Cargill Expands “Responsible Soy” Project To Protect Rainforest


In an effort to protect critical areas of the Amazon and help Brazilian farmers grow soy more sustainably, Cargill has joined forces with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to expand its Responsible Soy project.

The conservation rules in the Amazon are some of the strictest in the world, reads the project website.  Under the Brazilian Forest Code farmers must preserve forest on 80 percent of their land – even if it was cleared many decades before.  Poorly defined property rights and a lack of government resources have meant it has been difficult to enforce.

Since its inception in 2004, the joint effort has already helped 383 farmers get evaluated by for compliance with conservation laws and have official environmental registration with the state government. Cargill only purchases from those farms that have obtained a CAR (Rural Environmental Registry certification).

With Cargill’s latest $3 million dollar grant, TNC will be able to expand pilot and test monitoring systems for environmental impacts beyond deforestation, such as pesticide use and water quality, as well as extending the initiative to reach farmers in the adjoining state of Mato Grosso.

“We are supporting the scale up of the project to help ensure that the world’s increasing appetite for soy is met through environmentally sustainable agriculture that protects the Brazilian Amazon,” said Paulo Sousa, business unit leader, Cargill Grain and Oilseeds Supply Chain, Brazil.

TNC will use the grant money to monitor deforestation using satellite imagery and field visits to detect any changes to land use and to help farmers meet forest code requirements. Additionally, it will provide on-the-ground assistance to enable farmers in the Santarem region to obtain a legally required license for rural activities, known locally as LAR. This will serve as an important model for the Para state government to expand its licensing efforts.

“We know that we will not create a sustainable planet unless we engage the private sector in new conservation solutions.  Recent increases in deforestation in the Amazon are troubling proof of that,” said Marcio Sztutman, acting director for The Nature Conservancy’s Amazon program.

“We are working with Cargill to help farmers keep their trees standing and comply with the Brazilian Forest Code – a set of conservation rules in the Amazon that are among the strictest in the world.  Besides helping Amazon farmers maintain the environmental balance on their farms, we are helping Cargill implement environmentally responsible sourcing decisions, piloting an effective model for others and most importantly, preserving the precious biodiversity of the Amazon.”

Related Reading:

Brazil Will Tax Oil Profits To Fund Climate Change Adaptation

Brazil Sanctuary Rescues Chimps [Video]

Rising Gold Pries Mean Deforestation In Peruvian Amazon Up 600%

Image Credit: Flickr - bensutherland


Eternal Gardener
Eternal G7 years ago


Youssef A.
Youssef A7 years ago

“Do not corrupt the earth ....” (Quran 7:56)

carol a.
carol R7 years ago

Don't believe Cargill, it's a trick.

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M7 years ago

In my opinion Cargill cannot be trusted. Probably still GM soy!

Alli S.
Alli Starr7 years ago

Cargill is one of the most notorious corporate criminals out there. Huge supporters of GMO's and toxic chemicals. It looks good on paper, but beware! These guys are not the environment's friends.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams7 years ago

Is bio-char pat of the solution? It is supposed to hold water and water soluble nutrients very well much to the delight of the plants grown in the field.

Brian D.
Brian Danniels7 years ago

No mention if the soy is GM. If it is GM this project should not be supported as it is not sustainable and will do a great deal of irreversible damage to the Rainforest.

Claire Insley
Claire Insley7 years ago

Unfortunately this is not the good news you might think it is. This Responsible Soy is being brought to you by the makers of genetically engineered soy. This is simply a way of spreading GE soy throughout Brazil, which it has so far held off from doing.

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m7 years ago

383 helped out of how many? Step it up guys, good, but go for stellar!