A bar on trading soy linked to Amazon deforestation has been extended, again, to the end of 2014. But will the promised new monitoring mechanism be ready in time?
In December 2014, Brazil’s long-standing soy moratorium will come to an end. The last-minute January announcement by the Brazilian Soy Task Force included a one-year moratorium extension to allow for the development and testing of an alternative soy monitoring mechanism. The new mechanism will replace the moratorium in January 2015.
The moratorium was established by the Brazilian soy industry back in 2006 in response to a high profile Greenpeace campaign. That campaign linked soy used by McDonald’s to deforestation in the Amazon. McDonald’s demanded deforestation-free soy from it suppliers and the soy moratorium was put in place by Brazil’s Brazilian Vegetable Oil Industries Association (ABIOVE) and National Association of Cereal Exporters (ANEC).
The moratorium was designed to stop the trade in soy from areas of forest cleared after July 2006. Newly deforested areas would be monitored through a combination of remote sensing and field checking. This led to a blacklist of embargoed suppliers from which ABIOVE and ANEC members would not buy.
Initially designed as an emergency measure, to be in effect for two years, the moratorium has been renewed on six occasions and has now been in force for eight years.
The longevity of the moratorium can, in part, be...