The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative (FSFCI) launched by Nutreco, Grieg Seafood and Tesco in December has already secured more than $14 million to provide savanna soy producers with financial incentives to ensure that future soy cultivation expansion in the Cerrado biome only is carried out on existing agricultural lands. The exact mechanism by which these funds will be disbursed has not yet been developed. In most of the area traditionally known as “the birthplace of waters”, private landowners under Brazil’s Forest Code can legally deforest up to 80% of their property, that’s as compared to Legal Amazonia, where only around 20% can be legally cleared.
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest doubled in January compared with a year ago, reaching a five-year record for the month, according to the national space research agency Inpe. More than 280 sq km were cleared in January, an increase of 108%, and a record for the month since data started being collected in 2016. One square kilometre roughly equals 200 football pitches. Deforestation in the Amazon soared last year.
Nestlé SA, which aims to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain over the next three years, has stopped buying Brazilian-produced soybeans from agricultural trading firm Cargill Inc. after a review couldn’t trace the oilseeds back to specific plantations, raising concerns that they were produced on converted land. Brazil’s accelerating deforestation is pressuring food makers, retailers, investors and commodity traders to shake up supply chains in an effort to push back on land-clearing and achieve environmental goals.