestation », a déclaré Glenn Hurowitz, directeur général de Mighty Earth, une organisation mondiale de plaidoyer qui œuvre pour la défense d’une planète vivante. « Les fabricants de chocolat tels que Nestlé, Hershey’s, Mondelēz et Mars doivent cesser de faire de vaines promesses et collaborer dès maintenant avec les gouvernements signataires de l’ICF pour mettre en place cette année un mécanisme conjoint ouvert et efficace de surveillance de la déforestation. »

Grâce à l’analyse de données satellitaires complétées par des enquêtes sur le terrain, Mighty Earth a pu démontrer que le défrichement des forêts tropicales pour la culture du cacao se poursuit. Il s’agit notamment de la déforestation dans des zones dites protégées qui constituent des habitats vitaux pour la faune sauvage menacée, notamment pour les chimpanzés et les hippopotames nains. Ces forêts sont également des puits de carbone indispensables pour freiner la crise climatique et la perte de biodiversité.

Les principales conclusions du rapport sont les suivantes :

  • Quatre ans et demi après l’engagement pris dans le cadre de l’ICF par les fabricants de chocolat et les gouvernements d’interdire la création de nouvelles exploitations de cacao, les taux de déforestation restent dans l’ensemble proches d’un niveau record ;
  • Dans ces régions productrices de cacao, la Côte d’Ivoire a perdu 19 421 hectares (ha) de forêts, soit 2 % de ses forêts, depuis que le plan d’action de l’ICF a été publié en janvier 2019, tandis que le Ghana a perdu une surface conséquente de 39 497 ha de forêts, avec un taux de déforestation vertigineux de 3,9 %. En combinant la superficie perdue de forêt tropicale pour ces deux pays, on obtiendrait une superficie équivalente à celle des villes de Madrid, Séoul ou Chicago.
  • Au Ghana, la perte de couvert forestier enregistrée en 2020 montrait qu’elle était 370 % plus élevée depuis janvier 2019 qu’elle ne l’a été entre 2001 et 2010, et 150 % plus importante que la perte de couvert forestier moyenne entre 2011 et 2019 ;
  • Pour la Côte d’Ivoire, la perte moyenne du couvert forestier a été 230 % plus élevée depuis janvier 2019 qu’elle ne l’a été entre 2001 et 2017, et 340 % plus élevée que la perte moyenne enregistrée au cours des années 2000 ;
  • La déforestation se poursuit dans l’ensemble des aires protégées de Côte d’Ivoire et du Ghana, et l’analyse des données satellitaires et les observations sur le terrain en Côte d’Ivoire menées par Mighty Earth révèlent que l’expansion de la culture du cacao joue un rôle majeur dans cet empiètement.

« Cette catastrophe peut être parfaitement évitée et aurait dû l’être depuis longtemps déjà. Pendant ce temps, les forêts continuent de disparaître, la faune sauvage meurt et les communautés souffrent », a déclaré Souleymane Fofana, coordinateur général du Regroupement des acteurs ivoiriens des droits humains (RAIDH). « La filière cacao dispose des mêmes outils et de bien plus de ressources que Mighty Earth pour surveiller et prévenir la déforestation, mais le manque de volonté et de transparence reste le principal obstacle aux avancées. »

Les principales conclusions du rapport sont les suivantes :

  • Quatre ans et demi après l’engagement pris dans le cadre de l’ICF par les fabricants de chocolat et les gouvernements d’interdire la création de nouvelles exploitations de cacao, les taux de déforestation restent dans l’ensemble proches d’un niveau record ;
  • Dans ces régions productrices de cacao, la Côte d’Ivoire a perdu 19 421 hectares (ha) de forêts, soit 2 % de ses forêts, depuis que le plan d’action de l’ICF a été publié en janvier 2019, tandis que le Ghana a perdu une surface conséquente de 39 497 ha de forêts, avec un taux de déforestation vertigineux de 3,9 %. En combinant la superficie perdue de forêt tropicale pour ces deux pays, on obtiendrait une superficie équivalente à celle des villes de Madrid, Séoul ou Chicago.
  • Au Ghana, la perte de couvert forestier enregistrée en 2020 montrait qu’elle était 370 % plus élevée depuis janvier 2019 qu’elle ne l’a été entre 2001 et 2010, et 150 % plus importante que la perte de couvert forestier moyenne entre 2011 et 2019 ;
  • Pour la Côte d’Ivoire, la perte moyenne du couvert forestier a été 230 % plus élevée depuis janvier 2019 qu’elle ne l’a été entre 2001 et 2017, et 340 % plus élevée que la perte moyenne enregistrée au cours des années 2000 ;
  • La déforestation se poursuit dans l’ensemble des aires protégées de Côte d’Ivoire et du Ghana, et l’analyse des données satellitaires et les observations sur le terrain en Côte d’Ivoire menées par Mighty Earth révèlent que l’expansion de la culture du cacao joue un rôle majeur dans cet empiètement.

« Cette catastrophe peut être parfaitement évitée et aurait dû l’être depuis longtemps déjà. Pendant ce temps, les forêts continuent de disparaître, la faune sauvage meurt et les communautés souffrent », a déclaré Souleymane Fofana, coordinateur général du Regroupement des acteurs ivoiriens des droits humains (RAIDH). « La filière cacao dispose des mêmes outils et de bien plus de ressources que Mighty Earth pour surveiller et prévenir la déforestation, mais le manque de volonté et de transparence reste le principal obstacle aux avancées. »

Le rapport contient notamment les recommandations suivantes :

  • En 2022, un mécanisme commun ouvert et transparent de surveillance de la déforestation doit être mis en place par les fabricants de chocolat, les négociants en cacao et les gouvernements en mettant leurs informations sur les chaînes d’approvisionnement en cacao en commun et en les associant aux données d’imagerie satellitaire. Un tel mécanisme permettrait d’agir collectivement pour empêcher l’empiètement des forêts par l’expansion des plantations de cacao, et de cibler les initiatives visant à améliorer les moyens de subsistance des petits exploitants au Ghana et en Côte d’Ivoire.
  • L’ICF doit rendre compte publiquement des progrès accomplis dans la réduction de la déforestation au Ghana et en Côte d’Ivoire, afin d’empêcher toute nouvelle déforestation pour le cacao d’ici deux ans  ;
  • Les principaux chocolatiers et négociants en cacao devraient participer activement à la restauration des forêts dégradées et de la biodiversité au Ghana et en Côte d’Ivoire. Ils doivent s’engager à s’approvisionner d’ici 2025 en cacao issu de l’agroforesterie à hauteur d’au moins 50 %, et collaborer avec les coopératives de cacao et les agences gouvernementales pour aider les petits cultivateurs à passer des monocultures de cacao à des systèmes agricoles diversifiés.
  • Le gouvernement de la Côte d’Ivoire doit valider rapidement les limites des aires protégées et stopper toute nouvelle déforestation en associant, de manière transparente, les communautés et les organisations de la société civile à leur suivi ; 
  • Au Ghana, la Commission gouvernementale forestière (Forestry Commission) et le Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) doivent s’assurer que le nouveau système de gestion du cacao (CMS, Cocoa Management System), destiné à retracer la chaîne d’approvisionnement en cacao, est conçu de manière transparente, afin que les parties prenantes puissent avoir toute confiance dans les données qui seront produites ;
  • L’Union européenne, le Japon et les États-Unis doivent adopter une législation obligeant les entreprises à effectuer des contrôles de vigilance approfondis pour prévenir l’importation de cacao ou de produits dérivés du cacao liés à la déforestation sur leurs marchés respectifs.

« L’Initiative Cacao et Forêts a beaucoup de potentiel, mais elle n’est pas encore à la hauteur de ses ambitions. Elle a beaucoup promis, mais n’a pas atteint ses objectifs. Pour les entreprises du secteur du cacao et du chocolat, la protection de l’environnement est un devoir, sous peine de perdre à jamais la denrée dont elles dépendent. La situation actuelle n’est pas tenable », a déclaré Obed Owusu-Addai, responsable de campagne pour EcoCare Ghana.

Contact : Miles Grant, [email protected], +1 703-864-9599 (mobile)


Major Chocolate Companies Failed In Pledge to End Deforestation, Comprehensive New Study Shows

‘Sweet Nothings’ report shows cocoa still driving destruction of protected areas, chimpanzee and elephant habitat loss four years after industry pledge.

Read the full report [EN]
Lire le rapport complet [FR]

February 14, 2022 – More than four years after the high-profile launch of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), Africa’s top cocoa-producing nations continue to see huge areas of forest being destroyed to make room for cocoa production, according to a new data analysis by Mighty Earth. Sweet Nothings: How the Chocolate Industry has Failed to Honor Promises to End Deforestation in Cocoa Supply Chains reveals that, even after the industry published action plans in 2019, Côte d'Ivoire lost 19,421 hectares – 74.9 sq. mi. – of forest within cocoa growing regions and Ghana lost 39,497 hectares – 152.5 sq. mi. This amounts to a combined area equivalent to the size of the city of Madrid/Seoul/Chicago. 

“This report unwraps the unsavory side of the cocoa industry and shows the urgent need to break the link between chocolate products and deforestation,” said Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth, the global advocacy organization working to defend a living planet. “Chocolate companies like Nestlé, Hershey’s, Mondelez and Mars need to stop making empty promises and start working together with governments in the CFI to establish an open and effective joint deforestation monitoring mechanism this year”.

Through a combination of satellite data analysis and on-the-ground field investigations, Mighty Earth has uncovered evidence of ongoing tropical forest clearance for cocoa. This includes deforestation in designated protected areas that provide vital habitats for endangered wildlife – such as chimpanzees and pygmy hippos. These forests are also critical carbon sinks, vital for slowing both the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

Among the key findings of the report:

  • Four and half years after chocolate companies and governments committed in the CFI to a ban on establishing any new cocoa farms, overall levels of deforestation remain near record highs.
  • Within cocoa growing regions, Côte d'Ivoire lost 19,421 hectares (ha) – 74.9 sq. mi. – (2%) of its forest since the CFI action plans were published in January 2019, whilst Ghana has lost an astonishing 39,497 ha – 152.5 sq. mi. – of forest with a staggeringly high rate of deforestation of 3.9%. This amounts to a combined area of tropical forest lost in the two countries equivalent to an area the size of the cities of Madrid, Seoul, or Chicago.
  • In Ghana, 2020 tree cover loss countrywide was 370% higher since January 2019 than it was between 2001-2010, and 150% higher than the average tree cover loss between 2011-2019.
  • Average countrywide tree cover loss in Côte d'Ivoire has been 230% higher in the period since January 2019 than it was between 2001-2017, and 340% higher than the average loss during the 2000s.
  • Deforestation is still found throughout protected areas in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, with satellite data analysis and observations from Mighty Earth’s field investigation in Côte d'Ivoire revealing that cocoa expansion is playing a major role in this encroachment.

“All of this devastation is entirely preventable and should have been addressed long ago. Meanwhile, forests continue to disappear, endangered species die, and communities suffer,” said Souleymane Fofana, General Coordinator of the Ivorian Human Rights organizations (RAIDH). “The cocoa industry has the same tools and far more resources than Mighty Earth to track and prevent deforestation, but limited willpower and lack of transparency and accountability continue to be the biggest roadblocks to progress.”

Among the report’s recommendations:

  • Chocolate companies, cocoa traders, and governments must pool information about cocoa supply chains, and couple this with satellite data imagery to establish an open and transparent joint deforestation monitoring mechanism in 2022. Such a mechanism would provide the means for collective action to prevent forest encroachment from cocoa expansion, as well as to target initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods for smallholder farmers in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.
  • The CFI should publicly report progress in reducing deforestation in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, with the aim of achieving zero new deforestation for cocoa within two years.
  • Leading chocolate companies and cocoa traders should play an active role in the restoration of degraded forests and biodiversity in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. They should commit to sourcing at least 50% of their cocoa from agroforestry by 2025, and work with cocoa cooperatives and government agencies to help smallholder growers manage the transition from cocoa monocultures to diversified farming systems.
  • The Government of Côte d'Ivoire should work to quickly confirm the boundaries of protected areas and stop any new deforestation by involving, in a transparent manner, communities and civil society organizations in their monitoring. 
  • In Ghana, the Government’s Forestry Commission, together with the Ghana Cocoa Board, need to ensure that the emerging Cocoa Management System (CMS), which is intended to trace the cocoa supply chain, is designed in a transparent manner, so that stakeholders will have trust and confidence in the data that it will produce.
  • Authorities in the European Union, Japan, and the United States should introduce legislation that requires companies to conduct thorough due diligence checks to prevent cocoa or cocoa-derived products linked to deforestation from being imported into their consumer markets.

