‘Despite progress, deforestation is continuing at alarming rates’: Europe’s business leaders call on EU to set standards for internal market

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

'Business leaders support bold EU actions to eliminate imported deforestation'. Pic: Nestlé
'Business leaders support bold EU actions to eliminate imported deforestation'. Pic: Nestlé

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Nestlé has announced it has joined other business leaders across the food industry to support ambitious action by the European Union (EU) to increase supply chain transparency and traceability for commodities that may be linked to deforestation.

All the signatories call on the EU to put in place measures to scale up the use of innovative technologies to improve supply chain traceability, as well as stronger cooperation with producing countries to ensure that forests are protected and restored.

The joint statement​ says: “Global deforestation is a pressing challenge for society and for our companies. We acknowledge that our businesses have a responsibility in this fight because our supply chains are global and include commodities that may contribute to deforestation.

“This is why we are committed to ending deforestation in our supply chains and have implemented measures to this end over the last ten years.

“However, despite progress, deforestation is continuing at alarming rates. Deforestation does not only impact the climate - it is also linked to biodiversity loss and an increased risk of pandemics. That is why putting an end to deforestation once and for all must be an urgent priority for our businesses and for the world.”

Nestlé said its decade-long experience in eliminating deforestation in its key supply chains has shown that no single approach can do it all.

The joint statement, which includes cocoa supplier Barry Callebaut along with supermarket giants Carrefour and Tesco,  builds on a joint position paper co-signed by Nestlé and over 50 other companies and non-profits in December 2020, calling on the EU to tackle the different factors that drive deforestation and impact the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.

Supply chain transparency

Nestlé announced it will continue to work with all stakeholders and share its leading experience in supply chain transparency, traceability, and implementing its forest positive strategy.

In its own statement the company said: “In addition to achieving transparent supply chains, more collective action between companies, governments and civil society is needed to end deforestation. This collective action will be incentivised if there is a clear set of rules that pushes companies to take impactful action on the ground to protect human rights and the environment. More intense dialogue between major consumer and producing countries, as well as steering flows of finance and investment towards sustainable activities and supply chains, will both be essential to ensure a fair international trade system.”

Nestlé said it will help shape EU measures that protect and restore forests, promote sustainable food production and thriving communities, and create a forest positive future for all - and the EU is in a strong position to set standards across global value chains.

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1 comment

Please visit the Bossematié 'Forest' in Côte d'Ivoire

Posted by François Ruf,

May I renew my proposal to Nestlé and Barry-Callebaut?
Please join us to vist what is left of the 'protected' Bossematié forest. You will find an accelerated trend of desforestation, and certainly nothing close to a progress.
All beans coming out the Bossématié are going to cocoa and chocolates factories.
Please come and be ready to meet farmers' commitees for the survival of the forest and local authorities for a rapid intervention.
We can still help farmers' communities to save a few elements of what they consider as their forest stolen by illegal migrants; But it is a matter of months, possibly weeks, certainly not one year.

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