Agriculture and food

November 2020

November 17, 2020
Monitoring the Sustainability Status of the Dutch Coffee Sector: Tracking Progress Beyond Certification
Commissioned by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), this research assesses options for a more comprehensive monitoring of the Dutch coffee sustainability status. The previous approach of measuring progress based on the market share of certified coffee is perceived as not adequately accounting for the increasingly diversified sustainability strategies chosen by sector actors. The report identifies options for and barriers to a broadened approach to monitoring progress and impacts.
November 5, 2020
The dark side of Neste's biofuel production
This study, commissioned by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), investigates the unsustainable practices linked to Neste's palm oil supply chain. Neste is the world's largest producer biofuel biodiesel and jet biofuel, while stressing its commitment to sustainability. The study finds that companies in its supply chain can be connected to at least 10,000 ha of deforestation, an area the size of Paris, in the period from January 2019 to June 2020, and around 13,000 fire alerts in 2019.

October 2020

October 25, 2020
Who is profiting from Brazilian soy? An analysis of the Dutch soy supply chain
This research analyses the role of Brazilian soy in the overall domestic soy use on the Dutch market, and aims to estimate the revenues and profit generated from it by a selection of key industry stakeholders at different levels of the supply chain – from import and crush to animal feed to livestock product processing and eventually retailing.
October 1, 2020
Brandbeschleuniger Soja: Handlungsoptionen gegen Entwaldung durch Futtermittelimporte nach Deutschland
For Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe), Profundo has investigated the German market for soy from South America. The research highlights the heavy dependence of German intensive animal husbandry on soy imports, and their connection to illegal deforestation of tropical rainforests. The import of soy is therefore a dangerous fire accelerant for the destruction of species-rich habitats and forests such as the Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The report provides a set of criteria for comprehensive supply chain due diligence, critically reviews the role of TSD chapters in trade agreements and summarizes key recommendations for effective legislation to achieve deforestation-free commodity supply chains.
October 23, 2020
Women’s Rights Violations in Dutch Palm Oil Supply Chains: The Case Of Guatemala
This report was compiled by ActionAid Netherlands and ActionAid Guatemala. It presents documented human rights violations through palm oil production in Guatemala and the links that exist between these violations and the Netherlands through the palm oil value chain and the Port of Rotterdam.

September 2020

September 15, 2020
Doubling Down on Deforestation: How the Big Three Asset Managers Enable Consumer Goods Companies to Destroy the World’s Forests
This report reveals that the largest U.S. asset managers, BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard – known as the Big Three – have explicitly undermined efforts by consumer brands and agribusiness companies to halt deforestation. The Big Three collectively hold shares worth almost $700 billion in consumer brands with supply chain links to rainforest destruction, and tens of billions more in the agribusiness producers directly responsible for widespread deforestation. All three firms have voted against or abstained from voting on every single shareholder resolution requiring companies to act on deforestation since 2012, and lack clear policies to engage with companies on the issue, which is the second leading cause of climate change.
September 1, 2020
Forests & Finance
Forests and Finance is a website that reveals the role that finance plays in enabling tropical deforestation, which has been expanded to cover Brazil and Central & West Africa, as well as Southeast Asia. The website is a publicly searchable database, functioning as a transparency tool by providing CSOs and journalists a deep insight into financiers that are supporting forest-risk commodity companies. It is a joint initiative of the Forests & Finance Coalition, which includes Rainforest Action Network, Tuk Indonesia, Profundo, Amazon Watch, Repórter Brasil and BankTrack.

Website: Forests & Finance

Report: Forests & Finance: Is Your Money Destroying Rainforests or Violating Rights? (pdf)

Ambiencia: Banco do Brasil é o maior credor de setores que desmatam no país, diz estudo

Askara: Perbankan Dunia dan Kesengajaan Pembakaran Hutan

Associated Press News: Palm oil labor abuses linked to world’s top brands, banks

Banktrack: Global climate groups issue guidance to finance giants on aligning with Paris Agreement goals

Banktrack: Global Witness, BankTrack and 19 other civil society organisations call on UK government not to leave finance out of a proposed new law on deforestation

Berita Sawit: Korporasi dan Bank Negara Dorong Karhutla di Indonesia

Bloomberg Quint: Banks Direct $154 Billion to Firms Responsible for Deforestation

ClimaInfo: Bancos injetaram mais de US$ 150 bilhões em empresas ligadas ao desmatamento desde o Acordo de Paris

Criptonizando: Banco do Brasil é o maior credor de setores que desmatam no país, revela estudo

Eco Business: Banks responsible for continuing deforestation in Southeast Asia

Forests & Finance: Banks Funnelled Over USD 150 Billion Into Companies Driving Deforestation Since Paris Agreement, New Data Analyses Shows

Global Witness: Open letter: Don't leave finance out of a future law on imported deforestation

Green Prophet: Is your bank funding fires in the Amazon?

