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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Soya producers 'will do better'
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest
Soya production is causing the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest according to Greenpeace
Brazilian soya producers have pledged to use more ethical methods, following international pressure for change.

The key soya producers' association in Brazil say they will not buy goods from recently deforested areas.

This follows a report by Greenpeace linked soya production to destruction of the Amazon rainforest and other unlawful activities, like slavery.

Most soya is used for making vegetable oil and animal feed. Brazil is the world's second largest producer.

Environmental commitment

Following lobbying from groups like Greenpeace, the main soya producers have announced their commitment to a more sustainable use of Brazil's natural resources.

The Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries say they will not trade soya from the crop that will be planted as of October this year.

This commitment will last for two years.

The Association is made of the main soya producers in Brazil, including US corporations like Cargill, ADM and Bunge, which were criticised by the Greenpeace report.

"Following the statement by the Association, we have nothing further to add," said a Cargill spokesperson.

Destruction in the Amazon

A two-year investigation by the environmental campaign group linked soya production to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and other unlawful activities, like slavery.

It says farmers frequently take over public land illegally, deforest it using cheap labour, and are being funded by large American multinational companies.

Within two years, we want to see proper procedures for legality and governance being put in place and real measures to be introduced to protect the Amazon rainforest
John Sauven
Greenpeace campaign director

Greenpeace welcomed the announcement from the soya producers, but added more needed to be done.

John Sauven, campaign director at Greenpeace, said: "The soya traders decision to agree a two year moratorium on Amazon deforestation is a welcome first step, but the key issue is real action on the ground, rather than just words.

"Within two years, we want to see proper procedures for legality and governance being put in place and real measures to be introduced to protect the Amazon rainforest."

A welcome move

British companies have welcomed any changes that will bring positive improvements to the environmental impact on the Amazon rainforest.

"We are working ...to put in place steps that will ensure not only traceability of the soya beans, but will avoid sourcing from any farms that are involved in the deforestation of the Amazon," said a Sainsbury's spokesperson.

McDonald's Europe has already asked its suppliers including Cargill to source non-GM, non-Amazon feed for poultry as from next harvest
McDonald's spokesperson

A McDonald's spokesperson said: "McDonald's has had a long standing policy not source beef from recently deforested areas in the Amazon rainforest, so it was important to us to bring soya sourcing in line with this policy.

"McDonald's Europe has already asked its suppliers including Cargill to source non-GM, non-Amazon feed for poultry as from next harvest."




SEE ALSO
Diary: The Amazon rainforest
19 Jul 06 |  Science/Nature
Brazil clears way for Amazon road
06 Jun 06 |  Americas
Arrests at fast food store demo
06 Apr 06 |  Manchester

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