“The Cocoa and Forests Initiative has lots of potential but currently is not living up to it. It promised so much but is failing to deliver. Cocoa and chocolate companies have a duty to protect the environment or risk losing the commodity they depend on forever because the current situation is unsustainable,” said Obed Owusu-Addai, Managing Campaigner at EcoCare Ghana.

Contact: Miles Grant, [email protected], 703-864-9599 (mobile)


新調査報告発表:大手チョコレート企業、森林破壊停止の誓約を実行せず

新調査報告「口先だけの甘い言葉:チョコレート業界は、カカオのサプライチェーンにおける森林破壊を終わらせるための約束を果たしていない」

〜業界の誓約から4年経った今も、カカオ栽培によって、保護区の破壊、チンパンジーやゾウの生息地消失などを含む森林減少の悪化が明らかに〜

 2022年2月14日 – マイティー・アースが新たに実施したデータ分析調査により、「カカオと森林イニシアティブ(CFI)」(注1)開始から4年以上が経過した今も、アフリカの主要なカカオ生産国では、カカオ栽培のために広範囲にわたる森林破壊が続いていることが明らかになった。新調査報告「口先だけの甘い言葉:チョコレート業界は、カカオのサプライチェーンにおける森林破壊を終わらせるための約束を果たしていない」によると、業界が2019年に行動計画を発表した後の3年間で、カカオ生産地域における森林消失面積はコートジボワールで19,421ヘクタール、ガーナで39,497ヘクタールに及んでいる。この合計面積は、東京23区の面積に匹敵する。

 命ある地球の保護活動を行うグローバルなアドボカシー組織マイティー・アースのCEO、グレン・ホロウィッツ(Glenn Hurowitz)はこう述べる。「このレポートは、カカオ産業の望ましくない面を明らかにし、チョコレート製品と森林破壊の関係を直ちに断ち切る必要があることを示しています。ネスレ、ハーシーズ、モンデリーズ、マース、不二製油、明治などのチョコレート企業は、口先だけの約束をやめ、CFI参加各国政府との協力のもと、森林破壊に対するオープンかつ効果的な共同モニタリングメカニズムを今年中に確立しなければなりません。このような破壊はすべて完全に防げるものであり、ずっと前に手を打つべきでした。手をこまねいているうちに、森林は消え続け、野生生物は死んでゆき、地域のコミュニティは苦境に陥っているのです」

レポートが示した重要ポイント

  • CFIにおいて、チョコレート企業と各国政府が、森林減少を引き起こすカカオ農園の新規開発禁止への取り組みを約束してから4年半が経つが、全体的に見て森林破壊の規模は依然として過去最高水準に近いままである。
  • CFIが2019年1月に行動計画を発表した後も、カカオ生産地域における森林消失面積はコートジボワールで19,421ヘクタール、ガーナではなんと39,497ヘクタールにも及んでおり、森林消失率は9%という驚くべき水準になっている。2019年から2021年末までの3年間に2カ国で失われた熱帯林の面積を合わせると、東京23区の面積に匹敵する。
  • ガーナの場合、2019年1月~2020年末の森林消失面積は、2001年~2010年の7倍、2011年~2019年の1.5倍に達した。
  • コートジボワール全体では、2019年1月以降の平均森林消失面積は、2001年~2017年の3倍、2000年代平均の3.4倍に達した。
  • コートジボワールとガーナの保護区全域では今も森林破壊が進んでいることが分かっており、衛星データの解析やマイティー・アースによるコートジボワールでの現地調査の結果、カカオ栽培地拡大がこのような森林侵食の主な要因であることが明らかになっている。

 マイティー・アース西アフリカ代表のアムールライ・トゥーレ(Amourlaye Toure)はこう述べる。「カカオ栽培のための森林破壊はいまだに続いており、保護区内でさえ憂慮すべき規模で進行しています。『カカオと森林イニシアティブ(CFI)』が森林破壊を特定できず、目標を達成できないことにより、地域コミュニティの安定は失われ、絶滅危惧種野生生物は危険にさらされ、チョコレート産業の二酸化炭素排出量は増加しています。カカオ業界はマイティー・アースと同じ森林破壊追跡・防止ツールを持っており、財源に至ってはマイティー・アースを超えるものを持っています。しかし、業界の意志が限定的なものにとどまり、透明性・説明責任が欠如していることが、今も最大の障害となって進展を阻んでいるのです」

レポートで示された提言

  • チョコレート企業、カカオ貿易業者、各国政府は、カカオのサプライチェーン関連情報を共有し、これを衛星データ画像と組み合わせて、オープンで透明性の高い森林破壊の共同モニタリングメカニズムを2022年中に確立する必要がある。このような仕組みは、カカオ栽培地拡大による森林侵食を防ぐため、また、ガーナとコートジボワールの小規模農家の生活改善に向けての取組みを行うための集団的アクションの手段となるだろう。
  • CFIは、カカオ栽培のための新たな森林破壊を2年以内にゼロにすることを目標とし、ガーナとコートジボワールにおける森林破壊削減の進捗状況に関する報告を公開すべきである。
  • 大手チョコレート企業やカカオ貿易業者は、ガーナやコートジボワールの傷ついた森林や生物多様性の回復に積極的な役割を果たすべきである。2025年までにカカオの少なくとも50%を、アグロフォレストリーを行う栽培者から調達することを約束し、カカオ協同組合や各国政府機関との協力のもと、小規模農家のカカオ単一栽培から多様化された農業システムへの転換を支援する必要がある。
  • コートジボワール政府は、早急に保護区の境界を確認し、コミュニティや市民社会組織を透明な形でモニタリングに参加させることにより、新たな森林破壊の阻止に努めるべきである。
  • 欧州連合、日本、米国の当局は、森林破壊につながるカカオまたはカカオ由来製品の消費者市場への輸入を防ぐため、徹底したデューデリジェンス・チェックを企業に義務付ける法律を導入するべきである。

 熱帯林行動ネットワーク運営委員の中司喬之氏は、「大手チョコレート企業は、トレーサビリティの確認を行った上で、全てのサプライヤーについて企業グループレベルで、NDPE(森林減少禁止、泥炭地開発禁止、搾取禁止)方針の採用と実施を求め、森林減少への対処を進めていくことが必要です。ガーナからのカカオ関連産品の輸出先として日本は第二位、日本側から見た輸入先として7割以上を占めており、ガーナでの森林破壊に対しては重要な責任を負っていると言えます。今すぐにでも取り組むべき課題です」と述べている。

マイティー・アースは、衛星データ解析と現地調査を組み合わせ、カカオ栽培のために熱帯林伐採が進行している証拠を示した。失われた熱帯林には、チンパンジーやコビトカバなどの絶滅危惧種野生動物の生息に不可欠な指定保護区内の森林も含まれる。これらの森林はまた重要な炭素吸収源であり、気候変動と生物多様性の喪失の進行を遅らせるのに不可欠である。

(注1)2017年、イギリスのチャールズ皇太子の呼びかけで、世界の主要なチョコレート企業35社(日本からは株式会社明治と不二製油株式会社が参加)と世界カカオ基金、コートジボワール、ガーナ両政府などが参加し、カカオ生産による森林破壊を抑止するために「カカオと森林イニシアチブ(The Cocoa and Forests Initiative, CFI)」の設立を発表した。CFIは、2018年に国家実施計画(コートジボワールガーナ)、さらに2019年には企業向け行動計画(コートジボワールガーナ)を発表した。行動計画には「カカオセクターでの森林減少や森林劣化を新たに引き起こす活動を禁止し防止することを約束する」との文言も含まれている。

マイティー・アースは、2017年にチョコレート産業と森林減少の関係を示したレポート「CHOCOLATE’S DARK SECRET」を作成し、世界的に大きな注目を受けた。こうした批判を受けて、CFIは設立された。

マイティー・アースについて

マイティー・アース (www.mightyearth.org)は、命ある地球の保護活動を行うグローバルなアドボカシー組織です。自然のために地球の半分を守り、命が繁栄できる気候を確保することを目標としています。  当組織のチームは、世界に張り巡らされたパーム油、ゴム、カカオ、飼料などのサプライチェーンにおいて森林破壊と気候変動をもたらす汚染を大幅に削減するよう大手企業を説得し、熱帯地方の先住民族や地域住民の生活向上を図ることにより、変革を実現してきました。

ご連絡:[email protected]


European supermarkets turn their back on beef linked to Amazon deforestation

EU supermarkets turn their back on beef linked to Amazon deforestation 

In response to surging deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and a new investigation documenting their ties to deforestation, major supermarket chains in the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have announced they were dropping Brazilian beef altogether and/or beef products tied to JBS, the world’s largest beef company. 

The move comes following a new investigation by Repórter Brasil in partnership with Mighty Earth that tracked deforestation-linked beef in the Brazilian Amazon and the Pantanal tropical wetlands to European retail store shelves, in the form of beef jerky, corned beef and fresh prime cuts. Mighty Earth alerted the retailers and companies to the deforestation links in advance of publication, resulting in this raft of new announcements. 

UK: See the investigation of Sainbury's and corned beef  

Belgium: See the investigation of Carrefour Belgium and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky 

The Netherlands: See the investigation of Lidl Netherlands and ribeye beef steaks 

The Netherlands: See the investigation of Ahold companies and beef products in Belgium, the Netherlands and US 


Supermarkten in Europa stoppen met Braziliaans rundvlees door aan vleesgigant JBS gelinkte ontbossing 

Supermarkten in Europa stoppen met Braziliaans rundvlees door aan vleesgigant JBS gelinkte ontbossing 

BRUSSELS en WASHINGTON, DC – Als reactie op de groeiende ontbossing in Brazilië en een nieuw onderzoek dat de banden met ontbossing documenteert, hebben supermarktketens in België, Frankrijk, Nederland en het VK vandaag aangekondigd dat ze helemaal stoppen met Braziliaans rundvlees en/of rundvleesproducten die een relatie met JBS hebben, het grootste rundvleesbedrijf ter wereld. 

De maatregel komt na een nieuw onderzoek door Repórter Brasil in samenwerking met Mighty Earth, waarin aan ontbossing gerelateerd rundvlees in de vorm van beef jerky, corned beef en vers vlees naar de schappen van Europese winkels werd gevolgd. Mighty Earth deelde de bevindingen direct met de bedrijven voor de geplande publicatie, resulterend in de aankondigingen van vandaag. 

"Dit is een belangrijk keerpunt omdat meerdere grote supermarkten in Europa duidelijk "nee" tegen Braziliaans rundvlees zeggen omdat ze zich zorgen maken over ontbossing", zegt Nico Muzi, directeur van Mighty Earth Europa. "Dit is geen vage toezegging of een mooie aankondiging die het goed in een persbericht doet. Dit zijn concrete commerciële acties van een aantal van de grootste supermarkten uit Europa om geen rundvlees meer te kopen en verkopen van een bedrijf en een land die te veel beloften hebben gedaan en te weinig resultaten hebben laten zien."  

“Kerst is al vroeg begonnen voor de bossen in het Amazonegebied, de Braziliaanse Cerrado-savanna's en de Pantanal-wetlands,” zegt Muzi.  

