Environmentalists put more pressure on Cargill to slow forest-to-farm movement in Brazil

phys.org | 1/23/2015 | Staff
leeann77leeann77 (Posted by) Level 3
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Pressure is mounting on Cargill Inc. to do more for native vegetation in Brazil, South America's food powerhouse.

Environmental groups want the Minnetonka, Minn.-based grain trader and food processor to intervene in the clearing of habitats in the Cerrado region of central and southern Brazil, particularly for soybean production, as it did previously in the Amazon region in that country's north.

Pressure - Cargill - Month - Deadline - Deforestation

The pressure intensified after Cargill announced last month it would fail to meet a self-imposed 2020 deadline for ending deforestation in Brazil and other parts of South America.

The tension underscores Cargill's worldwide influence and Brazil's importance in agriculture. The country is the world's No. 4 producer of food after the U.S., China and India and it recently passed the U.S. to become the world's leading producer of soybeans.

Activists - Cargill - Sustainability - Ideals - Leadership

Environmental activists said Cargill espouses sustainability ideals but is failing to show leadership by following through on its stated goals. Cargill said the issue of land being cleared in the Cerrado region is much more complex than it was in the Amazon. For starters, the Cerrado is far larger in output, accounting for half of Brazil's soybean production.

In 2006, Cargill and other commodity traders signed the Amazon Soy Moratorium, agreeing to stop buying soy grown on newly cleared rain forest in that region of Brazil. The move effectively ended deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

Cargill - Number - Efforts - Soft - Commodities

Cargill has joined a number of other industrywide efforts, like the Soft Commodities Forum, the Global Trade Corp. and the Consumer Goods Forum, each with their own frameworks for reducing or eliminating habitat destruction. In 2014, Cargill signed the U.N.'s New York Declaration of Forests, committing to halving deforestation by 2020 and eliminating it by 2030.

But last month, Cargill released its soy action plan for South America that walked back some of its hard deadlines. The company announced a new $30...
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