The FAIRR Initiative is delighted to partner with Tesco, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Ahold Delhaize, Unilever, Walmart and the Consumer Goods Forum to build investor support for the Cerrado Manifesto.
The Statement of Support for the Cerrado Manifesto is currently endorsed by 70 global FMCG companies.
We are calling on investors to join companies and send a clear market signal that there is widespread industry support to halt deforestation in the Cerrado, adopt sustainable land management practices and mitigate financial risks associated with deforestation and climate change.
FAIRR and our partners are working to build investor support in advance of discussions in August between producers, industry, consumer organisations and civil society to draft an action plan for eradicating deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado biome.
Statement of Support for the objectives of the Cerrado Manifesto
We, the undersigned companies, are committed to halting forest loss associated with agricultural commodity production and to working with industry, producers, governments and civil society to protect globally important natural landscapes within a framework of good governance and land planning policy.
We recognise the critical importance of the Cerrado for its role in climate change mitigation, as a repository for biodiversity, as the source of many of Brazil’s fresh water systems, and additionally as a production region for the agricultural commodities used in our products. However, we also recognise the extent and pace of native vegetation loss resulting from cattle and soy expansion in the Cerrado poses a significant threat to these social, environmental and economic values.
The Brazilian Forest Code is designed to ensure agricultural production and environmental protection are balanced. It is an important legislative mechanism requiring, for example, land registration and compensation for historical forest loss, however it offers little protection in the Cerrado where only 20% of each private property is required by law to be set aside for conservation.
This wide gap between tackling ‘illegal’ deforestation and achieving zero net deforestation goals is a cause for major concern. 85% of the conversion of native vegetation for soy in the Cerrado is legal under the Forest Code. So while compliance with regulation is essential, at the same time, regulation on its own is currently insufficient for the protection of the Cerrado.
Recent research indicates the availability of substantial areas of already cleared land. Incentivising expansion onto these areas rather than further conversion of native vegetation, alongside the improvement of the cattle sector’s current low productivity (to make room for soy expansion), offers a viable and more sustainable pathway forward for agricultural production in the Cerrado. It is increasingly clear that development need not be incompatible with the protection of globally important landscapes.
The companies support the objectives defined in the Cerrado Manifesto and commit to working with local and international stakeholders to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in the Cerrado.
Market-facing companies cannot achieve this on our own and we call on other supply chain actors, government, investors and civil society to share our goal. We seek to collaborate to develop the policies needed to steer all actors towards a more sustainable land use pathway, and the monitoring and verification systems to give us confidence that our actions are having the desired outcome of protecting the unique landscape of the Cerrado.
*Signatories decide to what extent they wish to actively participate in supporting SoS implementation activities. Please see here for Terms of Reference and other details.