Brazil Resists Pressure and Extends Soy Moratorium in the Amazon

    Soy plantation in the Brazilian Amazon

    Soy plantation in the Brazilian Amazon International environmental group Greenpeace released a note welcoming the Brazilian government decision to extend by one year the Amazon soy moratorium, announced this Tuesday, June 17, in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia. The announcement was made by Brazil's Soy Traders Association (Abiove), together with Brazil's new Environment Minister, Carlos Minc, Greenpeace and other NGOs.

    The moratorium, which bans the purchase of soy from newly deforested areas in the Amazon, or from farmers using indentured or slave laborers, was the direct result of a Greenpeace investigation documented in the 2006 report "Eating up the Amazon" and our subsequent campaign. The moratorium will now run until July 2009.

    Several soy producers had begun using rising agricultural commodity prices and global demand for grain to pressure Abiove and traders not to extend the moratorium. A handful even used the global food crisis to justify further Amazon deforestation.

    "The decision to extend the moratorium against the backdrop of rising commodity prices and the food crises shows that government and industry now understand that it is possible to protect the forest, combat climate change and still ensure food production," said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon campaign director in Brazil.

    Greenpeace, together with other NGOs, will continue to help Abiove to bring effective governance to the soy industry in the Amazon. Greenpeace warns however, that a one year extension may not be long enough to build the tools necessary to ensure that soy production does not result in further deforestation.

    An alliance of soy consumer companies, led by McDonalds, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour also welcomed the extension decision and, in a joint statement, renewed its commitment to remaining actively engaged. In Brazil, the companies Wal-Mart, Sadia and Yoki also supported the statement.

    The direct involvement of the Brazilian government, experts say, is key to providing the framework essential for farmers to comply with the law.

    "The moratorium is a successful initiative by civil society and the soy industry. The Federal Government is entering the process now and is committed to register and license all rural properties in the Amazon biome," Minc told reporters. "Inspired by the success of this initiative, the Brazilian government is negotiating similar approaches with the timber and beef industries."

    "We are delighted to see the new environment minister take an active role in ensuring the continuation of the moratorium. Such high level support helps Abiove and the traders convince farmers to support the initiative. His support also serves as a warning to those who continue to destroy forests that their soy will be rejected by the market," concluded Adario.

    Tropical forest destruction is responsible for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to the energy sector. 75 percent of Brazil's emissions come from forest destruction, making it the world's fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter.

    The Whole Greenpeace Statement:

    The announcement from soy traders in Brazil to extend a moratorium on soy expansion, provides hope for the Amazon rainforest. We're not out of the woods yet, but this decision and the history of campaigning which got us here should be celebrated and built upon to protect all ancient forests for the future.

    We've received good news about the ongoing campaign to protect the Amazon rainforest: the landmark two year old "soy moratorium," brought about after we demonstrated that the rainforest was being cleared to make way for soy farming, has been extended for another year.

    The Amazon Campaign

    Rising international demand for soy had led many farmers to drive deforestation to make way for soy cultivation. Back in 2006, we published "Eating up the Amazon," a report on our investigation into the links between soy in the supply chains of leading international food companies and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

    At the same time, we dressed up as chickens and heckled McDonald's, one of the companies using soy from the Amazon for Chicken McNuggets back then. The costumes were sweaty but lucky for us (and the planet), McDonalds quickly reacted and agreed to join us and lead a call for a change.

    Responding to this pressure, the major soy traders operating in Brazil announced a two year moratorium which came into effect in July 2006, stopping for the time being the trade in soy grown on newly deforested land.

    Although recent figures show an increase in Amazon deforestation rates, after three years of decline, the first field evaluation show that the soy harvested this year in the Brazilian Amazon has not come from newly deforested areas. In other words, the moratorium is doing its job and halting soy related forest destruction, despite the pressure from rising soy prices.

    Companies Doing the Right Thing

    But two years have not been long enough to establish permanent solutions to halt deforestation related to soy farming and without an extension much of the hard work done to date would have been lost. Credit for the extension goes primarily to two of our, umm, favorite allies – big business and government.

    The Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (Abiove), which represents soy traders, has recently been under huge pressure from producers who wanted to weaken the moratorium by allowing soy plantations in areas not permitted under the existing agreement.

