Rainforest Action Network Responds to the launch of the Agri-Commodity Roadmap at COP27

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – Today at COP27 the Agri-Commodity Roadmap was launched by fourteen of the world’s largest agricultural trading and processing companies. The roadmap is claimed to deliver a ‘high ambition roadmap’ for the agri-commodity sector and how these companies will accelerate action within their supply chains to halt commodity-linked deforestation in line with a 1.5°C pathway.

Gemma Tillack, Forest Policy Director with Rainforest Action Network (RAN), issued the following response: 

“This business-as-usual roadmap does not deliver on the ‘high ambition’ promises made by the world’s biggest agri-commodity traders at last year’s COP. Instead, it only pushes back old deadlines and sets a new deadline of 2025 for demonstrating an end to deforestation and the conversion of forests and natural ecosystems across palm oil, soy, and cattle supply chains.

“Undermining existing commodity-specific goals, the roadmap fails to enforce the December 2015 cut-off for the palm oil sector and the cut-off for deforestation and conversion-free (DCF) forest-risk commodity supply chains that requires 100% sourcing from land that was deforested or converted no later than 1st January 2020. 

“A key element of the roadmap is the use of monitoring and response systems to identify and address deforestation and conversion. What’s needed is a commitment to transparent monitoring and non-compliance systems so stakeholders can see first-hand if progress is being made in halting deforestation, conversion, and degradation of natural ecosystems in the supply sheds of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders.

“The traders must set absolute emission reductions targets, not just intensity targets, and transition plans as to how they will achieve these reductions. They must also publish detailed greenhouse gas inventories allowing third parties to scrutinize their calculations for anomalies. This is critical if their targets are to be science-based. 

“The traders involved in the roadmap are controversial due to their connection to wide-scale deforestation, the conversion of natural ecosystems, and the violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The decision to exclude commitments and actions on ending exploitation and upholding human rights from the roadmap once again demonstrates the failure of these traders to remediate the social and environmental harms caused by their global supply chains. 

“The traders, Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) failed to adequately consult civil society over the past year of development of the roadmap. This, along with many flaws including its low level of ambition, the exclusion of important commodities such as paper and packaging, its failure to require adherence at a corporate group level, and reliance on flawed verification mechanisms such as the NDPE Implementation Reporting Framework (IRF), has resulted in a roadmap that raises concerns instead of being celebrated by civil society.”