amazon1.jpg

Today the soya trading companies operating in Brazil – this includes giants such as Cargill, Bunge, ADM, Dreyfuss, Amaggi and others – will announce that the monitoring of the current soya crop (2008-2009) found soya planted where it shouldn’t be: in areas deforested in the Amazon after July 2006. This is the date when the soya industry announced a moratorium for buying soya coming from newly deforested areas in the Amazon – a direct result of a strong campaign led by Greenpeace and soya European consumers, including McDonalds and its allies.

The good news is that the volume of soya resulting in deforestation is pretty small and traders will finally enforce their promises of not buying soya from farmers who disrespected the moratorium. Additionally, traders will cut credits of these farmers or others who challenge the moratorium – the soya traders fund large part of the Brazilian soya production.

Last year, the monitoring found new deforestation in the surroundings of traditional soya farms but didn’t find soya planted in those areas (only rice which is not part of the moratorium). It has been pretty easy and comfortable for traders to claim that they are respecting an agreement which was not welcomed by farmers – in fact, it was imposed to them. Now, we are happy to see the trading companies making good on their promises to protect the world’s largest tropical rainforest!

This decision of the traders shows that companies can really play a fundamental role in fighting deforestation and join the global effort to stop climate change.

cheers,
paulo