BioMar reported that political instability and a dearth of resources are affecting Brazil’s ability to regulate its soybean sector. The report is the result of an investigation that the company started when the Rainforest Foundation and the Future in our Hands organization implicated some Brazilian soy producers on illegal activities. BioMar has traded with these companies.
“While BioMar can confirm that their suppliers of non-GMO certified soy are in legal compliance, nationwide efforts to combat illegal labor practices and pirate soy are hampered by the political climate and lack of resources in key areas,” the company said. “Despite an impressive legal framework for forest conservation and human rights, BioMar found that effective enforcement and implementation of key legislation by government agencies is hampered by the sheer size of the country, unstable political climate and the lack of resources in key areas,” added the company.
The company said that several projects that aim to improve the environmental situation in Brazil. “Responsible Sourcing of Soy, Cattle and Palm Oil,” which is led by sustainability non-profit NEPCon and agricultural consultancy SEGES and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, is building a tool to conduct assessments to help companies minimize social and environmental risks when sourcing commodities from Brazil.
“The NEPCon project improved BioMar’s ability to understand the complexities of legal compliance with environmental and human rights law in South America, including Brazilian laws pertaining to deforestation and human rights,\" the company said. “Learnings from this project have been implemented into BioMar’s BioSustain program, so every customer can receive an impact assessment which not only assesses soy, but every raw material in any recipe,” added the company.
A separate tool, AgroTools, uses high-definition satellite technology and number-crunching software to detect “pirate soy” by comparing theoretical yields of an area to reported harvest data. The tool will help prevent soy grown in illegal deforested areas being mixed with legally-produced soy.
“We will continue to work with leading environmental organizations to find the best solutions and tools for all the raw materials we source,” BioMar CEO, Carlos Diaz, said. “Regular audits will continue with all our suppliers including Brazilian soy producers and we will soon be releasing our new sourcing policy which will continue to drive responsible production in our value chain, ” said Diaz.
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