    Despite the pressure, in a press conference held in Brasí­lia, Abiove has just confirmed that it will back the moratorium for another year. "Abiove's decision shows that it is possible for a leading agribusiness company to ensure food production without destroying forests," said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon campaign coordinator.

    Brazilian Environment Minister, Carlos Minc, told reporters: "The moratorium is a successful initiative by civil society and the soy industry. The Federal Government is entering the process now and is committed to register and license all rural properties in the Amazon biome. Inspired by the success of this initiative, the Brazilian government is negotiating similar approaches with the timber and beef industries."

    "We are delighted to see the new environment minister take an active role in ensuring the continuation of the moratorium. Such high level support helps Abiove and the traders convince farmers to support the initiative. His support also serves as a warning to those who continue to destroy forests that their soy will be rejected by the market," concluded Adario.

    Not only has Minc come out in support of the extension, he has committed the government to speeding up efforts for the registration and mapping of rural properties in the Amazon. This is essential if we are to ensure compliance by all parties to the laws dictating which land may be used for farming and which is off limits for deforestation.

    Much More Still to Be Done

    This announcement means we're one step closer to achieving that. Further measures include curbing illegal occupation of public lands, harsh penalties for illegal deforestation, driving development to areas away from the rainforest and increasing support for sustainable methods of production.

    Not only is the forest a natural wonder but it is home to millions of indigenous peoples. In addition, recent science has proven that tropical forest destruction is responsible for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to the energy sector.

    Stopping deforestation of the Amazon would bring us much closer to keeping global temperature rise at below 2°C, which most scientists believe is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.

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    • Show Comments (6)

    • ch.c.

      To Winston and the Tranny !
      Winston :
      you are dead right. But without puting the Amazon theory one side or the other, Brazilians exports are US$ 50 billion of agricultural products annually. And they prefer to export rather than feeding their own society first. This is where the shame is.
      For a few dollars more in their pockets, Brazilians prefers exporting instead of feeding their own children. And with the money they buy mansaos, luxurious foreign cars, have mistresses having priority over their own poors. SAD REALITY.
      Further strange is they are ranked as a middle income country…..but have the world highest poverty rate….when compared to their GDP per capita.
      Result : they are ranked near the queue at the the wealth inequality ranking.
      Furthermore you are also right that Greenpeace or many NGOs dont care about poverty and hunger. The preservation of trees are more important than feeding people. Birds are more important than people in their view. This said I am not totally against them because they still raise fundamental problems…..but offer Noooooo solution. A little bit easy….in my view,
      As to those poors in other countries, sorry but their actuial or previous governments got tens of billions US$ in loans or “donations” (“donations” being a loan no repaid because their country went bankrupt) for the simple, reason that their dictators or elected government did not spend the money for the society but kept the money mostlly for themselves. How many promises have these countries made to spend the money of the loan for infrastructure, farmers, education, housing, healthcare ? And where do we stand after the 20th loan of “donation” ? Not much more than earlier. But huge wealth made by a minority.
      In its simple form, politicians and high officials in poor or emerging countries are more wealthy…than their peers in wealthy countries who mmade the donations. This says it all ! Brazilians senators earn more in their official wages…than their peers in many European countries such as U.K., Spain, Italy, France. And this is of course without taking in account their well known corruption practices….increasing further their wealth. But 15 months ago the Brazilians senators voted to DOUBLE their salaries ! Refused….but knowing how the Brazilian filthy system work, no doubt they got a high pay increases, disguised into perks and adminstrative costs, without making a big fanfare…to have the medias keep cool.

      the Tranny :
      I suggest you read stats from YOUR own country. And read the reports from the World Bank, IMF and whoever you chose.
      Even many articles were published….in this site.
      I suppose you were making BJs or watched your TV soap operas instead of reading the sad reality.
      Result : the numbers are not mine.

    • ..

      Winston
      [quote]How many millions of people go to bed hungry in Brazil every night?[/quote]

      According to our Geneva based economist, it is around 44 Millions

      [quote]The members of Enviornmental groups are never seen feeding the hungry and malnourished of the world. Why is that?[/quote]

      It is all because of the fault of your great grandpa Winston Churchil.

    • Winston

      How many millions of people go to bed hungry in Brazil every night? Could not this food and other crops like that feed Brazil’s millions of hungry people. The members of Enviornmental groups are never seen feeding the hungry and malnourished of the world. Why is that?

    • ch.c.