De belangrijkste toezeggingen van de Europese supermarkten die vandaag zijn aangekondigd zijn: 

  • Ahold Delhaize - een Nederlands supermarktbedrijf met meer dan 7.000 locaties wereldwijd en een omzet van 75 miljard euro in 2020
  • Albert Heijn (onderdeel van Ahold Delhaize) heeft toegezegd om voor al haar winkels geen rundvlees uit Brazilië meer in te kopen. Het is de grootste supermarktketen van Nederland met meer dan 1.000 winkels en een marktaandeel van 35% in 2020. 
  • Delhaize (onderdeel van Ahold Delhaize) heeft toegezegd om alle producten van Jack Link’s uit haar schappen te verwijderen. Het bedrijf is een van de grootste supermarktketens van België.  
  • Lidl Nederland heeft toegezegd om per januari 2022 te stoppen met de verkoop van al het uit Zuid-Amerika afkomstige rundvlees. Het bedrijf is onderdeel van Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, een Duitse supermarktketen met meer dan 11.000 winkels wereldwijd en een omzet van meer dan 75 miljard USD
  • Carrefour Belgium heeft toegezegd om te stoppen met de verkoop van Jack Link’s beef jerky en de grotere Carrefour Group heeft toegezegd om beter toezicht te houden in alle landen waar ze actief zijn. Carrefour Group is een Franse multinational met meer dan 15.500 winkels wereldwijd en een omzet van 78.6 miljard euro in 2020. Mighty Earth blijft druk op Carrefour uitoefenen om meer actie in al haar winkels te ondernemen.  
  • Auchan Frankrijk heeft toegezegd om beef jerky-producten die banden met JBS hebben uit haar winkelschappen te verwijderen. Auchan Frankrijk is onderdeel van Auchan Retail International S.A., Een Franse multinational met bijna 2.000 winkels wereldwijd en een omzet van 31.6 miljard euro in 2020
  • Sainsbury’s UK heeft toegezegd om haar eigen merk corned beef volledig uit Brazilië te verwijderen. Sainsbury’s is de op een na grootste supermarktketen uit het VK met een marktaandeel van 16% in de supermarktsector, meer dan 1.400 winkels en een omzet van 32 miljard pond in 2020/21
  • Princes Group heeft aangekondigd dat ze sinds november 2020 geen contracten voor corned beef meer met JBS hebben afgesloten en heeft toegezegd dat ze een nieuw inkoopbeleid voor Braziliaanse materialen hebben waarin onder andere absoluut geen ontbossing toegestaan is. Princes is een internationaal voedings- en drankbedrijf dat is gevestigd in Liverpool met een omzet van 1,5 miljard pond in 2020/21

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Ondernemingsverklaringen over de toezeggingen van vandaag 

ALBERT HEIJN 

“Albert Heijn heeft besloten om te stoppen met de aankoop van rundvlees uit Brazilië voor al haar winkels,” zei een woordvoerder voor Albert Heijn. “Dit omvat zowel eigen merk als A-merken. Albert Heijn zal tijdens de komende maanden samenwerken met onze leveranciers om alle rundvleesproducten uit Brazilië uit te faseren of vervangen.” 

LIDL NEDERLAND 

"Het beschermen van biodiversiteit, inclusief het voorkomen van ontbossing, zijn centrale thema's binnen ons duurzaam inkoopbeleid", zei Renée Bijvoets, Sustainability Manager voor Lidl Nederland. "Gezien het risico van ontbossing dat in verband wordt gebracht met rundvlees van Zuid-Amerikaanse oorsprong hebben we samen met onze leverancier besloten om op zoek te gaan naar alternatieve bronnen. Het resultaat is dat we vanaf januari 2022 geen rundvlees van Zuid-Amerikaanse herkomst meer zullen verkopen als onderdeel van ons vaste assortiment. 

CARREFOUR GROUP 

“Na de ontvangen waarschuwing van Repórter Brasil en Mighty Earth zijn we direct een onderzoek gestart” zegt Geoffroy Gersdorff, Group Director of Merchandise Offer Food and Non-Food van Carrefour Group. “Als gevolg hiervan zal Carrefour stoppen met de verkoop van Jack Link’s beef jerky in Carrefour België en zullen we beter toezicht houden in alle landen waar we actief zijn. Deze commerciële beslissing is genomen binnen het comité voor inkoopregels voor de voedseltransitie van Carrefour. De groep is blij met de inzet van de NGO voor dit gevecht, omdat dialoog en waakzaamheid door iedereen ons in staat stelt om problemen te identificeren en voorgang te boeken.” 

DELHAIZE BELGIË 

“Delhaize zal ervoor zorgen dat alle Jack Link’s beef jerky uit al haar winkels zal worden verwijderd.” zei een woordvoerder voor Delhaize België.  

SAINSBURY’S VK 

“Het verband tussen de veehouderij en de vernietiging van ecosystemen zoals het Amazonegebied, de Cerrado en de Pentanal is een complexe zaak die we extreem serieus nemen. We hebben samen met onze leveranciers en de bredere bedrijfstak een aantal stappen genomen om dit proberen aan te pakken, maar er is niet voldoende voortgang geboekt. We streven er daarom naar om de inkoop voor ons eigen merk corned beef uit Brazilië te verwijderen om ervoor te zorgen dat er onafhankelijk kan worden gecontroleerd dat de oorsprong van het corned beef van Sainsbury vrij van ontbossing en conversie is.” 

AUCHAN FRANKRIJK 

“Auchan zet zich in tegen ontbossing en het kappen in Brazilië en met name in de Cerrado,” zei een woordvoerder van Auchan Frankrijk. “Om dit te ondersteunen, werkt Auchan nauw samen met de Earthworm Foundation, die winkeliers ondersteunt bij de implementatie van een verantwoordelijk inkoopbeleid. Het bedrijf heeft een jaar geleden ook het manifest tegen ontbossing voor sojabonen ondertekend. Momenteel onderzoekt onze kwaliteitsdienst uw informatie. Het product wordt door veel winkeliers en e-bedrijven in Frankrijk verkocht. Auchan kan niet worden aangewezen als een specifieke verkoper van dit product. Om eventuele misverstanden te voorkomen en om aan onze toezeggingen te voldoen, besluit Auchan om het product uit te schappen te halen.” 

PRINCES GROUP 

“Princes heeft sinds november 2020 geen contracten voor corned beef meer met JBS afgesloten. Het corned beef van het Princes-merk dat van JBS is betrokken en is geïdentificeerd door Mighty Earth in de winkelschappen in het VK en Nederland, zijn resten die zijn overgebleven uit het laatste contract.” zei een woordvoerder voor de Princes Group. “Princes neemt het probleem van ontbossing erg serieus en is continu samen met leveranciers bezig om het beheer van de toeleveringsketen te verbeteren, risico's te beperken en voor meer transparantie te zorgen. We hebben onze toeleveringsketen voor corned beef onderzocht en ontwikkelen een nieuw inkoopbeleid voor Braziliaans materiaal waarbij met meerdere factoren rekening wordt gehouden, waaronder traceerbaarheid, risico's, kosten, kwaliteit, feedback van klanten, het beheer van indirecte leveranciers en een toezegging voor nul komma nul ontbossing." 

Check out Mighty Earth’s briefings on Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Lidl Netherlands and Sainsbury’s

# # # 

CONTACT: 
Joel Finkelstein 

202.285.0113 | [email protected] 


Des supermarchés européens cessent de s'approvisionner en bœuf brésilien en raison de l’implication du géant de la viande JBS dans des pratiques de déforestation

Des supermarchés européens cessent de s'approvisionner en bœuf brésilien en raison de l’implication du géant de la viande JBS dans des pratiques de déforestation. 

BRUXELLES et WASHINGTON, DC — Confrontées à la déforestation galopante au Brésil et en réponse à une nouvelle enquête documentant leurs liens avec la déforestation, des chaînes de supermarchés en Belgique, en France, aux Pays-Bas et au Royaume-Uni ont annoncé aujourd’hui qu’elles abandonnaient complètement leur approvisionnement en bœuf brésilien et/ou en produits à base de bœuf liés à JBS, la plus grande entreprise de viande bovine au monde. 

Ces décisions font suite à une nouvelle enquête menée par Repórter Brasil en partenariat avec Mighty Earth, qui a permis de retracer le parcours de viande de bœuf liée à la déforestation jusque dans les rayonnages de grandes surfaces européennes, sous la forme de bœuf séché, de corned-beef ou de viande fraîche. Le partage par Mighty Earth des résultats de l’enquête, en amont de sa publication, avec les entreprises directement concernées, ont donné lieu aux déclarations d’aujourd’hui. 

« C’est un moment charnière, car plusieurs grandes chaînes de supermarchés en Europe ont catégoriquement dit “non” au bœuf brésilien en raison des problèmes de déforestation », a déclaré Nico Muzi, directeur de Mighty Earth Europe. « Il ne s’agit pas de vagues engagements ou de déclarations pour faire bonne impression dans un communiqué de presse. Ce sont des mesures commerciales concrètes prises par certains des plus grands supermarchés d’Europe pour cesser d’acheter et de vendre de la viande de bœuf provenant d’une entreprise et d’un pays qui ont beaucoup promis et qui ont obtenu si peu de résultats. » 

« C’est Noël avant l’heure pour les forêts d’Amazonie, les savanes du Cerrado brésilien et les zones humides du Pantanal », a ajouté Nico Muzi.  

Les principaux engagements communiqués aujourd’hui par les supermarchés européens sont les suivants : 

  • Ahold Delhaize—une entreprise néerlandaise de grande distribution comptant plus de 7 000 magasins dans le monde et ayant réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 75 milliards d’euros en 2020. 
  • Albert Heijn (qui est rattaché à Ahold Delhaize) s’est engagé à ne plus s’approvisionner en bœuf brésilien pour l’ensemble de ses magasins. Avec plus de 1 000 points de vente et une part de marché de 35 % en 2020, il s’agit de la plus grande chaîne de supermarchés aux Pays-Bas. 
  • Delhaize (qui est rattaché à Ahold Delhaize) s’est engagé à retirer tous les produits Jack Link's de ses rayons. Cette société est l’une des plus grandes chaînes de supermarchés en Belgique.  
  • Lidl Pays-Bas s’est engagé à ne plus vendre de viande de bœuf d’origine sud-américaine à partir de janvier 2022. L’entreprise est rattachée à Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, une chaîne de grande distribution allemande qui compte plus de 11 000 points de vente dans le monde et réalise un chiffre d’affaires de plus de 75 milliards de dollars
  • Carrefour Belgique s’est engagé à ne plus vendre de bœuf séché Jack Link’s, et le groupe Carrefour dans son ensemble s’est engagé à renforcer sa surveillance dans tous les pays où il opère. Le groupe Carrefour est une multinationale française qui compte 15 500 magasins dans le monde et dont le chiffre d’affaires s’est élevé à 79 milliards d’euros en 2020. Mighty Earth continue de faire pression sur Carrefour pour que cette mesure soit appliquée à l’ensemble de ses magasins.  
  • Auchan France s’est engagé à retirer des rayons de ses magasins les produits de bœuf séché liés à JBS. Auchan France est rattaché à Auchan Retail International S.A., une multinationale française qui compte 2 000 points de vente dans le monde et a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 32 milliards d’euros en 2020
  • Sainsbury’s au Royaume-Uni s’est engagé à cesser la production du corned-beef vendu sous sa propre marque au Brésil. Sainsbury’s est la deuxième plus grande chaîne britannique de supermarchés, occupant une part de marché de 16 %. Elle compte plus de 1 400 points de vente et a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 32 milliards de livres sterling en 2020/21
  • Le groupe Princes au Royaume-Uni a annoncé qu’il n’avait pas passé de contrat pour du corned-beef auprès de JBS depuis novembre 2020 et s’est engagé à adopter une nouvelle politique d’approvisionnement zéro déforestation pour les matières premières provenant du Brésil. Princes est une multinationale du secteur alimentaire et des boissons basée à Liverpool. En 2020/21, son chiffre d’affaires s’élevait à 1,5 milliard de livres sterling

L’enquête menée par Repórter Brasil en partenariat avec Mighty Earth a permis de mettre en lumière de multiples exemples de « blanchiment de bétail » : les abattoirs JBS situés dans des zones à faible déforestation comme l’État de São Paulo transforment de la viande de bœuf provenant de bovins élevés et nourris dans des fermes officiellement sanctionnées — et frappées d’embargo — pour déforestation illégale de la forêt amazonienne, ou liées à la destruction de la savane boisée du Cerrado et des zones humides tropicales du Pantanal. 

Avec un chiffre d’affaires annuel de 50 milliards de dollars, JBS est le premier producteur mondial de viande de bœuf. Rien qu’au Brésil, il abat près de 35 000 bovins par jour. En 2017, il a été estimé qu’environ un tiers des exportations bovines de JBS au Brésil provenait de l’Amazonie.  

