An illegally deforested area in Brazil's Amazon basin. JBS, Cargill and Bunge are among global commodities companies that have committed to ending supply chain deforestation. Photo: Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute.
An illegally deforested area in Brazil's Amazon basin. JBS, Cargill and Bunge are among global commodities companies that have committed to ending supply chain deforestation. Photo: Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute.

Huon suitor JBS and Cargill join bid to end deforestation

Meat processing giant JBS, which is in the process of buying Tasmanian salmon farmer Huon Aquaculture, is among 10 global commodity companies to sign up to a pledge to end deforestation in the supply chain by 2030 as part of efforts to limit climate change.

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Animal and aquaculture feed producer Cargill, and agribusiness Bunge are also signatories to the Declaration on Forests and Land Use pact to develop a “sectoral roadmap” aimed at halting deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade.

Among many other things, Bunge collaborates with Corbion to produce salmon feed ingredient AlgaPrime DHA at a joint venture facility in Brazil through fermentation-based cultivation with non-GM cane sugar as a feedstock.

COP26

The action plan emerged at the COP26 summit in Glasgow from the World Leaders’ Summit on Forests and Land Use and also includes more than 100 countries. Brazil, China, Canada, Russia and Indonesia have joined the United States and the UK among the contingent agreeing to take part in the initiative.

Twelve countries have also committed to provide $12 billion from 2021 to 2025 to a new Global Forest Finance Pledge, which will “support action in developing countries, including restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and advancing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities”, according to a statement from the UK government.

Roadmap of actions

It added: “Twenty-eight governments, representing 75% of global trade in key commodities that can threaten forests, have signed up to a new Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Statement. This statement is part of a roadmap of actions designed to deliver sustainable trade and reduce pressure on forests, including support for smallholder farmers and improving the transparency of supply chains.

“In addition, 10 of the largest companies managing over half of global trade in key forest-risk commodities such as palm oil and soy have announced that by COP27 (in November 2022) they will lay out a shared roadmap for enhanced supply chain action consistent with a 1.5-degree Celsius pathway (limiting global warming to 1.5°C).”

The other companies in the commodity contingent are Wilmar International, Louis Dreyfus Group, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Olam International, Amaggi, Viterra and Golden-Agri Resources.

Gilberto Tomazoni: The CEO has brought forward JBS' target of zero illegal deforestation for the suppliers of its suppliers. Photo: LinkedIn.
Gilberto Tomazoni: The CEO has brought forward JBS' target of zero illegal deforestation for the suppliers of its suppliers. Photo: LinkedIn.

Transformation agent

JBS chief executive Gilberto Tomazoni said in a statement: “By bringing everyone together, we are confident that the company can be a transformation agent.”

In July, Brazil-headquartered JBS announced that it was bringing forward its target of zero illegal deforestation for the suppliers of its suppliers in South America’s Cerrado, Pantanal, Atlantic Forest and Caatinga biomes from 2030 to 2025, mirroring a commitment already established for the Amazon.

JBS said this was being made possible through the rapid advance of its Transparent Livestock Farming Platform that allows all direct suppliers of the company to also evaluate their own suppliers to ensure that they are all in compliance with the JBS Responsible Procurement Policy.

The JBS takeover of Huon has been backed by Huon’s board and shareholders, and by Australia’s foreign investors watchdog, but needs court approval at a hearing scheduled for November 3.