out of 22 traders responded to the survey
More than half of the 22 traders approached did not respond.
More than half of the 22 traders approached did not respond.
The 22 traders assessed in this scorecard have been chosen for inclusion based on their potential exposure to deforestation and conversion risk. This was measured by their estimated volumes of soy exported from key producing countries—Brazil, the US, Argentina, and Paraguay—as well as estimations by trase.earth of deforestation risk linked to soy from these areas.
None of the traders assessed are showing leadership in tackling deforestation, conversion, and human rights abuse in soy supply chains. There is substantial room for progress for all, across all priority areas covered in this assessment. This scorecard does not reveal a group of leading soy traders that are able to guarantee sustainable soy supply chains.
Soy traders represent a key bottleneck where ambitious action is needed. The traders assessed represent an estimated 69% of global soy exports. Due to the level of concentration at this stage of the supply chain, the trading companies featured in this scorecard have the capacity to swiftly drive large-scale change across the soy industry by collectively raising the ambition of their commitments and implementation plans.
traders who responded to the survey declared having a commitment to deforestation- or conversion-free soy, and the same number declared a commitment to respecting all human rights.
Although the majority of traders who responded to the survey have a commitment to deforestation-free soy, most are failing to apply it across all of their operations, suppliers, and sourcing regions.
As a result, significant volumes of soy being handled by these companies are not covered by their commitment, and important habitats are left at high risk of conversion.
who responded had a conversion-free commitment, 3 only included deforestation in their commitment.
traders with deforestation-free commitments lost points for scope limitations—meaning their commitment didn’t apply to all of their operations, sourcing regions, and/or indirect suppliers.
Traders are currently leaving critical ecosystems vulnerable to conversion. While upholding the Amazon Soy Moratorium is vital, expanding these efforts to other biomes like the Cerrado, the Gran Chaco and the Great Plains will be pivotal in efforts to halt soy-driven conversion.
It is not enough to adopt a deforestation- or conversion-free commitment without setting a clear deadline after which the company will no longer source from suppliers who grow soy on recently cleared land.
Traders are failing to recognize the urgency to achieve deforestation- and conversion-free soy. Most of the traders with a commitment didn’t have a target date for achieving it, meaning they have no time-bound goal to work towards. Of the three traders that did have a target date, none has committed to reaching this before 2025.
Only one has set interim milestones to work towards between now and their future target.
CUTOFF DATES BEYOND THE AMAZON
Amazon Soy Moratorium
Traders need to broaden their traceability efforts to the totality of their volumes, to be able to ascertain compliance with deforestation- and conversion-free commitments. While traceability alone does not guarantee sustainability, by knowing both where and how products in their supply chains are produced, companies can better assess impacts and provide support to improve them.
traders have a commitment to trace some of their soy to the farm
of them apply this to their entire operations
While traders are taking steps to address these issues in their direct supply base, if their suppliers do not apply the same standards across their entire operations, they cannot claim that soy is free from deforestation, conversion or human rights abuse.
Traders must ensure such standards apply at a group level across their suppliers’ operations to truly achieve their commitments.
This shouldn’t only apply to the properties that the trader sources from—but all of those owned by the suppliers. These standards should apply across all of the commodities handled by the supplier, and not just soy. This is particularly important for soy, since soy is not usually planted immediately following deforestation or conversion.
No traders required their suppliers to be free of deforestation, conversion, or human rights abuse, meaning they can't claim their own soy is free of these issues.
Soy traders need to extend their traceability efforts to their indirect suppliers, and establish robust control systems to ensure that volumes produced by indirect suppliers are not linked to deforestation, conversion, or human rights abuse.
Supplier monitoring efforts should be broadened to cover all direct and indirect suppliers. Monitoring should take place at least quarterly and outcomes should be independently verified.
All traders with a deforestation- or conversion-free commitment have taken steps to verify that part of the soy from direct suppliers is produced in line with their commitments. But monitoring should be conducted on a regular basis—at least quarterly—and results should be third-party verified. Monitoring indirect suppliers is also vital in ensuring soy is deforestation- and conversion-free.
traders committed to monitoring their indirect suppliers in some way, but only two committed to doing this annually.
committed to monitoring their indirect suppliers' farms, but again only two said that they do so annually.
are monitoring their indirect suppliers effectively. Implementation is often limited to a small set of indirect suppliers or geographic scope, or monitoring is conducted sporadically.
Only four of the traders with a commitment to deforestation- and conversion-free soy reported on the percentage of their entire exposure to soy that was estimated to be in compliance with their commitments. These reported percentages can be quite high, in one case reaching 99%.
However, without a clear cutoff date, if a trader reports on a low annual rate of deforestation or conversion associated with its supply chains, this result may be misleading, as there is no clear, fixed point in time from which this percentage is calculated.
Methodologies used to calculate compliance rates are often unsound (using industry averages rather than specifics), and in most cases do not correspond to verified deforestation- or conversion-free volumes or suppliers.
Traders should use third-party verification to provide additional assurance and credibility that their soy is deforestation- or conversion-free, but none of them do so across their entire operations. None have reached 100% traceability to the farm for all sourcing regions.
There is a critical lack of transparency within the 22 traders approached. While 13 didn’t respond to the survey at all, of the 9 that did none reported the total volume of soy they source, and none reported the location of their origin farms.
This lack of transparency means that stakeholders further down the supply chain are unable to verify deforestation- or conversion-free claims, or to identify or remediate social or environmental harm that may have occurred. They are thus unable to verify whether their own commitments have been met.
Traders have shown some efforts to work collaboratively to tackle sustainability issues, but these initiatives have not yet delivered much-needed large-scale transformation for the industry.
Traders need to continue collaborating with each other, with soy buyers, with governments, and with civil society to strengthen individual and collective efforts towards a soy industry that benefits people and nature. Critically, they also need to ensure that these collaborations have explicit mandates to end all deforestation and habitat conversion—and related human rights abuses—in soy supply chains and beyond, and that they lead to bold action and measurable impact on the ground. The rest of the industry cannot progress unless trading companies are prepared to go further and improve their commitments, implementation, monitoring, reporting and transparency efforts.
traders who responded were part of working groups tackling soy-driven deforestation and conversion in specific biomes, while just 5 were part of related advocacy initiatives in import markets.
In a critical year for climate action, a few months before COP26, only one of the 22 traders assessed had set a Science Based Target to reduce its emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. This target is not in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, but 2°C. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a 2°C temperature increase would exacerbate extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, coral bleaching, and loss of ecosystems, among other impacts. It is critical that all traders set ambitious, science-based net-zero targets in line with a 1.5°C future, covering scopes 1, 2 and 3.