      “I am very upset that you called Minc , the liar ”
      Sorbonne trained or not, he has the Brazilian virus of being filthy to the roots. That is why he has been named by HIS HIGHNESS with a clear mission….to target foreigners who bought land totally legally with far more than one government agency approval.
      And I can just repeat what I said : at what time these “newly” deforrested land….will Noooo longer be “newly” but legally apt to
      produce whatever the land owners decides, soyabeans or cattles.
      As a Brazilian, Joao you should know better than me that after deforrestation, you first put cattles for a while and only when land is degraded you switch to……grains. And if you did not know…you have thousands of articles available describing how things are done. More simple there is not.

      Proving me wrong will be difficult.

      Also Just read today article…in this site….concerning the hearing that will happen shortly of the English guy !
      As to INCRA chief, Hackbart, in the article, you have the prove of what I am saying.

      2 years ago, this crook, with the MST 400’000 settlements promised by Lula said :
      Our numbers are irrefutable and non negotiable. To prove our good faith, we are going to deliver the list of ALL MST families that were settled within 2 months.

      Well……the list was of course NEVER EVER delivered !!!!

      Guess why !

      And of course…he is still in charge of INCRA !!!!!!!!

      Finally on the US$ 276 million fine, please think about this :
      Amazon land was offered at less than US$ 100.- per hectare, or US$ 40. per acre.
      The guy, as per the articles, bought 121’000 acres. Therefore He probably paid around US$ 5 millions.
      These prices were if he bought land in 2006 because if it was in 2002 or 2003 it was much….CHEAPER !
      Now the fine is US$ 276 millions or US$ 5700.- per hectare.
      It happens this is more expensive than the price of a 10 years established PRODUCTIVE soyabeans plantation in….SAO PAULO !!!!!!!!!!
      Give me a break Joao. Please do !

      Fortunately our BBC farm is in western Bahia, not in the Amazon. And we did not deforrest anything. Land was already cleared and was in degraded state.
      By the way…..a while ago, in one of my comments to your attention, I proved that coffee prices for BHC were paid US$4.- per pound to farmers in Haiti. Did you get it…or not ? Smile
      I have more interesting details if you want about PREMIUM COFFEES !!!!!!

      😉 😀 😉

    • João da Silva

      Ch.c
      [quote]Where is then……..the Amazon preservation…that Minc the liar is talking about ? [/quote]

      I am very upset that you called Minc , the liar 😥

      You forget that he took “Charge” from Marina less than a month ago and you should have waited until June 27th to call him all sort of names. He has 9 more days to fix the problems.In homage to him, I asked my seamstress to stitch a nice and colorful vest for me to wear and that silly woman refused to take my order 😥

      Minc is a Sorbonne trained Political Scientist, a revolutionary in Brasil, Algeria and France (and probably he lived in Switzerland too). So I am willing to give him 9 days plus another 30 days to perform his duties.I suggest you do too 😉

    • ch.c.

      Just 3 questions :
      1) Bin the Crook and his lieutenant Alencar both wrote many times : THERE ARE NO SLAVE LABORERS….in Brazil ! Despite many are freed ! Hmmmmm doesnt smell good !
      – Therefore why the slave laborers words are stipulated in the moratorium ?
      “The moratorium, which bans the purchase of soy from newly deforested areas in the Amazon, or from farmers using indentured or slave laborers”

      2) If no one is allowed to buy the soabeans from newly deforrested Amazon….where are the beans sold…..since they are produced ??????

      3) after 3, 4 or 5 years , at one point theses “newly” deforrested wont be “new” anymore….by definition ! Therefore assuming the break point is 4 years, ALL newly deforrested areas will become legally ACCEPTED FOR PRODUCING AND SELLING SOYABEANS….AFTER 4 YEARS FROM THEIR DEFORESTATION DAY !!!

      Where is then……..the Amazon preservation…that Minc the liar is talking about ?

      Deforrest it today ! Put some cattles (not prohibited) ! Wait 4 years ! And then plant soyabeans. 100 % LEGAL !
      With the filthy government blessings….of course…IF those doing so are….. Brazilians.
      But of course… NOT if you they are foreign companies. Because then they will be finger pointed, and probably heabyily fined……OF COURSE AND……AS USUAL !!!!!

      When cheating, lying and hiding are in the genes….these tend to resurfaces…on a daily basis ! GUARANTEED !

      And Minc has the total blessings and support from HIS Highness….Bin the Crook !

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