Brazilian environmental legislation is one of the strictest and most complete in the world, dealing with issues such as the use of agrochemicals, areas of permanent preservation, forests, water resources, among other important issues relevant to agribusiness.
Brazil is a leader in environmental protection, when compared with countries such as the United States, Chile, Argentina and Canada who endeavour to boost their agricultural production and protect their natural resources. The challenge is to prove that this legislation is, in fact, complied with and monitored.
To do this, ABIOVE has headed discussions and works to fight illegal deforestation to obtain effective results for the sustainable expansion of soy.
The Association defends the commitment not to trade soy produced on properties with deforested areas, or those embargoed by environmental monitoring entities or included in the list of slave labour.
The Soy Moratorium is a trade agreement, signed in July 2006, between the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE), the National Grain Exporters Association (ANEC), the government and civil society. This agreement is a commitment not to trade, nor finance, soy produced in areas in the Amazon Biome deforested after 22 July 2008, the reference date of the Forest Code.
The Soy Moratorium monitoring process uses a vast number of remote sensing satellite images obtained by sensors with complementary spatial and temporal resolutions, carefully analysed by an experienced team.
Other data bases are also used to complement the analyses made during the monitoring process, including the data base of deforestation in the Amazon Biome published by PRODES, a programme coordinated by INPE (National Space Research Institute).
The general consensus is that, over all these years, the Soy Moratorium has produced two important results:
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Brazil has advanced a lot in the management of monitoring deforestation in the Cerrado Biome. In 2017, ABIOVE began a round table involving not only NGOs, but also the buyers of our products, with the objective of seeking solutions to reduce and, in the shortest time possible, eliminate deforestation in the Cerrado directly associated with soy, reconciling production with environmental, economic and social interests.
Soy today occupies 17 million hectares of the Cerrado Biome (8% of the Biome’s area of over 200 million hectares). A study based on satellite monitoring shows that soy production in 2017 had the lowest rate of deforestation of the last 16 years: 93% of the expansion occurred in areas already cleared.
The Soja Plus Programme has already been implemented in the main soy-producing states: Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Goiás. It is a voluntary programme suited to the realities of Brazil’s soy producers. All its training, material and technical assistance are offered free of charge to the participating producers.
Since 2011, the Soja Plus Programme has provided technical assistance on 2,147 farms. The enrolled properties produce 9.43 million tons of soy, about 8% of Brazil’s production of this oilseed. During this period, R$21 million have been invested directly on the farms.
ABIOVE is a signatory of the Pará State Grain Protocol, an agreement with the Federal Public Ministry that requires grain origination to meet five criteria: issuance of invoices; registration with CAR (Rural Environmental Registration); the farm must not be included in IBAMA’s list of embargoed areas; the farm must not be included in the list of work that is degrading or analogous to slavery; and it must not overlap with PRODES, published by INPE (National Space Research Institute).
The large consumption of food and non-durable goods by the Brazilian population makes this country a large producer of rubbish. In July 2010, with the objective of introducing more sustainable management of post-consumption discards, the government implemented the National Plan for Solid Residues (PNRS), a law that obliges reverse logistics through the return of packaging and industrial material after consumption.
To accomplish this, the PNRS proposes a shared responsibility between the government, industries, trade and end-consumers that envisages no generation, reduction, reutilisation and treatment of solid residues, adequate final destination of residues, reduction in the use of natural resources, intensification of environmental education actions, increased recycling, promotion of social inclusion, and generation of jobs and income for collectors of recyclable material.
ABIOVE and SINDOLEO, the trade union for the Industry of Vegetable Oils and their By-Products in the State of São Paulo, implemented in 2008 a sectorial initiative called “Sustainable Oil”, whose objective is to promote the collection of used cooking oil and encourage the recycling of this product.
The Sustainable Oil actions are educational for the consumer and promote awareness regarding the correct storage and disposal of used cooking oil at the Voluntary Reception Points (PEVs).
Learn more about these PEVs on the site: https://www.oleosustentavel.org.br/pontos-de-entrega
ABIOVE is a signatory of the National Pact for Eradication of Slave Labour – Instituto Ethos, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Repórter Brasil.
Soy production is characterised by the use of advanced technology that requires highly qualified labour. According to EMBRAPA’s researcher, Otávio Valentim Balsadi, data from the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) indicate that soy production is the activity that has the best educational level among rural workers.
In 2006, the soy production chain adopted a zero-tolerance policy in the case of labour conditions analogous to slavery. The sector’s companies include a clause in their soy purchase contracts whereby they can terminate trade agreements if there is evidence of abusive labour.