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Giant Food Producer ADM Embraces No-Deforestation Policy


Deforestation of huge expanses of rainforest by industrial soybean producers, BrazilArcher Daniels Midland (ADM) pledged to help stop Deforestation by committing itself to ‘build traceable and transparent agricultural supply chains that protect forests worldwide’.

Their commitment is implemented through supply chain policies of palm and soy. They extended their commitment to improve both the crop quality in global supply chain and the lives of farmers and local communities.

Last September, at the United Nations climate summit, many global leaders pledged to reduce global warming pollution by gradually ceasing deforestation. Forty companies including Kellogg, Nestlé and L’Oréal, signed a declaration to help cut tropical deforestation in half by 2020 and cease it entirely by 2030. Several organisations, both government and NGO, across the world promised to help reach that goal.  A commitment to the restoration of millions of hectares of forest land was also a part of the declaration.

In 2006, many major soybean traders including ADM made the agreement, Soy Moratorium to stop the purchase of soy cultivated in deforested Brazilian Amazon and the agreement did slowed the pace of deforestation.

Crops like soy and palm can supply raw material to versatile products that are found in anything from animal feed to bread, burger, ice cream, puddings, paints, adhesives, detergents, insect sprays, lipstick and a whole range of cosmetics. Soy production through agricultural expansion has severe social impacts also. As WWF Global notes, “ in the expanding soy plantations of Brazil, poor people are lured from villages and deprived neighborhoods to remote soy estates where they are put to work in barbaric conditions, sometimes at gunpoint, with no chance of escape.”

Soy and palm are often produced on the cleared land of tropical forests.According to scientific American, the CO2 released into the atmosphere due to the loss of tropical rain forests is more than the total CO2 emission from all cars. Agricultural expansion is one of the primary reasons of the tropical deforestation. In Indonesia, the production of palm oil has resulted in uncontrolled destruction of primeval forests.

With the current announcement, ADM also joined list of agricultural companies who promised their commitment at UN climate summit-2014 to end tropical deforestation. ADM will work with a non-profit group called Forest Trust which is dedicated to improving the sustainability of company supply chains. It makes sure that the company’s soy or palm oil products’ supply chain affects neither the environment nor the welfare of people.  A detailed plan will be announced on 7th May. While 96% of the Palm oil market is controlled by No-deforestation policies,  It’s the first time ever a company makes such policy to end deforestation in Soy supply chain.

ThinkProgress reports as Ben Cushing, a spokesman for the advocacy group, Forest Heroes said “While there’s still a lot of work to be done to implement these palm oil policies on the ground and to reign in rogue actors, we’re really looking to now spread this transformation to other commodities that drive deforestation in other parts of the world — soy in Latin America being top among them. We’re at a critical juncture now to break the link between agriculture, especially for soy production and deforestation in Latin America,” Cushing said. “The recent progress on palm oil shows that this is possible, and now ADM’s announcement is a major step forward for the soy industry.”

Lucia von Reusner, An advocate of a shareholder company called Green Century Capital Management, told ThinkProgress “it’s difficult for farmers to prioritize long-term sustainability over short-term cost cutting unless large companies use their influence to demand it. “It’s important that these companies that are setting the market are saying that, in addition to a low price, it’s important that our suppliers adhere to sustainable practices.”


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