Agriculture and food

June 2021

June 23, 2021
The Sugarcane Value Chain in Latin America and Asia: Main Actors, Market Mechanisms, Labour Issues and Opportunities
This research project aims to inform the strategic development of the new CNV Internationaal programme and on developing lobby activities in its current programme in relation to the sugar sector, by identifying market dynamics, key actors, financiers, price setting, and social and environmental issues in a selection of producing countries. Geographically, the research focusses on five in Latin American countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru) and three countries in Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam).
June 15, 2021
FMCGs, Retail Earn 66% of Gross Profits in Palm Oil Value Chain
The palm oil value chain contains a number of stakeholder groups, such as smallholders, large plantations, refineries, the fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) industry, the oleochemical and pharmaceutical industry, and the retail and food service sector. In every step of the chain, palm oil is further processed or is embedded in products which contain other ingredients, like hazelnut pasta or shampoo. Transparency on the distribution of financial benefits producing and processing palm oil is crucial. Transparency could enable stakeholders’ discussions on the fairness of costs and expenses related to ESG and zero-deforestation policies, the cost of re-forestation/restoration, monitoring, and verification.

May 2021

May 7, 2021
Oil Palm Expansion in Peninsular Malaysia Is Guided by Non-Transparency
Malaysia is the world’s second largest palm oil producer, after Indonesia. Peninsular Malaysia accounts for more than 12 percent of world production and produces approximately half of Malaysia’s palm oil. It also hosts a large number of forests rich in biodiversity and large carbon stock. How are Peninsular Malaysia’s forests protected from more deforestation for oil palm? What more can main corporate players in the palm oil supply chain do to stop deforestation? This report sheds a light on deforestation monitoring in Peninsular Malaysia.

April 2021

April 12, 2021
Alternative Route for German Palm Oil Diesel 2022-2026
This report analyses the deforestation and GHG emission consequences of a German phasing-out of palm oil in 2022 versus a linear phasing out in 2022-2026.

March 2021

March 31, 2021
Key Cerrado Deforesters in 2020 Linked to the Clearing of More Than 110,000 Hectares
The Cerrado biome, a vast, biodiverse tropical savannah in Brazil, is under threat from commodity-driven deforestation. Soy expansion and cattle ranching are direct drivers of forest loss in the Cerrado. This report presents new data on specific actors linked to Cerrado deforestation in 2020, including the quantified risk exposure of the largest soy traders, meatpackers, and retailers. Financiers with forest policies are exposed to material risks in their portfolios.

February 2021

February 17, 2021
Animal welfare risks for financial institutions in the soy and beef sectors
Animal welfare risks occur in different links in the soy and beef supply chains, from the farmers producing these commodities to mid- and downstream buyers in domestic and overseas markets such as China and Europe. In this research, Profundo investigated the financial involvement of European financial institutions in the international soy and beef supply chains originating in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.

January 2021

January 19, 2021
China, the Second-Largest Palm Oil Importer, Lags in NDPE Commitments, Transparency
China is a key market for palm oil (PO), palm kernel oil (PKO) and derivatives from Indonesia and Malaysia. This paper maps the role of the Chinese market and Chinese actors along the palm oil supply chain, from upstream production to midstream trading to downstream consumption, as well as the position of Chinese financial institutions in these different segments.
January 8, 2021
Chain Reaction Research Applies TCFD-aligned Framework to Assess Deforestation Risks
In 2017, the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) released its recommendations for climate-related disclosures in financial filings. The TCFD has since become the de facto global standard for the financial sector to report on climate change risks. This paper presents a framework for assessing deforestation-related risks in agricultural commodity supply chains that is aligned with the TCFD principles. The framework is based on CRR’s seven years of experience in the palm oil, soy, beef, and farmland sectors.

December 2020

December 18, 2020
Domestic Banks Finance 74% of Brazilian Beef & Soy
The beef and soy sectors have been two of the major drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado biomes in recent years. Financial institutions with exposure to these sectors may be inadvertently contributing to climate change and biodiversity loss. As global stakeholders react to these threats, financial institutions may become increasingly more exposed to financial risks. This report, using Forests & Finance data, shows who is financing these two sectors.
December 8, 2020
South Korean Companies Have Outsized Impact on Palm Oil Leakage Market
This report discusses the role of South Korean companies in the worldwide palm oil market and the country’s position as an owner of oil palm concessions, a buyer of palm oil products, and a financier of palm oil operations. The analysis highlights the country’s role in the palm oil “leakage market," which trades unsustainable palm oil from growers and producers that are not compliant with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policies.

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.
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