17 December 2020 -- Within the framework of the global Tropical Forest Alliance, companies and civil society organizations in Colombia have come together with Colombia’s Ministry of the Environment to collectively commit to agreements that would achieve zero deforestation from the supply chains of beef, dairy, palm oil and cocoa in Colombia. A study by the Tropical Forest Alliance, Solidaridad and Climate Focus has identified the barriers faced by the companies that signed these agreements in order to comply with the commitments made, and to share opportunities for overcoming these barriers.
Watch video: Implementing zero deforestation agro-production agreements in Colombia: Barriers and Opportunities
The study, Complying with Zero-Deforestation Agreements In Colombia – Barriers and Opportunities, was developed together with four leading companies within their respective industry, to fully analyse the challenges and identify the opportunities related to each commodity. These companies are Alkosto (beef), Alquería (dairy), Extractora del Sur de Casanare (palm oil) and Mariana Cocoa (cocoa).
“The study not only provides an X-ray of the progress and barriers, but also presents a roadmap for the agreements’ signatory companies to identify a pathway forward to achieve the zero net deforestation goals both individually and collectively through clusters or unions,” said Javier Ortiz, Coordinator of the Tropical Forest Alliance in Colombia.
The commitment to achieve zero deforestation by 2030 in the supply chains of beef, dairy, oil palm and cocoa themselves is an important but viable starting point. Companies continue to make efforts to achieve this through coordinated actions with other Tropical Forest Alliance partners and with concrete support from the public sector and other national and international stakeholders.
According to Joel Brounen, Country Manager of the Solidaridad Network in Colombia and one of the authors of the study, “This analysis shows that we are just at the beginning of a long journey that requires an emphasis on supply policies and an inclusive approach that manages to increase the standard and close gaps with the smallest suppliers that need support to achieve the goals and actions established in the Agreements.”
Among the specific actions to be carried out, the following stand out:
- Establish corporate goals and policies that explicitly address eliminating deforestation from value chains.
- Deforestation risk assessment conducted by each company for their respective chain and the design and implementation of effective measures for their mitigation (tied to corporate goals). Having deforestation baselines for each value chain is essential.
- Consolidating the comprehensive mapping of supply chains, including direct and indirect suppliers, as well as transversal land surveys, where possible.
- Establish robust traceability systems to identify products, “from their origin to the consumer.”
- Implementing monitoring systems based on practical and easy-to-apply guidelines, roadmaps for companies and the provision of tools for this purpose.
- Increase the coverage and quality of technical assistance focused on improving productivity and the components of cost-benefit analysis at a farm level while incorporating Zero-Deforestation aspects.
- Design and implement communication strategies for both supply and demand that include messages on the importance, value and benefits of Zero-Deforestation products.
- Improve access to formal financial services for primary producers, particularly for small-scale farmers, and design and implement innovative financial instruments that are tailored to the types of producers, the region and the production cycles in each value chain. These include incentives that can be covered by the Colombian Government’s and climate financing schemes through jurisdictional approaches.
According to Juan Pablo Castro, Latin America Manager of Climate Focus, “It is key to design and implement innovative financial instruments that – adjusted to the types of producer, the region and the production cycles of each value chain – include incentives that can be covered by the Colombian government and by climate financing schemes through jurisdictional approaches.”
Download the complete study here.
Watch the full video in Spanish with English subtitles here, and hear stakeholder testimonies.
For more information:
Tropical Forest Alliance Colombia Coordinator