How to ensure supply chains do not cause deforestation
Tropical forests continue to be felled at an alarming rate. 80 per cent of this destruction comes from conversion of forests to agricultural land for commodities such as beef, soy, and palm oil.
The EU is the second biggest importer of agricultural goods which cause deforestation - much of it illegal. The EU’s imports of these 'forest-risk commodities' do not just drive deforestation, they fuel human rights abuses, from child labour to land grabs.
For this reason, the EU should introduce mandatory sustainable supply chains, to ensure products that cause deforestation do not enter the European market.
Over 440 companies have committed to free their supply chains of deforestation, but it has become increasingly clear that these companies cannot achieve this goal on their own. Seven European countries, through the Amsterdam Declaration Partnership, are also working towards deforestation-free, sustainable supply chains.
In 2021 the EU is expected to table a corporate governance law requiring companies to execute due diligence across the supply chain, aiming for a do-no-harm approach, as well as specific legislation to tackle deforestation and human rights violations in supply chains.