Amazon Soy Moratorium: So Far, So Good


With the Amazon moratorium in place, U.S. companies are under pressure to find new sources for soybeans.wikipedia

A two-year moratorium on the purchase of soybeans in newly deforested parts of the Amazon rainforest put in place by Greenpeace, working with the Brazilian Vegetable Oils Industry Association, seems to be working: no new soybean plantations were detected in any of the 193 areas in the region. In the 12-month period ending last August, there was no deforestation totaling 250 acres or more. Greenpeace credits participation by U.S.-based commodities giants Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge as key to the success of the moratorium. Demand is rising for soybeans, not only as a food staple but as the base of biodiesel fuel.

"The results show that the soy moratorium is being respected and that is good news," says Paulo Adario, who coordinates Greenpeace’s Amazon campaign. "However, the high prices paid for soy on the international market are increasing producers" appetites for more land, which creates an important challenge for the companies committed to the moratorium." With more and more Chinese firms moving into the region to source new soybean yields, U.S. companies committed to the moratorium are under increasing pressure to find their own additional sources of soybeans. The future of their agreement with Greenpeace, which expires this July, hangs in the balance.

"The challenge is how the companies can reinforce their commitment to the moratorium and help the Brazilian authorities end the destruction of the forests on which everyone’s livelihood depends," Adario adds. "And it’s an even bigger issue at a time when higher [soy] prices are stimulating farmers to increase their plantations."


Green Peace