French supermarkets fighting soy-driven deforestation –

In an announcement to mark two years of the National Strategy to fight Imported Deforestation (Stratégie Nationale de lutte contre la Déforestation Importée, SNDI​), the seven food retailers said they are going to include non-deforestation clauses for soy in their suppliers’ contractual conditions.

In particular, the supermarkets will demand that their suppliers stop using soy from recently deforested land in the Cerrado, which is the main region in Brazil being deforested for soy production.

The supermarkets’ announcement is significant but more action is required, said Klervi Le Guenic, campaign officer, Canopéer: “The supermarkets’ manifesto sends a very strong market signal, but to go beyond mere words, this voluntary measure needs to be rapidly transformed into consistent action plans. Lidl, Système U and Auchan have already done this; the others now need to pick up on this positive dynamic. We will publish an analysis of the supermarkets’ different commitments soon.​”

In September 2020, Canopée published a report​​ [in French] focused on how to put an end to imports of soy that entailed a risk of deforestation.

Sylvain Angerand, co-author of the report, said: “It has become clear that the national strategy to fight imported deforestation has reached an impasse, due to a lack of resources, significant political trade-offs and over-reliance on voluntary commitments… The technical solutions exist, and stakeholders are ready to commit. What is needed now is to build on this dynamic to create a stricter framework for all businesses, particularly those that are subject to the law of due diligence but have not adopted any serious measures whatsoever to fight imported deforestation.”

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