L’an dernier, l’Amazonie brésilienne a atteint son niveau record de déforestation depuis 15 ans. Les scientifiques estiment que les deux tiers des terres défrichées en Amazonie et dans le Cerrado ont été convertis en pâturages pour le bétail.  

« L’enquête montre que JBS continue de vendre de la viande de bœuf liée à la déforestation, alors qu’il existe en Amérique latine environ 650 millions d’hectares de terres où une production agricole sans déforestation est possible », a poursuivi Nico Muzi. « La bonne nouvelle, c’est que l’Europe ne l’achète plus. Ces mesures commerciales, ainsi que la nouvelle législation européenne destinée à lutter contre la déforestation importée, montrent que l’étau se resserre sur les destructeurs de forêts. » 

« En fait, à en juger par les engagements pris aujourd’hui, il semble que les politiques irresponsables de JBS incitent les principaux supermarchés et détaillants à se détourner non seulement de cette entreprise, mais aussi du bœuf brésilien et même sud-américain en général », a expliqué Nico Muzi. « Si j’étais à la tête d’une autre entreprise de viande bovine de cette région du monde, j’exhorterais JBS à cesser de faire de toute cette zone un paria mondial en raison des problèmes de déforestation. Il y a certainement de nombreuses entreprises en Amérique du Sud qui se comportent bien mieux. » 

En avril dernier, Mighty Earth a publié sa dernière analyse des données relatives à la déforestation, et a constaté que JBS était l’entreprise de viande la moins performante. Au cours des deux dernières années, elle a été liée au défrichement de 100 000 hectares. Près de 75 % de ces défrichements ont eu lieu dans des aires protégées, ce qui les rend potentiellement illégaux au regard de la législation brésilienne. 

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Déclarations des entreprises sur leurs présents engagements 

ALBERT HEIJN 

« Albert Heijn a décidé de ne plus s’approvisionner en viande de bœuf du Brésil pour l’ensemble de ses magasins », a déclaré un porte-parole d’Albert Heijn. « Cette décision concerne aussi bien les produits de marque de distributeur que les autres marques. Albert Heijn travaillera avec ses fournisseurs dans les mois à venir pour éliminer progressivement ou remplacer tous les produits à base de bœuf d’origine brésilienne. » 

LIDL PAYS-BAS 

« La protection de la biodiversité et la lutte contre la déforestation sont au cœur de notre politique d’achat durable », a déclaré Renée Bijvoets, Sustainability Manager pour Lidl, Pays-Bas. « Compte tenu du risque de déforestation lié à la viande de bœuf d’origine sud-américaine, nous avons décidé avec notre fournisseur, de chercher une autre source d’approvisionnement. C’est pourquoi, à partir de janvier 2022, nous ne vendrons plus de viande de bœuf d’origine sud-américaine dans notre assortiment permanent. » 

GROUPE CARREFOUR 

« Après avoir été alertés par Repórter Brasil et Mighty Earth, nous avons immédiatement procédé à une enquête », a déclaré Geoffroy Gersdorff, Group Director of Merchandise Offer Food and Non-Food du groupe Carrefour. « Par conséquent, Carrefour cessera de vendre du bœuf séché Jack Link’s dans ses magasins Carrefour en Belgique et renforcera sa surveillance dans tous les pays où le groupe opère. Cette décision commerciale a été prise au sein du Comité des règles d’achat de Carrefour pour la transition alimentaire. Le Groupe salue l’engagement des ONG dans cette lutte, car le dialogue et la vigilance de tous permettent d’identifier les problèmes et de progresser. » 

DELHAIZE BELGIQUE 

« Delhaize veillera à ce que tout le bœuf séché Jack Link’s soit retiré de l’ensemble de ses magasins », a déclaré un porte-parole de Delhaize Belgique.  

SAINSBURY'S ROYAUME-UNI 

« Le lien entre l’élevage de bétail et la destruction d’écosystèmes comme l’Amazonie, le Cerrado et le Pantanal est un problème complexe, que nous prenons très au sérieux. Avec nos fournisseurs et l’ensemble du secteur, nous avons pris une série de mesures pour résoudre ce problème, mais les progrès sont insuffisants. Nous nous engageons donc à ne plus nous approvisionner au Brésil pour le corned-beef vendu sous notre propre marque, ceci afin de s’assurer que l’origine du corned-beef Sainsbury’s puisse être sans déforestation ni conversion d’écosystèmes et vérifiée de manière indépendante. » 

AUCHAN FRANCE 

« Auchan se mobilise contre la déforestation et le défrichement des écosystèmes au Brésil et notamment dans le Cerrado », a déclaré un porte-parole d’Auchan France. « Afin de soutenir cet effort, Auchan travaille en étroite collaboration avec la Fondation Earthworm qui aide les détaillants à mettre en œuvre une politique d’approvisionnement responsable. En outre, l’entreprise a signé l’an dernier le manifeste contre la déforestation liée au soja. Actuellement, notre service qualité enquête sur les informations que vous nous avez transmises. Ce produit est commercialisé par un grand nombre de détaillants et de sites de e-commerce en France. Aussi, Auchan ne saurait être identifié comme un vendeur spécifique de ce produit. Afin d’éviter tout malentendu et conformément à ses engagements, Auchan a donc décidé de retirer le produit de ses rayons. » 

GROUPE PRINCES 

« Princes n’a pas passé de contrat pour le corned-beef de JBS depuis novembre 2020 ; le corned-beef provenant de JBS vendu sous la marque Princes et repéré par Mighty Earth dans ses rayonnages au Royaume-Uni et aux Pays-Bas correspond au stock résiduel de ce dernier contrat », a déclaré un porte-parole du Groupe Princes. « Princes prend le problème de la déforestation très au sérieux et s’engage constamment auprès de ses fournisseurs pour améliorer la gestion de sa chaîne d’approvisionnement, en atténuer les risques et renforcer sa transparence. Nous avons réexaminé notre chaîne d’approvisionnement en corned-beef et nous sommes en train d’élaborer une nouvelle politique d’approvisionnement en matières premières provenant du Brésil. Cette politique tient compte d’un large éventail de facteurs, dont la traçabilité, le risque, le coût, la qualité, le retour des clients, la gestion des fournisseurs indirects et un engagement zéro déforestation. » 

Check out Mighty Earth’s briefings on Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Lidl Netherlands and Sainsbury’s 

# # # 

CONTACT : 
Joel Finkelstein 

+1 202.285.0113 | [email protected] 


Supermarkets Across Europe Drop Brazilian Beef Over Deforestation Linked to Meat Giant JBS

Supermarkets Across Europe Drop Brazilian Beef Over Deforestation Linked to Meat Giant JBS 

BRUSSELS and WASHINGTON, DC – In response to surging deforestation in Brazil and a new investigation documenting their ties to deforestation, supermarket chains in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK today announced they were dropping Brazilian beef altogether and/or beef products tied to JBS, the world’s largest beef company. 

The move comes following a new investigation by Repórter Brasil in partnership with Mighty Earth that tracked deforestation-linked beef to European retail store shelves, in the form of beef jerky, corned beef and fresh prime cuts. Mighty Earth shared the findings directly with the companies in advance of planned publication, resulting in today’s announcements. 

“This is a watershed moment because several huge supermarkets across Europe are saying an emphatic ‘No!’ to Brazilian beef over deforestation concerns,” said Mighty Earth Europe Director Nico Muzi. “This is not a vague commitment or a nice announcement that looks good in a press release. These are a series of concrete commercial actions taken by some of the biggest supermarkets in Europe to stop buying and selling beef from a company and a country that have made too many promises and have delivered too few results.” 

“Christmas has come early for the forests in the Amazon, the Brazilian Cerrado savannahs and the Pantanal wetlands,” said Muzi.  

The key commitments from Europe-based supermarkets announced today are: 

  • Ahold Delhaize - a Dutch food retail company with over 7,000 locations worldwide and revenue of €75 billion in 2020
  • Albert Heijn (part of Ahold Delhaize) committed to stop sourcing beef from Brazil for all of its stores. It is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, with over 1,000 locations and a market share of 35% in 2020. 
  • Delhaize (part of Ahold Delhaize) committed to removing all Jack Link’s products from its shelves. The company is one of the largest supermarket chains in Belgium.  
  • Lidl Netherlands committed to stop selling all beef with South American origin as of January 2022. The company is part of Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, a German retailer chain with over 11,000 locations worldwide and revenue of over USD$75 billion
  • Carrefour Belgium committed to stop selling Jack Link’s Beef Jerky in Belgium, and the larger Carrefour Group committed to increasing surveillance in all operating countries. Carrefour Group is a French multinational with 15,500 stores worldwide and revenue of €79 billion in 2020. Mighty Earth is continuing to press Carrefour for broader action across all its stores.  
  • Auchan France committed to removing beef jerky products tied to JBS from its store shelves. Auchan France is part of Auchan Retail International S.A., a French multinational with almost 2,000 locations worldwide and revenue of €32 billion in 2020
  • Sainsbury’s UK committed to moving its own brand corned beef away from Brazil entirely. Sainsbury’s is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the UK, with a 16% share of the supermarket sector, over 1,400 locations and £32 billion in sales in 2020/21
  • Princes Group announced it has not placed a contract for corned beef from JBS since November 2020 and committed to a new sourcing policy for Brazilian material that includes zero deforestation. Princes is an international food and drink company based in Liverpool in the UK with £1.5 billion in revenue in 2020/21. 

The research by Repórter Brasil in partnership with Mighty Earth found multiple examples of “cattle laundering” – beef processed by JBS at its slaughterhouses in low-deforestation areas such as São Paulo, but sourced from cattle raised and fed on farms officially sanctioned – and embargoed – for illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, or tied to destruction of the Cerrado woody savannah and the Pantanal tropical wetlands. 

With annual revenues of $50 billion, JBS is the world’s largest producer of beef – slaughtering almost 35,000 cattle a day in Brazil alone. In 2017, about a third of JBS’s beef exports from Brazil are assessed to have come from the Amazon.  

In the past year, the Brazilian Amazon has seen the worst deforestation levels in 15 years. Scientists estimate two-thirds of cleared land in the Amazon and the Cerrado has been converted to cattle pasture.  

“The new research shows JBS continues to sell beef linked to deforestation, even though there are around 650 million hectares of land in Latin America where deforestation-free agricultural production is possible,” said Muzi. “The big news is that Europe is not buying it now. These commercial actions as well as new EU legislation to stamp out imported deforestation, show that the grip is tightening on forest destroyers.” 

“In fact, based on today’s commitments, it looks like JBS’s irresponsible practices are causing major supermarkets and retailers to turn away not just from this one company, but from Brazil-sourced and even South American-sourced beef in general,” said Muzi. “If I was another beef company from that part of the world, I would urge JBS to stop making their entire region a deforestation-linked global pariah. Certainly, there are many companies in South America that do better.” 

This past April, Mighty Earth released its newest analysis of deforestation data, which found that JBS was the worst-performing meatpacker. It has been linked to 100,000 hectares of clearance the past two years. Some 75 percent of this clearance occurred in protected areas, making it potentially illegal under Brazilian law. 

Corporate Statements on Today’s Commitments 

ALBERT HEIJN 

“Albert Heijn has decided to stop sourcing beef from Brazil for all of its stores,” said a spokesperson for Albert Heijn. “This includes private label as well as branded products. Albert Heijn will be working with our suppliers in the coming months to phase out or replace all beef products of Brazilian origin.” 

LIDL NETHERLANDS 

“Protecting biodiversity, including preventing deforestation, are central themes within our sustainable purchasing policy,” said Renée Bijvoets, Sustainability Manager for for Lidl Netherlands. “Given the risk of deforestation linked to beef with South-American origin, we have decided together with our supplier to look for alternative sourcing. The result is that from January 2022 onwards we will not sell beef with South-American origin in our fixed assortment.” 

CARREFOUR GROUP 

“Following the alert received by Repórter Brasil and Mighty Earth, we conducted an immediate investigation,” said Geoffroy Gersdorff, Group Director of Merchandise Offer Food and Non-Food of Carrefour Group. “As a consequence, Carrefour will stop selling Jack Link’s beef jerky in Carrefour Belgium and will increase its surveillance in all its operating countries. This commercial decision was taken within Carrefour’s Committee on purchasing rules for the food transition. The Group salutes the NGO's commitment to this fight, as dialogue and vigilance on the part of everyone allows us to identify problems and make progress.” 

