Responsible Investment for Sustainable, Deforestation-free Agricultural Supply chains - Which EU policies do we need?

6 May 2019

Responsible Investment for Sustainable, Deforestation-free Agricultural Supply chains - Which EU policies do we need?

Together with Aidenvironment & Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Fern organised on May 6 an event on 

“Responsible Investment into Sustainable, Deforestation-free Supply chains – Which EU policies do we need?”

Download the report of the event here.

Presentations are available below. 

More than 450 companies in the food and agriculture sector have made commitments to stop deforestation and respect human rights. But it is increasingly clear that the private sector cannot achieve this goal on their own. A systematic analysis of 250 companies, 150 financial institutions and 50 national and subnational jurisdictions revealed that the rate of progress by most companies falls far below what is required to meet the European Union’s (EU) Sustainable Development Goal commitment to halt deforestation by 2020. Indeed, there is no evidence that commitments are being turned into impact. The failure to effectively address deforestation could worsen climate change and further reduce biodiversity. A recent report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), highlighted that land use changes, pollution and climate change are all causing biodiversity loss, increasing the threats to the future of the global food system. These represent major risks for our society.
The risk of contributing to deforestation is particularly prevalent in soy and beef supply chains that originate in Brazil. Companies active in these supply chains risk reduced market access, harming their reputation and stranding assets. Stakeholders are increasingly calling for a government regulation to provide a level playing field and create a favourable political climate to help companies fulfil their pledges. As European companies are major traders and importers of agricultural commodities driving deforestation, a regulation at the EU level could trigger a global effect. In 2018, the European Commission adopted a package of measures to implement key actions in its action plan on sustainable finance and announced that it was considering stepping up EU action to combat deforestation. Both processes provide an opportunity to support EU businesses and investors to comply with corporate and international deforestation commitments.
Taking research on soya and beef production in Brazil as a starting point, this event will discuss how the EU’s agriculture, finance and investment policies can help companies achieve sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains. Panellists will present best practices and explore what additional measures are needed to ensure that neither products placed on the EU market nor the EU financial sector contribute to deforestation.


1) Tim Steinweg, Consultant, Aidenvironment

Sustainability and financial risks for investors in agricultural supply chains in Brazil - download the presentation

2) Peter van der Werf, Director, Active Ownership, Robeco

Role for investors to achieve change at investee companies and what is needed from policy makers - download the presentation

3) Cristina Hastings-Newsome, Global Sustainability, Louis Dreyfus Company

Louis Dreyfus Company's zero-deforestation/conversion policy and participation in the Soft Commodities Forum

4) Zsofia Kerecsen, Corporate Governance team, Directorate General Justice, European Commission

European Commission actions in the field of sustainable corporate governance

Moderator: Nicole Polsterer from Fern

Category: Events

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