November 2021 – COP26, Glasgow, UK. Twelve of the world’s biggest global agricultural trading and processing companies have issued a joint statement committing to a sectoral roadmap by COP27 for enhanced supply chain action consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
The companies – ADM, Amaggi, Bunge, Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, JBS, Louis Dreyfus Company, Olam, Wilmar, COFCO International, Marfrig and Viterra – manage large global trade volumes in key agricultural commodities, including more than half of both Brazilian soy exports and global palm oil trade. The statement, which will be announced at the World Leaders’ Summit on Forests and Land Use at COP26, signals a commitment to take urgent collective action to include other key stakeholders in their supply chains. The goal is to identify solutions at scale to further progress on eliminating commodity-driven deforestation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that 23% of global GHG emissions are associated with land use, including 11% of global GHG emissions from deforestation and the conversion of natural ecosystems. The commitment from these companies builds on the existing initiatives to define a pathway to meet the 1.5°C targets, working with other supply chain actors and governments. This collaboration will focus on how to scale up support and incentives for smallholders and farmers, increase traceability to indirect suppliers, and better track scope 3 emissions.
The joint statement comes following a roundtable meeting in October convened by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and UK Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Kwasi Kwarteng, supported by the Tropical Forest Alliance and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Ongoing collaboration continuing to COP27 will be supported by these actors.
Alongside the announcement from these twelve companies, a joint statement from 28 governments will be announced at COP26 via the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue Roadmap for Action. This joint statement calls for governments to increase sustainable agri-commodity trade while protecting forests and other critical ecosystems.
Recent evidence shows that there is no pathway to the 1.5°C targets set out in the Paris Agreement without halting forest loss and improving the livelihoods of producers. The joint statement signals a recognition of the critical role played by businesses working in agricultural commodities.
Special Envoy for Climate Change Secretary John Kerry, US Government said: “Eliminating deforestation from global agricultural supply chains is critical to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This joint statement from leading agricultural trading companies is a terrific example of the power of markets to end deforestation and drive climate action. We look forward to the hard but necessary work to help deliver a concrete roadmap for achieving the companies’ ambitious goal by COP27.”
UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Agricultural companies are already playing an important role in driving innovation to feed more people across the world while using less land. It’s vital that businesses continue working with governments and farmers to identify practical solutions to protecting our planet. With the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow underway, it’s fantastic to see some of the world’s largest agricultural trading companies working together to cut their emissions right across the supply chain, helping to ensure we keep the 1.5 degrees target in reach.”
Borge Brende, President World Economic Forum said: “This joint statement demonstrates the ambition of these companies to make a sprint to COP27, and to step up the contribution from the agricultural and land use sector towards a 1.5°C trajectory.”
Judiney Carvalho, CEO Amaggi said: “Having recognized our role as one of the world's major agribusiness players, we recently announced new ESG targets as well as the new commitment 'Towards a Deforestation- and Conversion-Free Grain Chain', with ambitions related to forests, climate, ethics, governance, and human rights. We joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) through the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Campaign and became part in the UN's Race to Zero Movement, making AMAGGI stand out as the first Brazilian grain company to pursue such ambition.”
Gilberto Tomazoni, CEO JBS said: “JBS is dedicated to achieving its commitment: net zero by 2040. But not only that. We will work in tandem with smallholders in order to support them on this new green revolution. In this race, there’s no single winner: either everyone loses or the whole of humanity wins. By uniting all, we are confident that business can be an agent of transformation.”
Sunny Verghese, Co-founder and group CEO Olam International said: “Now more than ever, it is vital to take action to protect our natural environment, people and communities. Sustainable development and economic growth is not a binary choice. Addressing climate change, deforestation and conserving natural resources cannot be dissociated from improving farmer livelihoods, strengthening health, water and sanitation, education and prosperity in rural communities. Coming together to take collective action will enable us to build on our progress to protect forests and landscapes, and advance traceability in supply chains, in order to strengthen and accelerate action to combat the largest global environmental challenges we face.”
Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman & CEO Wilmar said: “As a leading agri-business in Asia, Wilmar recognizes the critical role we play in transforming the industry towards becoming more sustainable and responsible. We demonstrated this through our leading role in implementing No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments efforts in the palm sector, followed by our commitment in 2016 to the New York Declaration on Forests. The alignment of these efforts throughout the palm oil industry played a pivotal role in the 60 percent reduction of annual forest loss in Indonesia and Malaysia, as reported recently by the Tropical Forest Alliance. It is therefore imperative that we continue to lead by example, while encouraging our private sector peers to demonstrate similar commitments and to align our approaches towards achieving the 1.5°C reduction target. With this new commitment, which builds upon our NDPE commitments, Wilmar is currently preparing to align our climate goals with a 1.5°C pathway by COP27. We call on governments, businesses and stakeholders to pursue approach-alignment in these efforts and to make decisions that will help us take effective collective action on climate change.”
Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development said: “Agricultural commodity companies recognize the critical role they play in achieving a net zero, nature positive, equitable food system. This joint statement, building on shared commitments to halt forest loss, demonstrates momentum in the sector to deliver a sector roadmap for action consistent with a 1.5 C pathway. WBCSD applauds this leadership and fully supports these companies to deliver further progress by COP27.”
For more information contact: Srivedant.Kar@weforum.org