Sustainable Soy Trade Platform
With The Nature Conservancy, Solidaridad-China, and the World Wildlife Fund, we are working with the Chinese government and businesses to promote legal, environmentally sustainable production of soy in South America.
The goal is to use market demand signals to better manage the environmental risks associated with China’s overseas investment and international trade of commodities.
At COP 21, a major Chinese SOE announces intentions to improve its global supply chains to fight climate change, writes Paulson Institute Chief Conservation Officer Rose Niu.
Why commodities? As China is increasingly “Going Global” to satisfy growing domestic demand for food, fuel and fiber commodities and other natural resources, it has become an important and influential global player for both overseas investment and international trade of commodities. The way in which China manages the environmental risks associated with “Going Global” will have significant impact on the production supply chain in investment and trading partner countries.
The potential impact: China is the world’s largest importer of soybeans with 60 million metric tons imported in 2014 from North and South America. The rapid expansion of soy and beef production in South America is the major driver of the deforestation and conversion of other natural habitats, which leads to significant green house gas emissions and biodiversity loss. At the same time, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding, has been impacting the yield and price of soybeans, therefore threatening the stable and sustainable supply of soy.
Our program: The Institute is working with key international and Chinese players to develop and send market demand signals, which will promote legal and environmentally sustainable production of soy in South America. The project, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Solidaridad-China, and the World Wildlife Fund, aims to increase the proportion of China’s soy sourced from legally registered farmers who follow strict environmental laws in Brazil.
With our partners, we are working to establish a Sustainable Soy Trade Platform, which will engage the key public and business players in China and South American countries to facilitate better communication between China and the soy-producing countries. The partners have launched a website with information about sustainable production and responsible procurement. The ultimate goal of the project is to decrease the negative impact of soy and beef production in South America by using the power of the China market to promote environmental friendly agriculture practices. Through this project, we hope to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve wins for both business and the environment. The project was kicked off in Beijing on March 19, 2015, and is funded by generous support from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.