Between January and June this season, nearly 4,000 square kilometres of land were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. It had been the highest degree of clearance in six years. Another body blow to 1 of our worlds most significant biospheres.
Just as much as 17 % of the Amazon forest has recently been lost to felling trees because of their wood, to clear space for crops and for cattle farming to feed the worlds appetite for beef.
Beef produced on illegally-cleared rainforest land is really a key reason the Amazon may soon reach a tipping point where its trees die off en masse. Trees which are vital for carbon absorption, for supporting biodiversity, and for future economic growth. Trees our entire world depends upon.
Some argue that boycotts will be the easiest way to call a halt to the destruction. Campaigns have urged many consumers to avoid eating rainforest making use of their burgers. Several major European supermarket chains took steps to avoid selling beef associated with Brazilian Amazon deforestation.
But however positive these actions are, theyre insufficient. We are in need of businesses to go further.
If were to save lots of the Amazon rainforest, its insufficient only to boycott problematic commodities like beef.
Taking out of markets or boycotting products may remove export demand. Yet it doesnt dent the domestic market, which typically makes up about around 70% of product demand.
We have to enable beef to be sourced through sustainable supply chains domestically and also internationally. A far more cooperative approach is vital to do this dealing with local and national governments, smallholders, meatpackers, suppliers and NGOs to transform the complete landscape of production into one thats forest positive.
For instance, lets look at meatpacking.
Meatpacking is among the crucial areas of the supply chain landscape were focussing on via THE BUYER Goods Forums Forest Positive Coalition, which includes consumer goods companies with a collective market value greater than US$2 trillion.
For all of us, forest positive means deforestation and conversion-free commodity supply chains that maintain forest health, and all of the benefits that flow from forests, to people, communities and the planet.
Were striving to leverage collective action and accelerate ongoing efforts to transform a variety of supply chains, including palm oil, soy, paper, pulp and fibre-based packaging. And, returning to the topic accessible, beef.
Despite some progress, traceability remains an unresolved issue across the beef supply chain. Before beef reaches the retailers and end consumers, theres production. Theres transport. And you can find processors, or basically, meatpackers.
In Brazil, an animal might have different owners throughout its lifetime, traveling in one farm to some other, generating many indirect suppliers prior to the last, direct supplier to a meatpacker. These direct suppliers can only just provide environmental and social information regarding the final farm where an animal was before achieving the abattoir.
To make sure meatpackers can adopt sourcing practices that dont deplete rainforests, we have to go further. To discover how, our Beef Working Group has been collaborating with stakeholders, including local and international NGOs, and large and medium-sized meatpackers in Brazil.
The outcomes are lay out inside our new Beef Roadmap and regardless of the complexity of the issue were tackling, the entire approach is easy. Its about complementing, supporting and increasing the usage of guidelines that already exist in Brazil, because of the efforts of progressive local cattle farmers, meatpackers and geomonitoring companies.
Collaboration is key
Once you collaborate, you discover many solutions already exist.
Even though many businesses and governments think tackling deforestation is about new technologies or approaches, you can find already incredible organisations focusing on the bottom to tackle these issues.
By dealing with and buying these organisations, faster and stronger progress could be made. That’s where multinational consumer goods companies yours included, perhaps get the chance to produce a difference that goes beyond focussing on individual supply chains.
Be it an organization clearing up their supply chain, or perhaps a supermarket or consumer boycotting Brazilian beef, Im not knocking the significance of every single action against deforestation.
But because the Amazon rainforest continues to shrink, and cattle from illegally cleared land continue steadily to flood supply chains, we have to interact with all stakeholders to effect change over the entire landscape at the particular level the world urgently needs.