Carrefour is committed to working with public authorities, civil society and other stakeholders to find sustainable solutions that will end agriculture-related deforestation. Whilst the Amazon has been a focus of interest for many years, other regions are now also under threat. One such region is the Cerrado, an area of savanna in Brazil containing 5% of the world’s biodiversity, including many species that exist nowhere else.
Between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of agricultural land in Cerrado increased by 87% and it is now a major farming region, but the increasing cultivation of crops is threatening its economic, social and environmental richness. The situation is being fueled by an expansion in livestock farming and soya production, soya being used as an animal feed, particularly in Europe. Many European countries import vast quantities of soya to feed animals destined for our tables. In fact, 90% of the soya consumed in France is imported from other countries, primarily Brazil.
Faced with the loss of such an important environmental resource, a number of NGOs and scientists have launched the “Cerrado Manifesto” which calls on the private sector to react and commit to reducing the deforestation and repurposing of this ecosystem. To date, 23 large international corporations have responded to the appeal. This group includes Carrefour, a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/), which prioritizes preserving biodiversity and combating deforestation. The move comes at the very moment when the need to protect our planet has leapt to the forefront of the public consciousness and when France has announced its intention to put a definitive brake on what Nicolas Hulot, France’s Minister for Ecology, calls “imported deforestation”.
Carrefour is also helping to transform the raw materials market by developing alternative sources of supply. In south western France for example, Carrefour has entered into a partnership with its subsidiary Sojalim to promote the use of French soya by its subsidiaries. It will therefore be the first retailer to market ham from pigs fed on 100% French soya.