DELHAIZE BELGIUM 

“Delhaize will ensure that all Jack Link’s beef jerky will be removed from all of their stores.,” said a spokesperson for Ahold Delhaize.  

SAINSBURY’S UK 

“The link between cattle farming and the destruction of ecosystems like the Amazon, the Cerrado, and the Pantanal is a complex issue, which we take extremely seriously. We have taken a range of steps together with our suppliers and the wider industry to try to address this, but not enough progress has been made. We are therefore committed to move our own brand corned beef sourcing away from Brazil to ensure Sainsbury’s corned beef product can be independently verified deforestation and conversion free in origin.” 

AUCHAN FRANCE 

“Auchan is engaged against deforestation and land clearance in Brazil and particularly in the Cerrado,” said a spokesperson for Auchan France. “In order to support this engagement Auchan works closely with Earthworm Foundation which assists retailers in the implementation of responsible procurement policy. Also, the company signed the manifesto against deforestation soybeans one year ago. Currently our quality service investigates on your information. The product is openly sold by a lot of retailers and e-business in France. Auchan couldn't be pointed as a specific seller of this product. To prevent any misunderstanding and complying with our commitments, Auchan decides to withdrawal out of shelves the product.” 

PRINCES GROUP  

“Princes has not placed a contract for corned beef from JBS since November 2020; the Princes branded corned beef sourced from JBS and identified by Mighty Earth on shelves in the UK and Netherlands will be residual sales from this last contract. 

Princes takes the issue of deforestation very seriously and continually engages with suppliers to improve supply chain management, mitigate risks and enhance transparency. We have been reviewing our corned beef supply chain and are developing a new sourcing policy for Brazilian material taking into account a wide range of factors including traceability, risk, cost, quality, customer feedback, the management of indirect suppliers and a commitment to zero deforestation” 

We commenced this review of Brazilian beef sourcing in mid-2021 and our updated policy will be publicly available on our website in 2022 once we have formally adopted it and communicated to suppliers. Princes does not comment on commercial relationships with customers or suppliers. Our updated sourcing policy will be discussed with Brazilian corned beef suppliers but we will not make a public comment on commercial trading relationships.” 

Check out Mighty Earth’s briefings on Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Lidl Netherlands and Sainsbury’s here

# # # 

CONTACT: 
Joel Finkelstein 

202.285.0113 | [email protected] 


Industry Takes Another Step Towards Assuring Sustainable Natural Rubber 

Industry Takes Another Step Towards Assuring Sustainable Natural Rubber 

December 14, 2021 

Members of the multi-stakeholder Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) today took another important step towards ensuring the production, processing and consumption of natural rubber does not contribute to the destruction of tropical forests, land grabbing or human rights abuses. 

Following from 2020’s vote by GPSNR members – such as Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental and Pirelli – to introduce comprehensive sustainability policy requirements for rubber companies, today saw overwhelming support for a resolution in favor of new reporting requirements, which will set high standards for how companies gather information and communicate on the delivery of their policy commitments. Like the policy components, the reporting requirements cover issues such as ensuring zero deforestation, protecting critical natural habitats and freshwater resources, anti-bribery and corruption, respecting land rights, and upholding human and labor rights within members’ natural rubber operations and supply chains. 

Commenting on the successful outcome of the vote at the GPSNR Annual Assembly, Mighty Earth’s Senior Director for Rubber, Dr Julian Oram, stated: “Today marks a significant advancement in our efforts to transform the global rubber industry, and reflects a huge effort by both CSOs and industry members of the Working Group that designed these reporting requirements. It should provide a crucial springboard for developing a convincing model of sustainability assurance and monitoring in the rubber sector going forward.” 

GPSNR was co-founded in 2019 by Mighty Earth and several other CSOs, along with a small number of rubber producer/ processors, tire companies, and auto manufacturers. Its mission is to deliver improvements in the socioeconomic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain. Over the past twelve months, GPSNR’s membership has grown from 92 to 156 members, including 39 new smallholder farmer representatives from nine rubber producing countries. 

While encouraging, this latest step remains just that – a small step. Thus far GPSNR has registered some notable successes, such as the widespread adoption of sustainable rubber policies, the establishment of a Grievance Mechanism with teeth, the inclusion of smallholder representatives as equal stakeholders in GPSNR’s governance, the development of tools for rubber supply chain traceability, and the establishment of national groups to undertake concrete capacity building initiatives on sustainable natural rubber, including agroforestry. 

Nonetheless, the ultimate success of the initiative still hangs in the balance. GPSNR has yet to develop an assurance model to robustly assess members’ compliance with their obligations, or gauge how the Platform is adding value to local efforts to boost sustainability at the farm level. There is also much work to do in developing a shared responsibility model that delivers greater equity and “benefit-sharing” across rubber value chains; including ensuring smallholder growers are fairly rewarded for sustainability improvements on their farms. At a more fundamental level, there is still a great deal of resistance amongst industry participants to embrace full supply chain transparency – a crucial prerequisite in being able to understand where problems persist in rubber-growing regions.  

Dr Oram cautioned, “The coming twelve months will determine whether the promising groundwork laid at the GPSNR to date ultimately bears fruit in the form of a truly effective self-regulating and self-monitoring industry that improves the livelihoods of rubber smallholders and workers, whilst protecting tropical forests and wildlife habitats. Watch this space!” 


JBS Sets Dubious Record with “Sustainable” Bond

JBS Sets Dubious Record with “Sustainable” Bond

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, meat giant JBS issued a billion-dollar “sustainability-linked” bond. In response, Mighty Earth CEO and Founder Glenn Hurowitz said:

“This bond is probably the greatest bastardization of the term ‘sustainability’ in financial history, and that’s saying something.”

“It’s one of the most destructive companies in the world telling investors it deserves billions of ‘sustainability’ dollars to finance 14 more years of deforestation.

“JBS remains a company that continues to sell meat linked to deforestation, even though there are more than a billion acres of land where deforestation-free agricultural production is possible. They could choose to be a leader in the global transition to a deforestation-free future, but instead they’ve chosen to conduct sustainability by press release.

“Any investor that buys JBS’s sustainable bond will be complicit in the forest destruction and displacement of Indigenous communities they drive.”

Background

  • JBS is Brazil’s largest cattle company, and its activities have been tied to deforestation, habitat destruction and climate change.
  • In March, the company announced it would a “commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040,” including a pledge to “achieve zero deforestation across its global supply chain by 2035.” Advocates charged that the commitment was woefully inadequate for such a climate-intensive company and in fact amounted to a commitment to 14 more years of forest destruction.
  • In April, Mighty Earth released its newest analysis of deforestation data, which found that JBS was the worst-scoring meatpacker and company overall. It has been linked to 100,000 hectares of clearance the past two years – an area larger than all of Berlin. 75 percent of this clearance occurred in protected areas, making it potentially illegal under Brazilian law.
  • The new bond issued today by JBS does not seem to be labelled as a formal ESG bond or Green Bond. Rather, the term “sustainability-linked” implies that interest rates will be tied to sustainability targets – though JSB does not provide information about who or what body will make that determination. There does not seem to be any commitment that the financing will be used for sustainability activities.

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

CONTACT:
Joel Finkelstein

+1.202.285.0113 | [email protected]


French Government-backed deforestation ranking shows Bunge and Cargill bring most forest-ravaging soy to France

French Government deforestation ranking shows Bunge and Cargill bring most forest-ravaging soy to France

French Government-backed deforestation ranking shows Bunge and Cargill bring most forest-ravaging soy to France

Paris, 25 November 2021 – For immediate release

The French Government unveiled a new soy-linked deforestation risk tool showing that Bunge and Cargill import the bulk of dirty Brazilian soy into France. This is the first time a government has published a ranking of soy traders based on their deforestation risk. This online tool has the potential to become a catalyst for cleaning up soy supply chains for the EU market.

The deforestation risk analysis tool uses satellite images and supply chain data to quantify the volumes of soy coming into France that was grown in recently deforested areas in Brazil’s Amazon rainforests and the Cerrado tropical savannahs. The tool was developed by NGO Canopée and supply chain data experts Trase in consultation with the government working group formed by 45 representatives from the soy supply chain in France.

Just one year ago, the eight largest supermarkets in France led by Carrefour agreed to use deforestation- and conversion-free soy in a pledge called the French Soy Manifesto. This risk analysis is key to start implementing these commitments. Recently, big meat companies including Groupe LDC, Europe’s largest chicken company, andCooperl, France’s largest pork producer, joined retailers and agreed to only source clean soy.

Nico Muzi, Europe Director of Mighty Earth, said:

“We welcome the French government decision to publish this key tool that supermarkets and meat companies in France have been waiting for. Last year, Carrefour showed leadership in getting all big supermarkets to agree to stop using soy resulting from deforestation. Now, we urge Carrefour to put their money where their mouth is and shift soy purchases away from the highest deforestation risk traders, Bunge and Cargill, to less risky ones.”

Ranking of Brazilian soy importers based on their deforestation risk

Bunge and Cargill are Brazil’s largest soy exporters and are also the largest importers of Brazilian soy into France.

The findings of this new government-backed tool match the results of Mighty Earth’s own Soy and Cattle Deforestation Tracker, which earlier this year showed that the two largest European importers of soy, Bunge and Cargill, are the worst performing soy traders. Mighty Earth’s Deforestation Tracker estimated that between March 2019 and March 2021, Bunge was linked to almost 60,000 hectares of deforestation in Brazil, an area five times the size of Ville de Paris.

Soy consumption in France is responsible for the worst impacts on forests and native ecosystems. Soy for animal feed is the commodity imported into the EU that caused the most deforestation between 2005 and 2017.

“There’s simply no need to bulldoze forests and woody savannahs to make room for soy. There are more than 400 million hectares of previously deforested land where all future soy demand can easily be met without threatening the world’s last ecosystems.

We urge Cargill and Bunge to agree a Moratorium in the Cerrado with a cut-off date of 2020 in the same fashion of the Amazon Soy Moratorium, which the same soy traders agreed back in 2006 and stopped deforestation linked to soy overnight. This is a business decision the CEOs of Cargill and Bunge need to make asap,” said Nico Muzi.

Nine in 10 Carrefour customers in France think that supermarkets should not do business with the companies that are driving the destruction of forests in Brazil, according to YouGov poll conducted for Mighty Earth earlier this year. Despite this, the French supermarket giant keeps sourcing from the companies most responsible for driving deforestation including Cargill and Bunge. With the acquisition of BIG in March, Carrefour Brasil has become the biggest supermarket in Brazil.

ENDS

About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global environmental campaign organization that works to protect forests, conserve oceans, and address climate change. We work in Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and North America to drive large-scale action towards environmentally responsible agriculture that protects native ecosystems, wildlife, and water, and respects local community rights.

More information on Mighty Earth can be found at www.mightyearth.org/.

EU Transparency Register: 169821638625-38

Contact details:

Nico Muzi – [email protected]

+32 484 27 87 91


JICA faces US Securities complaint over allegations of ‘misleading’ investors on coal

JICA faces US Securities complaint over allegations of ‘misleading’ investors on coal

Today, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) faces a first-of-a-kind complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The complainants claim that JICA stated its bond issued on US markets was coal-free, when in fact, proceeds will likely flow to coal-fired power stations in Bangladesh.

“JICA included this clause in its bond prospectus to convince investors concerned about the devastating climate impacts of coal to purchase the bond,” said Yuki Tanabe, Program Director, JACSES. “The agency can’t be allowed to get away with such flagrant greenwashing.”

Japan’s overseas development agency issued a US dollar bond in April 2021, explicitly stating in its prospectus that JICA “will not knowingly allocate any proceeds from the sale of the bonds to activities related to coal-fired power generation.” However, the complaint points to reports indicating that JICA will continue to fund coal power generation projects in Bangladesh and Indonesia, and to JICA’s own financial statements which suggest that the bonds will be used, at least in part, to fund new coal power projects.

JICA is currently lending to an under construction 1,200 MW coal project in coastal Bangladesh, Matarbari, and just yesterday made an additional loan to this project.

