Position paper on deforestation-free products and supply chains
Palm oil, soy, cocoa and cattle – a growing demand for food commodities has led to massive agricultural land expansions and to an irreversible loss and transformation of global forests. The European Union - one of the largest global markets for these commodities - is a crucial actor and accounts for 10-15% of global deforestation. Permanent removal of trees is regarded as a major driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. Ambitious actions to end deforestation are needed.
As a European food wholesaler, we take responsibility for our supply chains. By changing our ways of sourcing these commodities, we take action in ending deforestation and land conversion. One essential way to achieve this, is to enable our customers – hospitality and retail entrepreneurs – to make more sustainable choices. Our own actions include individual procurement policies for the relevant commodities within our own brand products. Our goal is to source 100% of palm oil and paper & wood products with zero deforestation by 2023 and soy (including animal feed) from South America until 2025. We aim for 100% deforestation free certified products.
In November 2021, the European Commission has published a new regulation to minimise EU-driven deforestation. The aim is to ban deforestation-related products from entering the EU single market and to introduce due diligence obligations for EU companies. We welcome this effort to create a level-playing field for all companies which are operating in the EU single market. It is crucial that companies accept full responsibility for their own products. However, the EU can only succeed in reducing deforestation, if we collaborate with like-minded global partners to ensure a global commitment to high standards. Furthermore, it is crucial for the success that producers and production countries are included in the process.