Partnership and incentives key to the sustainable transformation of supply chains – trade bodies
In response to the EU’s declared intention to reduce its role in global deforestation by targeting commodities and products entering its market via a set of regulatory and non-regulatory measures, three European trade bodies – COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC – representing the grain and oilseed commodities supply chain, have released a joint position on how the EU grain trade can accelerate action against deforestation.
The “Joint position on how to accelerate action against deforestation“ comes at a crucial moment in the EU debate, shortly after the release of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies by the European Commission, which set the ambition of the European Union in supporting a global transition towards sustainable agri-food systems. Within this context, the bodies state, the “fight against global deforestation and the reduction of the EU’s contribution to it are fundamental challenges which the EU grain and oilseed trade, crushing and feed industry fully share.”
In their joint document, the three associations describe what an EU regulatory framework should foresee in order to be conducive to actual change on the ground. This starts with the recognition of the positive transformation brought by voluntary activities over the last decade and with the need to ensure coordinated engagement of the EU and Member States with countries where deforestation risks arise.
The establishment of an EU regulatory framework on top of that should be conducive to mainstream sustainable transformation.
The path towards no-deforestation supply chains along with ambitious EU objectives entails a careful balancing of EU actions and measures undertaken in partnership with producer countries to be effective at the origin. As such, operators should be provided with a smart toolbox defining clear objectives in a step-wise approach and acknowledging existing disparities among different supply chains, said John Grossmann, President of FEDIOL, an association that represents the interests of the European vegetable oil and protein meal industry.
An umbrella association, the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) represents 23 national Associations in 23 EU Member States as well as Associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia, and Norway with observer/associate member status.
The EU feed industry has been proactive in promoting the mainstream market transformation for responsible soy sourcing based on its guidelines first issued in 2015. According to our risk assessment, approximately 80 percent of soy used by the feed industry originates from low-deforestation risk areas. In 2019, more than 10 million tons of soy (i.e. almost 50 percent) in meal equivalent used by the EU feed industry has been produced according to responsible soy schemes benchmarked by ITC against the FEFAC guidelines. FEFAC is planning to adopt a new deforestation-free criterion in the second version of our guidelines which we will launch before the end of 2020. This means the EU feed industry is on the right track to meet market and societal demands on responsible and deforestation-free supply chains, said FEFAC President Nick Major.
COCERAL represents the interests of European collectors, traders, importers, exporters, and port silo storekeepers in cereals, rice, feedstuffs oilseeds, olive oil, oils, fats, and agrosupply.
Stopping deforestation is a complex challenge. Because the protection of the world’s ecosystems is vital, measures intended to increase no-deforestation supply chains must be tenable in the longer term. We must therefore take the time to find well-balanced solutions that protect forests, secure the livelihood of farmers in producing countries and deliver affordable food to consumers, said Philippe Mitko, President of COCERAL.
The three sectors will continue to share their experience and to be actively engaged with the EU institutions to find effective solutions to the global fight against deforestation.