Aerial view of Amazon deforestation in Brazil

Amazon Soy Moratorium

Demonstrating investor and corporate support for the continuation of deforestation-free soy production in the Amazon.


Open letter: supporting the Amazon Soy Moratorium

In December 2019, a coalition of investment institutions and global corporates exposed to the Brazilian soy sector published an open letter aimed at the Brazilian Government.

The letter calls for the protection of the ‘Amazon Soy Moratorium’, an agreement signed in 2006 to ensure that soy production in the Amazon region only occurs on existing converted agricultural land and not through deforestation of native vegetation.

Since the implementation of the Moratorium, soy-related deforestation has decreased while Amazonian soy production has increased by 400%,  showing that agricultural output can be increased while protecting tropical forests.

Investors managing over $3 trillion of assets, co-ordinated by FAIRR, have signed the letter. See the letter and full list of investor and corporate signatories below.

About soy production in the Amazon

Prior to the Moratorium, between 2001 and 2006, soy production in the Brazilian Amazon expanded by 1 million hectares, contributing to record deforestation rates.

Since the Moratorium’s implementation, soy-related deforestation in the Amazon decreased from 30% to less than 1.5%, while at the same time, production of soy in the Amazon increased by 400% compared to 2006 through using existing agricultural land.

The Brazilian Forest Code (FC), introduced in 2012, aims to balance forest protection with economic development. However according to Brazilian Government data published in November 2019, since 2012, deforestation in the Amazon increased by 114%, from 460,000 hectares to almost 1 million hectares.

Why the Moratorium is still necessary

Soy demand is forecast to increase by 4% annually, mainly for livestock and farmed fish feed. The ASM is necessary to complement the Forest Code by supporting soy expansion only on existing agricultural land.

While soy produced in the Amazon is only around 10% of Brazil’s total soy production, the ASM provides reputational benefits for the whole Brazilian soy sector and its $32 billion annual trade.

The ASM benefits both Brazil and the global market in many ways. It provides an efficient solution to ensuring legal FC compliance of soy from the Amazon; attracts investment into the Brazilian soy sector; and helps protects the water cycle on which all of Brazil’s agricultural sector depends.

Without the ASM, all these benefits are at risk.

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