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Soft Commodities Forum members surpass soy traceability target

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Soft Commodities Forum (SCF) published its latest report in which it announced the achievement of its ambitious soybean supply chain traceability targets in Brazil’s Cerrado region, provided progress on its landscape partnerships and offered insights into priorities and next steps as it continues to expand its work.

The SCF is a global platform for leading food and agribusiness companies, convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for the purpose of advancing collective action around common sustainability challenges. The SCF’s members are ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO International, Louis Dreyfus Company and Viterra (formerly known as Glencore Agriculture).

In December 2019, members committed to achieving a minimum of 95% traceability to farm for their direct sourcing in the project’s 25 priority municipalities. Their latest report shows the achievement of this target, with all six members achieving the target and most of them surpassing it, achieving full traceability to farm for direct sources.

“Achieving this result is a great milestone for the SCF and its work to support and protect vulnerable biomes in South America,” said Diane Holdorf, managing director Food and Nature at WBCSD and SCF’s spokesperson. “Now, having achieved this critical goal, the SCF is exploring new ways to further refine and improve the accuracy of traceability at the farm level, and most importantly, the group continues to expand its work with producers and third parties in order to drive impact on the ground.”

In the 25 municipalities identified as a priority for action, the SCF has forged partnerships with local implementation partners to engage producers and identify key opportunities and challenges to promote the sustainable expansion of soy production in available cleared areas, protecting remaining native vegetation. Through its partners, the SCF has reached approximately 121 producers to date.

In Bahia, as part of its partnership with Solidaridad Brazil, the group is collecting insights from 80 soy producers, with the aim of identifying critical interventions and co-developing plans designed to encourage the adoption of climate-smart practices and eliminate the expansion of soy from high-value natural habitats. In Mato Grosso, the Produce, Conserve and Include initiative is engaging 50 soy producers and cattle ranchers in a process of continuous improvement, aimed at addressing critical gaps in sustainable and profitable production systems.

A full overview of these initial engagements will be available in early 2021. In the meantime, insights from the process already point to a set of concrete opportunities for improvement with the potential to drive the adoption of sustainable production practices. In 2021, the group will share key learnings from producer engagements, with the goal to bring others on board to support implementation, recognizing that collaboration with local actors and the broader value chain is essential to ensure lasting positive impact for all stakeholders

“Only by bringing producers to the center of the quest for solutions will we be able to contribute to a world without commodities-driven conversion, balancing environmental outcomes with resilient and prosperous rural communities,” shared Tony Siantonas, who leads WBCSD’s Sustainable Agriculture Agenda as Director of Scaling Positive Agriculture. “The SCF plays a key role as a bridge between producers and the broader value chain, encouraging targeted and effective investment in shared solutions. As WBCSD, we support their work as part of our broader climate-, nature- and farmer-positive agenda for agriculture.”

In parallel to these activities and recognizing the need to update risk analyses periodically based on newly available information, the SCF is working with partners to review the methodology used to identify priority municipalities. While the group continues to deliver on its existing priorities, this exercise aims to widen the group’s important work and ensure that good results continue to be delivered in those areas with the highest current and future risk of conversion in the Cerrado. Results from this analysis and an updated scope will be validated with key stakeholders and shared by the group in 2021.

Download the report here.

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