As ADM aims to end deforestation in its supply chain, will soy become the next palm oil?

7 May 2015

In a potentially big win for Latin American rainforests, Archer Daniels Midland, the third largest global supplier of agricultural commodities, has adopted a draft policy to end deforestation across its supply chains. The company is expected to formally announce the new plan at its shareholders meeting Thursday.

ADM’s commitment rivals that of palm oil giant Wilmar’s anti-deforestation promise in 2013. This time, the product in question isn’t palm oil, but soybeans. ADM is one of the world’s leading soy traders and a top soy exporter in Latin America, where expanding production is a leading driver of deforestation across the Amazon and the Gran Chaco forest.

It’s a pressing problem: Forest Trends, a Washington-based international nonprofit organization, estimates that 50%-70% of soy exports – about 31m tons – have displaced forests in Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay.

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