Cargill just pledged to protect the world’s forests - but an eight-year truce that protects the Amazon from soya farming is in trouble.
Cargill is one of the largest commodities traders on the planet. It buys and sells all sorts of things, including soya and palm oil. Yesterday it promised to stop buying from companies or farmers involved in deforestation. Fantastic news.
Since 2006, Cargill has been a key player in the Soya Moratorium: an agreement amongst the major traders in Brazil not to buy from soya farmers destroying the Amazon. But now that moratorium is in trouble.
The moratorium was to have lasted for two years, which was meant to be enough time to establish a permanent solution. However, it kept being renewed because we never found anything that did the job better.
If it were to end prematurely, then the Amazon would be at risk from soya farming – just as it used to be.
Finding a lasting solution to forest destruction takes time. But the moratorium is set to expire in December. If there’s no alternative on the table, we’ll obviously have to extend the moratorium for a bit longer – or risk jeopardising everyone’s hard work to date.
We could spend the next few months arguing over whether to renew the moratorium or not. But wouldn’t it be more sensible to agree now that we’ll keep it until a real alternative is in place?
Then we could focus on the solution that everyone says they want to find.
Cargill says it wants to help stop deforestation. Working with the other soya traders and ensuring the Soya Moratorium does not end prematurely should be its top priority.