Brazil's soy exports linked to environmental degradation

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Some of the soy Europe purchases may be unsustainable, a report has warned.

New research has found a high proportion of Brazil's soy exports may come from illegally deforested land.

A study from the Federal University of Minas Gerais - published in the journal Science - found nearly 20 per cent of the soy imported to the European Union from the South American nation can be linked to the environmental issue.

Indeed, two million tons of soya grown on illegally deforested land is thought to have reached EU markets per year during the study period, 500,000 of which came from the Amazon.

Furthermore, 17 per cent of Brazil's beef exports to Europe could be linked to the mass felling of forests.

Brazil is on track to become the world's biggest exporter of soybeans by 2029, according to the OECD and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

Study co-author Raoni Rajao said: "Brazil has the information it needs to take swift and decisive action against these rule-breakers to ensure that its exports are deforestation-free."

The research is significant because of the EU's recent trade deal with the Mercosur bloc of nations, which is likely to increase agricultural trade with Brazil.

This comes after the World Wildlife Fund called back in February for a ban on unsustainable imports that can be linked to global deforestation.

It may mean many businesses having to rethink their supply chains and the locations they import from going forward.