JICA is also reportedly looking to finance a further 1,200 MW coal power project in the same region by March 2022. The Matarbari project has come under fire for faulty environmental and social assessments and inadequate compensation. Moreover, JICA has not ruled out providing finance to a 1000MW coal power station in Indramayu, Indonesia.

“We hope global bondholders take this as a warning they may still be backing new coal power if they buy JICA bonds, despite what JICA’s been telling them,” said Julien Vincent, Executive Director of environmental finance group Market Forces. “Many holders of these bonds will have their own mandates and commitments to avoid coal. If JICA continues financing coal power plants, it would not just violate the terms of this bond, but the best efforts of investors’ commitments to stay out of coal.”

Executives from five global and Japanese NGOs (Friends of the Earth Japan, Friends of the Earth US, JACSES, Market Forces, and Mighty Earth) have collaborated to bring this complaint, and are represented by US securities lawyer, Kevin Galbraith.

“As far as we’re aware, this complaint is the first time a governmental organization has been the target of a whistleblower complaint filed with the SEC, but given the SEC’s crackdown on disclosures of climate-related risk, we don’t anticipate that this will be the last,” said Mr. Galbraith. “The SEC’s September 2021 guidance indicates that truthful and complete disclosure of climate related risk is non-negotiable for companies seeking to comply with their obligations to ensure that their statements are not misleading.”

The complainants “urge the SEC to investigate these issues as soon as possible, and to impose on JICA appropriate sanctions for its material misrepresentations.”

Given the seriousness of this claim and the reports of imminent finance for Phase 2 of the Matarbari coal power project, the complainants urge “the SEC seek that JICA makes no further investments in coal pending investigation.”

At and leading up to the recent COP26 summit held in Glasgow, Japan has been the subject of global protest because it continues to fund coal power.

“Japan and its corporations will be left behind if they continue to pump money into coal power at this late date,” said Glenn Hurowitz, Chief Executive Officer for Mighty Earth. “If the only way to sell dirty coal-filled bonds is to lie to investors, it means markets have moved on from coal and Japan needs to move on, too.”

For further information please contact:

Glenn Hurowitz, Executive Director - Mighty Earth
[email protected]


EU Makes Unprecedented Move:  No More Illegal OR Legal Deforestation for EU Products 

EU Makes Unprecedented Move: No More Illegal OR Legal Deforestation for EU Products 

Still Needed: Protections for Other Native Ecosystems 

EMBARGOED UNTIL 17 November 2021, 12:30 CET 

Today, the European Commission published a draft law to ensure agricultural products sold in the Union are free of deforestation. In a landmark move, the EU legislative proposal addresses both legal and illegal deforestation in producing countries. This is a world first: it sets an international precedent in the fight against deforestation, and provides an important incentive to protect the planet’s remaining forests.  

“The EU draft anti-deforestation law represents a major leap forward in the fight to protect the world’s endangered forests,” said Nico Muzi, Europe Director of Mighty Earth. “The EU is sending a clear message to major supermarkets and retailers: one of the largest economies in the world simply won’t accept agricultural products linked to deforestation. 

However, Mighty Earth cautioned that the draft law has three major loopholes that could substantially weaken its impact even as deforestation in the Amazon surges. First, the draft law doesn’t cover the destruction of vital, carbon-rich natural ecosystems such as savannahs, wetlands and peatlands; second, the Commission plan fails to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands even though multiple studies show that Indigenous territories are often the best protected; and third, the proposal excludes rubber, which has been a significant driver of deforestation. 

“This law will make companies like Cargill think twice about purchasing agricultural goods linked to deforestation,” said Muzi. “But it must be strengthened if the EU is serious about fulfilling its COP26 pledge to end deforestation by 2030. It pointlessly leaves out carbon-rich natural ecosystems such as Brazil’s Cerrado and Southeast Asia’s peatland – as well as rubber, an important forest-risk commodity. It also misses the opportunity to protect indigenous peoples, who are some of the best defenders of the land. 

“There’s no reason European consumers should have to worry that the chicken they’re cooking is linked to the destruction of our most precious ecosystems,” said Muzi. “There’s simply no need to destroy native ecosystems to make room for commercial crops. There are more than one billion acres of previously degraded land where all future agricultural needs can easily be met without threatening the world’s last ecosystems. We therefore urge the European Parliament to close those huge loopholes in order to protect European consumers from nature destruction and human rights violations.” 

Demand for a strong EU law across society 

Shoppers in Europe have said again and again they don’t want to buy food linked to the bulldozing of natural ecosystems. Four in five Europeans think that governments should oblige supermarkets to act on deforestation. In fact, a record 1.2 million citizens  urged the Commission to go beyond forest protection and include natural ecosystems such as savannas, wetlands and peatland in the law. The comment period was the second most participated-in public consultation in the history of the EU 

And because their customers are demanding deforestation- and conversion-free products, businesses also support strong regulation. In May, over 70 big companies such as supermarket chains Carrefour and Lidl, foodmakers Danone and Ferrero, cosmetics brands L’Oreal and The Body Shop (and even Groupe Avril, France’s largest animal feed producer) urged the EU to protect natural ecosystems. 

A year ago, the European Parliament adopted a legislative initiative report urging the European Commission to propose a strong anti-deforestation law. 

The link between EU consumption and global deforestation 

Europe is one of the largest drivers of global deforestation in the world, second only to China. The EU is responsible for 16 percent of tropical deforestation through the imports of commodities such as beef, soy, palm oil, rubber, timber, cacao and coffee and their derived products.  

Agriculture drives almost 90 percent of tropical deforestation, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Soy traders Cargill and Bunge and meatpackers JBS and Marfrig are among the worst forest destroyers in Brazil. 

The draft law obliges all companies importing and trading with the six agricultural commodities (beef, soy, palm oil, wood, cocoa and coffee) to conduct due diligence to ensure products sold in the single market are deforestation-free. 

ENDS 

Notes to the Editor: 

Why do we need to protect savannahs, wetlands and peatlands? 

Savannahs, wetlands and peatlands support the livelihoods of Indigenous peoples, are home to wildlife, including critically endangered species, and are massive carbon sinks.  

Around 70% of the forest destruction associated with EU soy imports was concentrated in one critical biome, Brazil’s Cerrado. The Cerrado is a woody tropical savannah that scientists describe it as an ‘upside-down forest’ because its root system is immense and stores around 13.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide. 

This means that if the Commission sets out to only protect ecosystems strictly defined as “forests”, soy and beef expansion in South America will keep shifting from the Amazon basin to the Cerrado, exacerbating deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, violence and human rights violations. The same could be expected for palm oil, which will expand further into peatlands.  

Why rubber? 

It's vital that rubber is included in the EU deforestation law. As a key deforestation-risk commodity, rubber was responsible for over 5 million hectares of deforestation over recent years and rubber's expansion in tropical countries has had a devastating impact on millions of hectares of forests, ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural habitats, as well as the rights and livelihoods of hundreds of local and Indigenous communities. Rubber is used mainly in auto tires, but is also found in numerous products like boots, mats, condoms, gloves, and apparel. With global rubber demand forecast to boom by 33% by 2030, and widespread deforestation and species extinction predicted, key industry associations like the ETRMA - which represent giant tire companies like Michelin and, Continental and Pirelli - recently publicly stated that they favour mandatory due diligence and always believed rubber would be in the EU’s legislation.  

The decision to exclude rubber was based on flawed data, according to the academics whose research was used by the European Commission. 

Why upholding international human rights laws? 

The Commission’s plan fails to protect international human rights, in particular to ensure that the lands of indigenous peoples and local communities are protected. Instead, it relies on national laws of producing countries. This is problematic as recent developments in Brazil and Congo show how even those national laws are under attack. 

About Mighty Earth  

Mighty Earth is a global environmental campaign organization that works to protect forests, conserve oceans, and address climate change. We work in to drive large-scale action towards environmentally responsible agriculture that protects native ecosystems, wildlife, and water, and respects local community rights.  

More information on Mighty Earth can be found at www.mightyearth.org/. 

EU Transparency Register: 169821638625-38 

### 

Contact details: 

Nico Muzi – [email protected] 

+32 484 27 87 91 
 


Astra Clearing Forest NOW in Rarest Orangutan Habitat

Astra Clearing Forest NOW in Rare Orangutan Habitat

New Satellite Imagery Shows October 2021 Forest Destruction

BATANG TORU, NORTH SUMATRA, 9 NOVEMBER 2021 – New satellite imagery caught Indonesian mining, financial services, auto and agribusiness giant Astra International destroying the home forests of the rarest great ape in the world – as recently as last week. The investigation shows operations at Astra’s Martabe gold mine eating away at the habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli Orangutan between October 9 and 29, 2021.[1]

“Since February, Astra has been in talks over a plan to gauge the impact of the neighboring Martabe mine on Tapanuli Orangutan habitat,” said Annisa Rahmawati, Environmental Advocate at Mighty Earth. “But while talks have dragged on for months, this new evidence shows deforestation continuing all along.”

The Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) was identified in just 2017, the first time since the 1920s that a new species of great ape had been found. Indonesia is the only country outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that can boast of being home to three species of Great Ape. Fewer than 800 Tapanuli orangutans exist in the world, less than any other great ape species.

“The Batang Toru ecosystem landscape is our last frontier forest in North Sumatra. The government should evaluate all permits on this landscape and take a firm action against companies that threaten the sustainability of this critical landscape,” said Roy Lumbangaol, a campaign manager at WALHI North Sumatra.

Astra International is also a major player in the palm oil sector, with a special policy on deforestation. Its managed palm plantation operations and trading operations (under the company name Astra Agro Lestari) operate under a No Deforestation policy.

“Astra has not extended its palm oil sustainability policy to operations like the Martabe mine,” said Annisa . “That’s even though many of their consumer-product customers like Hershey’s and Unilever have cross-commodity-deforestation commitments on record. In essence, this recklessness around Martabe puts their entire agribusiness operation at risk.”

Scientists estimate that the Tapanuli orangutan population has almost halved since 1985, and it will continue to decline unless comprehensive protection measures are implemented. Conservation biologists have projected that if the adult population decreases by more than 1% of

 each year, the genetic diversity of the primate will decline to the point that it will go extinct That’s why scientists with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature have called for a moratorium [2] on the development of projects impacting the Tapanuli orangutan’s habitat.

The Batang Toru Ecosystem is also home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, pangolin and helmeted hornbill. Sun bears, tapir, serow and a host of other rare endangered species, including more than 300 bird species, also rely on this habitat.

References:
1 https://www.planet.com/stories/astra-jardine-martabe-gold-mine-expansion_vers3-pzV7oNKng
2 https://www.iucn.org/news/secretariat/201904/iucn-calls-a-moratorium-projects-impacting-critically- endangered-tapanuli-orangutan

# # # For further information,please contact:

Indonesian Campaign Advocacy, Mighty Earth

Annisa Rahmawati

08111097527 [email protected]

PR Consultant, Image Dynamics

Ayunda Putri

08122001411 [email protected]


Astra Tertangkap Lakukan Deforestasi di Habitat Orangutan Terlangka

Siaran Pers Untuk Disiarkan Segera

Astra Tertangkap Lakukan Deforestasi di Habitat Orangutan Terlangka

Citra Satelit Mengungkap Kerusakan Hutan terbaru pada Bulan Oktober 2021

BATANG TORU, SUMATERA UTARA, 9 NOVEMBER 2021 – Citra satelit terbaru berhasil menangkap perusakan hutan pekanlalu oleh Astra International yang saham induknya dimiliki oleh Jardine Matheson1, adalah sebuah perusahaan yang bergerakdi bidang pertambangan, jasa keuangan, otomotif dan agribisnis raksasa pada wilayah habitat spesies kera besar terlangka didunia. Hasil investigasi juga menunjukkan kegiatan operasional Astra di tambang emas Martabe dalam rentang waktu 9sampai 29 Oktober 2021 telah merusak habitat orangutan Tapanuli yang terancam punah.2

“Sejak bulan Februari, Astra berencana untuk menakar dampak tambang Martabe terhadap habitat orangutan Tapanuli,” kata Annisa Rahmawati, Advokat Kampanye Indonesia Mighty Earth. “Namun, bukti baru ini telah menunjukkan bahwa perusakanhutan terus berjalan ketika pembicaraan mengenai rencana masih berlangsung.”

