Commitment to transparency
96% of the companies were in compliance with the soy moratorium in 2018/2019
The 2018/2019 report of the companies that adhered to the Soy Moratorium showed that, out of the 27 signatories, 74% (20) had conducted the required audits and delivered valid reports in the reporting year, five companies did not operate in the Amazon biome in the period, one did not deliver the annual audit report and one company submitted an outdated document.
Every year an independent auditing process takes place to assess the results of the signatory companies that have adhered to the Soy Moratorium to verify the practices they have adopted to ensure compliance.
The Soy Working Group, formed by representatives of the Brazilian Vegetable Oil Industry Association (Abiove), the Brazilian Grain Exporters Association (Anec) and civil society, assesses the individual reports annually and issues a consolidated report that includes the conclusions of the independent auditors and considers opportunities for improvement.
It is important to remember that the Soy Moratorium is a voluntary commitment. It encourages soybean traders to not buy or finance raw material produced in deforested areas after 2008 in an attempt to discourage slash-and-burn agriculture.
The reports show that 90% of the companies do not purchase soy tainted by deforestation, which is evidence of compliance with the commitment. Two companies registered non-compliant purchases but they have stated that they have put an action plan in place to mitigate this problem.
Of the five million hectares used for soybean plantations in seven states of the Amazon region, 88,000 hectares were identified as not being compliant with the moratorium in the 2018/2019 cycle, i.e., areas that should not have been deforested. This deforestation represents a 38% increase as compared with the 2017/2018 harvest, which identified 64.3 non-compliant hectares. This percentage of growth is very close to the 36% identified in the 2016/2017 result, when 47,400 hectares were identified as non-compliant.
Although alarming, soy production accounted for 1.8% of the total 88,000 hectares and 4.8% of the total area deforested in the 95 municipalities under surveillance. That means that deforestation is occurring but 95% of it is not caused by soybean farming. This data was extracted from the Program for Calculating Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon (PRODES 6) of the National Space Research Institute (INPE)
Opportunities for improvement
One aspect that still needs to be improved is the quality of the information and monitoring management practices of direct and indirect grain suppliers. For example, there is evidence of flaws, such as missing or inconsistent geospatial data, and 40% of the companies do not have a geomonitoring system in place to identify production sites. In addition, 55% of direct suppliers within the audited group have ways to automatically block non-compliant farms.
One of the conclusions, therefore, is that voluntary process improvements may increase the safety of operations for almost half of the signatories. In addition to not buying, trading and financing soybeans from deforested areas, companies committed to the moratorium should strive to find viable and reliable solutions to increase their oversight of direct and indirect supplier purchases.
To view the Consolidated Audit Report of the 2018/2019 Cycle, click here.
We will display the results of the audits of Cycle 2019/2020 soon, stay tuned!
Quarta de Soja (Soy Wednesday) elevates the importance of transparency in the production chain
The live session was attended by representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, companies and civil society to discuss more responsible production
Who complies with the requirements of the Soy Moratorium?
Multi-stakeholder working group finds solutions to oversee and check goals established for deforestation-free soybeans by helping signatories to abide by their commitments
The Soy on Track Project is a support and monitoring tool that underpins the social and environmental commitments established by the soybean production sector in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.