France falls short in ending deforestation linked to imported soy

France falls short in ending deforestation linked to imported soy

Eight French supermarket chains will now require that their suppliers obtain soybeans that were not grown on deforested land, according to the Washington, D.C.-based environmental NGO Mighty Earth. The announcement said the retailers’ contracts will now bar soy coming from deforested parts of the Cerrado, a mix of savanna and dry forests covering 2 million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) in Brazil. Clearing of land to grow crops like soy has led to the disappearance of half the Cerrado’s natural forests and grasslands. “French supermarkets are finally listening to their customers’ concerns and leading an industry-wide effort to clean up the entire French soy supply chain,” Etelle Higonnet, a senior campaign director with Mighty Earth, said in a Nov. 18 statement. A map showing the extent of the Cerrado biome in Brazil. Image by Terpsichores via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). Companies such as Carrefour, France’s second-largest grocery chain, had previously laid out plans to reduce the connection between the products it sells and deforestation by 2020, according to its website. The companies Auchan, Casino, E. Leclerc, Lidl, Metro, Mousquetaires and Système U joined Carrefour in signing on to the agreement to change their contracts with suppliers. The agreement is missing key players such as agribusiness corporations such as Cargill and Bunge, as well as soy supply chain companies like COFCO and Louis Dreyfus, Higonnet said. She called on French firms to stop doing business with them if they don’t agree to require deforestation-free soy by Jan. 1, 2021. The…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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