Orangutan Tapanuli (Pongo tapanuliensis) yang diumumkan sebagai spesies baru pada tahun 2017, adalah kera berukuranbesar baru pertama yang ditemukan oleh ilmuwan sejak tahun 1920-an. Dengan temuan ini, Indonesia menjadi satu-satunyanegara selain Republik Demokratik Kongo yang memiliki tiga spesies kera besar. Saat ini, hanya tersisa kurang dari 800orangutan Tapanuli di seluruh dunia, lebih sedikit dari spesies kera besar lainnya.

“Ekosistem Batang Toru di utara Sumatera merupakan satu-satunya habitat orangutan Tapanuli dan sepanjang sejarahmanusia, belum ada satu pun spesies kera besar yang punah. Satwa ini adalah salah satu kerabat terdekat umat manusia,dan saat ini kita tidak memiliki banyak waktu untuk menyelamatkan mereka.” kata Annisa.

Astra International adalah salah satu pemain utama di sektor kelapa sawit dan mempunyai kebijakan khusus mengenaideforestasi. Beroperasi di bawah nama Astra Agro Lestari, baik pengelolaan perkebunan kelapa sawit maupun kegiatanperdagangan perusahaan ini merujuk pada komitmen Nol deforestasi.

“Astra belum mengadopsi komitmen Nol Deforestasi tersebut untuk sejumlah kegiatan operasional mereka yang lain, seperti di tambang Martabe,” lanjut Annisa . “Padahal banyak pelanggan produk mereka seperti Hershey dan Unilever telahmenerapkan komitmen No deforestasi lintas komoditas. Intinya, kelalaian di tambang Martabe ini dapat membahayakanseluruh operasi agribisnis mereka dan memperparah krisis iklim di bumi.”

“Lanskap ekosistem Batangtoru adalah hutan alam terakhir di Sumatera Utara. Pemerintah harus mengevaluasi kembaliseluruh ijin-ijin yang berada di lanskap ekosistem Batangtoru ini dan berani menindak tegas perusahaan yang mengancam keberlangsungan kehidupan di lanskap ekosistem ini”

kata Roy Lumbangaol, Manajer Advokasi dan Kampanye WALHI Sumatera Utara.

Para ilmuwan memperkirakan bahwa populasi orangutan Tapanuli telah berkurang hingga hampir separuhnya sejak tahun1985 dan akan terus menurun jika tidak ada tindak perlindungan yang komprehensif. Para ahli biologi konservasi jugamemproyeksikan bahwa jika populasi orangutan dewasa berkurang lebih dari 1% setiap tahunnya, keragaman genetik primataakan menurun hingga akhirnya punah. Itu sebabnya para ilmuwan dari International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) menyerukan diberlakukannya moratorium3 pengembangan proyek yang berdampak langsung pada habitat orangutanTapanuli.

Tidak hanya bagi Orangutan Tapanuli, lanskap ekosistem Batang Toru juga merupakan tempat tinggal bagi sejumlah hewanpaling terancam punah di dunia, seperti harimau Sumatra, trenggiling, dan rangkong. Kehidupan satwa seperti beruangmadu, tapir, serow serta beragam spesies langka lainnya, termasuk lebih dari 300 spesies burung, terlebih lagi bagi masyarakat adat dan masyarakat sekitar yang sangat bergantung kehidupannya pada keberadaan hutan dan keanekaragaman hayati di lanskap ekosistem Batangtoru.

1 https://www.ft.com/content/74d17c47-fc3f-47db-a717-e1a2780986fb

2 https://www.planet.com/stories/astra-jardine-martabe-gold-mine-expansion_vers3-pzV7oNKng

3 https://www.iucn.org/news/secretariat/201904/iucn-calls-a-moratorium-projects-impacting-critically-endange red-tapanuli-orangutan

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Untuk informasi lebih lanjut, hubungi: Advokat Kampanye IndonesiaMighty Earth Annisa Rahmawati

08111097527 [email protected]

Manajer Advokasi dan Kampanye WALHI Sumatera Utara

Roy Lumbangaol

+62 822-7656-8624 [email protected]

PR Consultant Image Dynamics Ayunda Putri

08122001411 [email protected]


MEDIA RELEASE: Mighty Earth reaction to the UK Soy Manifesto commitment

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 on TUESDAY 9th NOVEMBER 

Contact: Joel Finkelstein

1-202-285-0113 | [email protected]

UK Contact: Robin Willoughby, 07595763925. [email protected]


MIGHTY EARTH REACTION TO THE UK SOY MANIFESTO COMMITMENT

On Tuesday 9th November, members of the UK food industry, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, ASDA and KFC will sign and launch the UK Soy Manifesto, which commits that all physical shipments of soy to the UK are deforestation and conversion free.

Statement of Mighty Earth UK Director Robin Willoughby:

“The message from some of the UK’s largest food businesses to the agribusiness traders working in Brazil, Argentina and other critical areas of biodiversity is clear. No to industrial animal feed that has been produced by bulldozing tropical forests and savannah land and be genuinely transparent about where you source from. 

“But British supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s could have gone much further. This announcement fails to match an agreement on a gold standard that these same companies committed to only a month ago. 

“After missing a 10-year target to tackle deforestation by 2020, supermarkets have essentially extended the deadline by another three and a half years. In this time, savannah land more than double the size of Greater London will have been cleared from the Cerrado biome in Brazil due to the expansion of soy production.

“Worryingly, the UK Soy Manifesto also relies on self-reporting from the very same agribusiness traders that are driving the destruction of forests in the first place.

“To be credible, the signatories to the Soy Manifesto need to put in place clauses in supplier contracts immediately to ensure deforestation and conversion-free soy, rather than punt this down the road. 

“Group-level responsibility means that they should also drop suppliers and agribusiness traders such as Cargill and Bunge that are systematically linked to deforestation or fail to be fully transparency about where they source their soy for industrial animal feed.”

Specific Provisions of the Commitment

  • Through the UK Soy Manifesto, signatories agree to commit to a cut-off date of January 2020, meaning that signatures will not accept any soy from deforested land – either legal or illegal – after that date. This will apply to both direct and embedded soy to the UK market in their products. 
  • They will put in place a publicly available action plan to implement the UK Soy Manifesto by 2025, cascade the commitment into direct supplier contracts and commit to ensure that they enact commercial consequences for non-compliance. They will publicly report against progress annually.
  • Signatories have given themselves three and a half years to put these measures in place. However, many could be in place within as little as six months. In this time, forest and savannah land equal to double the size of Greater London will have been cleared from deforestation hotspots such as the Cerrado in Brazil at present rates [annual deforestation rates attributed to soy expansion are estimated to reach 110,000 hectares a year in the Cerrado alone].
  • The commitment addresses single supply chains from high-risk biomes into the UK market. This ignores a recommendation of the gold-standard ‘Retail Soy Group Roadmap’ for corporate policy to apply to suppliers at their group level – irrespective of the specific company supply chain. 
  • The UK Soy Manifesto states that transparency is a requirement for the UK market and that signatories will aim to improve transparency and traceability. However, the detail on transparency measures largely rely on the same agri-business traders that are driving deforestation in the first place. The transparency and traceability requirements fall far short of those outlined in more the more ambitious RSG roadmap – which states that traceability should be ensured by traders to a level that compliance can be ascertained. 
  • For success, the UK Soy Manifesto should have an immediate implementation period and follow the ‘group-level accountability principle’ meaning that signatories will not source from companies credibly linked to deforestation. Full traceability should be a condition in supplier contracts and systems should be established to monitor non-compliance that do not rely on self-reporting from traders.

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The UK Soy Manifesto to end meat-driven deforestation: does it fall short?

The UK Soy Manifesto to end meat-driven deforestation: does it fall short?  

Today, UK food industry titans, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, McDonalds, Nando’s, Nestle and KFC will launch the UK Soy Manifesto, which aims to ensure that all physical shipments of soy to the UK are ‘deforestation and conversion-free’.  

This represents an attempt by leading consumer facing companies to break the link between destructive deforestation and land clearance in Brazil and Argentina with meat sales in the UK. Soy is mainly used as animal feed and millions of hectares of deforestation are attributed to the expansion in soy production.  

So what does the new UK Soy Manifesto mean? And does this represent a breakthrough, or another ‘greenwash’ environmental initiative launched at COP26 in Glasgow with stated ambition but little chance of implementation?  

In many ways, the UK Soy Manifesto represents progress. The 27 UK signatories have agreed to a cut-off date (of January 2020) after which they will not accept any soy from deforested land in their products (either directly or embedded).  

They have also agreed to cascade this requirement to their supplier contracts; to engage commercial consequences for non-compliance and publicly report against progress. These are all measures that several organisations, including Mighty Earth, have been calling for.  

This approach sends a clear signal to giant agribusiness traders that are driving deforestation in Brazil, such as Cargill and Bunge (who have been linked to 66,000 and 60,000 hectares of land clearance in Brazil respectively over the past two years alone), that UK companies will not accept the continued destruction of the Amazon, Cerrado or Pantanal biomes for industrial animal feed and meat.  

In terms of the market signal, the numbers are large enough to matter. The signatories represent some 12,000 individual supermarket stores in the UK and £130 billion in turnover: 1,300 McDonald’s and 900 KFC restaurants, alone.  

But despite the stated ambition, the UK Soy Manifesto represents both a missed opportunity and an own goal.  

Only a month ago, many of the same retailers that have signed this UK Soy Manifesto, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons agreed to a new Roadmap through the Retail Soy Group that highlights what good looks like in setting policy and practice in this area (see table below).  

Our analysis shows that the new UK Soy Manifesto lacks many of the key elements that could make it transformative for soy in comparison to industry best practice.  

How does it measure up? The UK Soy Manifesto compared with industry best practice through the Retail Soy Group Roadmap.

UK Soy Manifesto Table

Industry best practice is for policy to apply to a ‘group level’ from supplier companies. The intent behind this is that such a measure should prevent a company that drives deforestation from continuing to do this with impunity while supplying so-called ‘clean soy’ to another part of the market (such as the UK). Despite this, the UK Soy Manifesto only applies to soy coming into the UK market from individual companies.  

The UK Soy Manifesto also uses weak language on ensuring supplier commitments; does not embed full traceability in supplier contracts and appears to use self-reporting from the very traders that are driving deforestation in the first place to verify compliance.  

Finally, the implementation period of no later than 2025 gives companies an extended runway of three and a half years to put in place measures, many of which could be put in place within six months or even sooner in many cases.  

During this period, some 330,000 hectares of land – twice the size of Greater London - could have been cleared from the Cerrado savannah in Brazil for expanded soy production at current rates.  

UK industry, environmental organisations, and Indigenous communities that rely on forest and savannah lands in South America desperately need this initiative to work.  

Therefore, we suggest four measures or approaches that could help to ensure that the UK Soy Manifesto becomes effective and transformative in implementation.  

1) Shorten the implementation period to align with the Retail Soy Group Roadmap: for retailers, these measures should be put in place immediately with full disclosure on which proportion of suppliers have signed up to these contractual clauses by 2023 at the latest.  

2) Apply group level accountability principles: this means that in practice, traders such as Cargill and Bunge that are credibly driving systematic deforestation should be excluded from the supply chain unless they agree to apply a cut-off date, stringent monitoring and other control measures. This will help the initiative to move towards a ‘clean supplier’ principle.  

3) Monitoring should be supported by independent systems to support verification and enforcement – such as the Mighty Earth Trader Tracker, and traceability should be a requirement for full access to the UK market – embedded in supplier c contracts.  

4) Finally, as Mighty Earth has noted in other publications – a credible soy policy or strategy also requires targets to be set on meat reduction and a move to alternative proteins. This should be embedded in policy – rather than in aspirational statements. 

These four measures can take the Manifesto from one based on high-level goals towards effective delivery and industry transformation.  