Greeners: Bank Negara di Balik Karhutla

Hijauku: Bank Kucurkan $154 Miliar untuk Perusahaan Perusak Hutan

Journal de l'environment: Déforestation: les banques mises en cause

Le Soir: Environnement: les banques investissent de plus en plus dans la déforestation

Marianne: BNP Paribas, Crédit agricole, BPCE Group... Des banques françaises financent la déforestation en Amazonie

Mongabay: $154b in capital has gone to 300 forest-risk companies since the Paris Agreement

Mongabay: BlackRock’s $400m stake in Amazon meatpackers defies sustainability cred

Mongabay: How Morgan Stanley is linked to deforestation in the Amazon

MSN: Bancos investem pesado em empresas ligadas a desmate desde Acordo de Paris

Novethic Essentiel: Forests and Finance veut stopper la déforestation en asséchant ses financements

O Eco: Bancos injetaram R$ 235 bilhões em frigoríficos desmatadores desde o Acordo de Paris

O eco: Com R$ 2,2 bi, BlackRock tem bala de prata para frigoríficos que desmatam Amazônia

Portal veg: Frigoríficos receberam R$ 235 bilhões de bancos em quatro anos

Repórter Brasil: BB e BNDES são os bancos que mais financiam setores que desmatam, mostra estudo internacional

Repórter Brasil: Como a Morgan Stanley está ligada ao desmatamento na Amazônia

Revista Planeta: Bancos investem pesado em empresas ligadas a desmate desde Acordo de Paris

RTS: Audio: Les forêts tropicales attirent toujours plus d'investisseurs, dénoncent des ONG

The Business Times: Banks direct US$154b to firms responsible for deforestation

The Jakarta Post: Banks contribute to deforestation, land degradation: Report

Villagerspost: Korporasie dan bank negara ikut bertangung jawab mendorong karhutla di Indonesia

Warta Jakarta: BRI dan BNI Sebagai Penyandang Dana Perusahaan Yang Membakar Hutan dan Lahan di Indonesia

September 9, 2020
The Asian Web: Tracking Regional Financial Flows
This report identifies the financial flows towards four high risk sectors - agriculture, fossil fuels, infrastructure, and power generation - in the Fair Finance Asia countries (Cambodia, India, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). The research shows that between 2014 and 2019, financial institutions from Asia, North America, and Europe provided approximately US$556 billion in loans and underwriting services to some of the largest companies active in these high risk sectors in FFA countries.

July 2020

July 1, 2020
Spot Market Purchases Allow Deforestation-Linked Palm Oil to Enter NDPE Supply Chains
The palm oil industry has seen considerable transformation in the last few years, as suppliers that are not compliant with NDPE policies have been increasingly excluded from supply chains. However, these gains are undermined when the same suppliers enter supply chains via spot purchases. Yet, little is known about the spot market. This paper seeks to provide information on the market, how it operates, and highlight the risk it presents to NDPE compliance efforts.

May 2020

May 12, 2020
Deforestation for Agricultural Commodities a Driver of Fires in Brazil, Indonesia in 2019
Widespread fires in Brazilian tropical forests were at the center of media attention in 2019. NGOs, politicians and celebrities called for action to stop deforestation for soy and livestock, the main cause of the fires. Indonesia also endured extensive blazes in 2019, often linked to deforestation for palm oil. Forests in Brazil and Indonesia capture carbon, retaining vast amounts of carbon dioxide and regulating global temperatures. Fires release that stored CO2 back to the atmosphere, contributing to further climate change. This report describes the main drivers of the fires in Brazil and Indonesia, the actors involved, the political context, and the risks for investors.