気候変動対策団体、クリーンテック&クリーンスチールの 画期的な計画に参加した日本を称賛

即日発表用:

気候変動対策団体、クリーンテック&クリーンスチールの 画期的な計画に参加した日本を称賛

[東京] - 2021113 - マイティ・アースをはじめとする気候変動対策団体および市民社会組織は、本日、日本が「グラスゴー・ブレイクスルー」に署名したことを歓迎します。今回のクリーンテクノロジーを導入するというコミットメントは、気候変動の影響を受けやすい多くのセクターを対象としています。中でも鉄鋼は、それだけで世界の温室効果ガス排出量の7%を占めており、脱炭素化が最も難しいセクターの1つとされています。

国連気候変動枠組条約第26回締約国会議(COP26)で発表された「グラスゴー・ブレイクスルー」とは、パリ協定の目標達成に必要なクリーンテクノロジーおよび持続可能なソリューションの開発と導入を加速させるために国際的に協働し、それを誰もが手頃な価格で利用できるようにするという公約です。この公約では、世界市場における好ましい選択肢として、ニアゼロエミッション鉄鋼が必要であるとし、2030年までに全世界で効率的な使用とニアゼロエミッション鉄鋼生産体制を確立し、成長させると述べています。

今週初め、オーストラリア、日本、韓国の市民社会団体が、それぞれの政府に「グラスゴー・ブレイクスルー」への署名を促しました。署名した政府が同様の脱炭素化へのスケジュールに同意し、実施を支援するための国家政策を発表すれば、この協定によって、脱炭素化に意欲的な企業の先行者リスクを軽減することができます。

気候ソリューション(Solutions For Our Climate)のマネージング・ディレクターであるキム・ジュジン氏は次のように述べています。「鉄鋼部門は、韓国の年間温室効果ガス排出量の13%を占めています。私たちは韓国がグラスゴー・ブレイクスルーに取り組むことを歓迎し、鉄鋼部門の脱炭素化を支援する具体的な政策を期待しています」。

マイティ・アースの日本ディレクター、ロジャー・スミス氏も次のように述べました。「2050年までに排出量を実質ゼロにするには、各国が今日にも低炭素鉄鋼への移行を始める必要があります。私たちは、材料効率および鉄スクラップのリサイクルと利用に関して、日本が世界をリードする大きな可能性を見出しており、日本がグラスゴー・ブレイクスルーに取り組むことを歓迎しています」。

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国別署名者一覧:

  • オーストラリア ー オーストラリアン・コンサベーション・ファウンデーション、ビヨンド・ゼロ・エミッションズ、カーボン・マーケット・インスティチュート、クライメート・アクション・ネットワーク・オーストラリア、グリーン・ビルディング・カウンシル・オブ・オーストラリア、グリーンピース・オーストラリア・アンド・パシフィック
  • 日本 ー 気候ネットワーク、WWFジャパン
  • 韓国 ー 環境運動連合(唐津支部、光陽支部、浦項支部)、気候ソリューション
  • 国際 ー グリーン・アライアンス、グリーンピース・イースト・アジア(日本・韓国)、マーケット・フォーセズ、マイティ・アース

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問い合わせ先

ロジャー・スミス(マイティ・アース)ー [email protected]

マイティ・アースについて

マイティ・アースは、森林保護、海洋保全、気候変動への対応を目的としたグローバルな環境運動団体です。マイティ・アースの世界鉄鋼キャンペーンについてはこちらをご覧ください:www.mightyearth.org/steel

クライメート・カタリストについて

クライメート・カタリストは、政策の変更を通じて気候変動に対する行動を加速させることを目的とした国際的な組織です。詳しくはこちらをご覧ください:www.climatecatalyst.org


Five things that will determine the success of COP26 Leaders’ Pledge to Protect Forests

Five things that will determine the success of COP26 Leaders’ Pledge to Protect Forests

 

November 3, 2021

The announcement at COP26 of a new political commitment and global fund to protect the world’s forests heralds an unprecedented moment to begin reversing decades of deforestation across the planet. Signatories to the statement – which include Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the EU and USA – between them account for 85% of the world’s remaining forests.

Along with a promise to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030, the statement also announced a $19.2bn fund (comprised of both public and private money) to tackle the problem.

However, political pledges to end deforestation have been seen before; notably the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests. Sadly, the world has continued to lose forests at an alarming rate since that time. So, what needs to happen now for political puff to translate into real action on the ground to protect forests around the world?

Here are five things that will determine the fate of world leaders’ promise to halt deforestation by 2030.

  • Enacting laws and resourcing law enforcement

Many of the world’s largest and most precious remaining forests are found in countries that either have inadequate laws to protect threatened ecosystems, or where such laws exist on paper only and are not enforced. This situation is compounded by corruption and cronyism, with many of the most notorious loggers in forest-rich countries being people with close financial and political ties to those in power. Conserving remaining forests in these countries will largely come down to changing the “risk vs reward” equation, i.e. by increasing enforcement and raising the level of legal jeopardy for the paymasters of those who wield the chainsaws.

  • Protecting Indigenous land and forest rights

Thousands of Indigenous communities across the planet rely directly on forest ecosystems for their livelihoods and spiritual identity. At the same time, Indigenous Peoples’ play a vital role in managing and protecting forests. According to a UN report released in March of 2021, deforestation in Latin America is up to 50% lower in the territories of Indigenous communities than elsewhere. However, despite several international agreements codifying the rights of Indigenous Peoples, their territories continue to come under attack around the world from loggers and private militias seeking to displace them and grab their land. It is therefore vital that countries do more to protect, respect and fulfill the rights of Indigenous communities if they are to meet their objectives of halting and reversing deforestation.

  • Climate finance additionality

When giant sums of money meant to save the planet are bandied about at international events such as COP26, it can be easy to get swept away in the hype. But it is important to understand the fine print, and to examine the track record of such pledges. At the Paris climate summit, the world’s richest countries agreed to provide $100 billion a year to poorer nations by 2020 in order to help them adapt to and mitigate climate impacts. Yet on the eve of the Glasgow COP, leaders of the world’s richest countries admitted that they had failed to deliver on this promise.

While the existing commitments remain unfulfilled, there is also a question of whether money pledged under this new initiative to halt deforestation (including to support Indigenous communities) will provide additional funds to those already promised, or be retrofitted within pre-existing unmet pledges. Developing countries are also concerned about whether the funds will come out of already overstretched – and in the UK’s case, shrinking – international aid budgets, reducing support for other vital activities. This question of “additionality” is crucial for bringing poorer nations on board with forest protection commitments.

 

  • Closing the market

While protecting trees in countries with large intact forest areas is of paramount importance (including the financing of that), it is also essential to “delink” the consumption habits of rich importing nations from ecological destruction around the world. A number of commodities imported by OECD countries – including beef, soy, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, maize and rubber – are grown in tropical environments, where their production is often directly linked to the clearcutting of forests. It is therefore up to the governments in regions such as Europe, North America and East Asia to enact and enforce strong laws that prevent imported goods linked to deforestation from entering their markets.

  • Accelerating industry action

Over recent years, investigations by groups like Mighty Earth and other NGOs have created growing media and consumer awareness about deforestation linked to tropical commodities such palm oil, soy, cocoa and rubber. This has put the industries responsible for producing, trading and selling these products under increasing pressure to take action. In some cases, companies have come together to develop “no deforestation, no exploitation” policies and obligations for their suppliers.

However, progress on implementing these commitments has generally been slow. Companies that produce, buy and sell tropical commodities must therefore redouble their efforts to ensure their pledges are realized on the ground, and develop effective joint monitoring mechanisms to ensure compliance. Industry efforts must also widen to address rogue companies selling within so-called “leakage markets”; i.e. countries and jurisdictions where exporters of goods linked to deforestation can still find a welcome haven for their products.

By pursuing these five key strategies, governments, companies, investors, consumers and civil society can capitalize on the welcome political momentum that has gathered behind the vital task of saving the restoring the world’s remaining forests.


ANALYSIS: Major Breakthrough in Meat Sustainability as Supermarkets Pledge to Cease Purchases Tied to Deforestation

Major Breakthrough in Meat Sustainability as Supermarkets Pledge to Cease Purchases Tied to Deforestation

As the world’s eyes look to Glasgow for climate action, huge change may be coming right in the meat aisle. Leading British and European supermarket chains representing more than 50,000 supermarkets around the world earlier this month sent a clear and unprecedented message to the meat companies responsible for enormous deforestation: change the way you do business, or you’re cut off.

The companies pledged not to purchase meat or dairy raised on soy animal feed sold by companies connected to deforestation that occurred after August, 2020. Europe imports typically imports more than 30 million metric tons of soybeans and soymeal every year, primarily for animal feed. This soy has caused more deforestation than any other commodity imported into the EU and UK from 2005-2017.

The supermarket chains that are part of the commitment are members of the Retail Soy Group - Aldi South, Aldi Nord, Ahold Delhaize, Coop, ASDA, Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Migros, and Woolworth’s. These chains also are looking at ways to reduce consumption of meat altogether by increasing sales of plant-based and other sustainable proteins.

Now the question becomes whether this coalition of some of the world’s largest retailers will actually implement this commitment, or try to pull a bait and switch on their customers.

What Happened

On October 5th, the Retail Soy Group laid out a new industry road map to stop industrial deforestation driven by growing soy for animal feed. The Group represents major commercial chains like Ahold Delhaize, Aldi South, Aldi North, Asda, Co-op (UK and Switzerland), Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Migros, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners – which taken together operate nearly 50,000 supermarkets, provide jobs for hundreds of thousands of employees, and bring in revenue worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

This commitment is the first of its kind at this scale, and could be a huge deal for forests and for the planet. That’s because enormous swaths of land in Latin America are destroyed to grow the soybeans used to feed chickens, pigs and cows.

70 percent of this destruction is concentrated in just one critical biome – the Cerrado in Brazil – which holds some 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity and some 13.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide in its immense root system. Half of the Cerrado – an area the size of France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands combined – has already been destroyed.

The Commitment Say the Right Things

Right now the roadmap is just words on paper, but they’re the right words. Specifically, it says that:

  • Retailers will cut-off agribusiness traders from lucrative markets within 14 months if they continue to buy animal feed from deforesters. Until now, traders like Cargill and Bunge have refused to agree to dicscontinue traders engaged in deforestation – but 50,000 supermarkets speak loudly.
  • Retailers will impose a cut-off date of August 2020 after which they will not accept embedded soy from either legal or illegal conversation of native ecosystems. And, they will cascade these requirements to their direct and indirect suppliers while imposing clauses in supplier contracts.
  • Retailers will apply these stipulations at the group level, which means suppliers won’t be able to sell ‘clean supply’ in one part of their supply chain while continuing to support deforestation in another.
  • Retailers will create strategies that acknowledge reducing dependence on soy means finding pathways to alternative proteins, meat reduction and non-soy animal feed.
  • Critically, the road map finally turns its back on achieving deforestation-free supply chains through certification, credits or offsets– no deforestation means no deforestation.

But Does it Matter?

If the commitments are actually implemented, and if they’re more than just words on paper. We think three tests will tell the tale:

  • First: Will supermarket companies embed these principles and stipulations in supplier contracts? Up to now, asking nicely has proven futile – last year, over 160 retailers wrote a letter to large traders in Brazil asking them to accept the principle of a cut-off date and transparency, but the traders defied them. Instead, we need commercial action – backed up by robust monitoring and evaluation – to actually force change by rewarding clean suppliers at a group level and sanctioning others until they clean up, too. These kind of efforts have been so successful that deforestation for palm oil has been reduced more than 90% in Southeast Asia.
  • Second: How seriously will supermarket companies handle non-compliance? The roadmap acknowledges the need for commercial penalties, hut also stipulates that buyers should engage and support the supplier to come up with a time-bound plan to address the problem. This sounds solutions-oriented, but in fact our experience shows that companies can become trapped in an endless cycle of engagement over non-compliance that doesn’t bring real change. The Retail Soy Group members need to be crystal clear that non-compliance with the cut-off date, transparency and group-level responsibility principles will result in commercial consequences – such as suspension of contracts or dropping of volumes. This too is easier if these stipulations are written right into the contracts.
  • Third: Will supermarket companies get serious about alternative proteins? Less meat consumption reduces demand for industrial animal feed and therefore reduces pressure on land. Any genuine strategy from retailers which aims to end deforestation must include offering consumers better choices. That can include giving more shelf space to vegetables, fruit and plant proteins and setting meat and dairy reduction targets, and increasing the share of plant-based food in the average shopping basket.

Mighty Earth will be watching closely and applying these three tests as the Retail Soy Group moves forward with its roadmap. If taken seriously, this could mark a transformative moment for global agribusiness – and global forests.