April 2020

April 28, 2020
NDPE Policies Cover 83% of Palm Oil Refineries; Implementation at 72%
Palm oil refiners are a strategic bottleneck in the global supply chain. Since 2014, the largest refiners have adopted No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies, the strongest private instrument to cut the direct link between deforestation and palm oil. Refiners commit to NDPE policies that cover their plantations and the plantations of their third-party suppliers. This market mechanism functions best when the entire industry follows commitments. However, non-cooperating refiners continue to leak unsustainable palm oil into the market.

February 2020

February 11, 2020
Unravelling the Socfin Group
Socfin group is a Luxembourg-based holding which is involved in oil palm and rubber production in Asia and Africa, with about 400,000 hectares of concessions in ten countries. It is 39% owned by the French group Bolloré and 54% owned by the Belgian businessman Hubert Fabri. The objective of this report is to get a better overview of the Socfin group’s ownership and holding structure.

January 2020

January 31, 2020
Financing Deforestation Increasingly Risky Due to Tightening Regulatory Frameworks
The trend to integrate sustainability factors into financial regulatory frameworks is creating compliance, legal and reputational risks for local banks and investors financing forest-risk commodities in tropical countries. International banks and investors exposed to these supply chains may also be affected. Based on public sources and interviews, this report analyses the integration of sustainability in financial regulation on the international level, as well as in the regulatory frameworks of five countries with tropical forests: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Indonesia and Malaysia.
January 23, 2020
TIAA’s Farmland Funds Linked to Fires, Conflicts and Legacy Deforestation Risks in Brazil
This report analyses the sustainability and financial risks of the farmland investment funds of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA, formerly TIAA-CREF) in Brazil. Such risks are most prevalent in Matopiba, Brazil’s newest soy frontier, consisting of part of the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia. TIAA farmland investments operate through various companies, such as Radar and its subsidiaries, that acquire and manage properties. CRR’s sustainability analysis shows that deforestation and fires have taken place on TIAA’s farmland portfolio, enabling negative social impacts on local communities.

December 2019

December 17, 2019
Feed and Livestock in Brazil, China, EU Consume Most Cerrado Soy
This paper maps players in the Matopiba (a region in the Brazilian Cerrado) soy supply chain, focusing on midstream crushing as well as compound feed and livestock sectors in key soy processing markets. Their soy consumption is connected to considerable deforestation risk.
December 11, 2019
A Review Of Sustainable Finance Reforms In Indonesia
This report, based on data from the Forests&Finance database, released by Rainforest Action Network, TuK Indonesia, WAHLI, Jikalahari and Profundo reviews the progress of Indonesia’s Sustainable Finance reforms over the past 5 years. It shows that while new standards have started to improve the requirements on banks to disclose Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks in their portfolios, major loopholes remain. These problems are further compounded by lack of bank implementation on the obligations they do have. The banks assessed failed to properly disclose - much less address - serious ESG risks identified in the operations of their major clients. Unreported risks included use of fire to clear land, labor violations, human rights violations, peatland development and deforestation. The report presents a suite of policy recommendations to close regulatory loopholes, improve bank risk management processes, and to increase transparency and accountability to the public and communities impacted by reckless bank financing.
December 13, 2019
Deforestation Not ‘an Immediate Priority’ for Walmart Despite Financial Risks
By revenue, Walmart is the largest company in the world, employing about 2.2 million people and serving over 265 million customers a week. Private-label products sold by Walmart contain commodities that contribute to deforestation. For the forest-risk commodities – palm oil, pulp and paper, soy, and beef – Walmart has set zero net deforestation goals for 2020. Although Walmart encourages its suppliers to address deforestation in their supply chains, the company does not have a system in place to track and monitor the origin of these four commodities.
December 9, 2019
Oil Palm Growers Exposed to USD 0.4-5.9B in Social Compensation Risk
Oil palm plantation development and its effects on land clearing has likely impacted areas of critical value to local communities. While palm growers have made progress in quantifying and compensating loss for areas with environmental value, they have made less headway regarding compensation for clearing of land with social and cultural values. If palm growers cannot effectively mitigate these risks and compensate for the losses, complaints and conflicts with local communities are likely to ensue. In Indonesia, evidence shows that growers experience substantial operational, stranded land, and market access risks from social conflicts.
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