Tesco has become one of the first companies to lend its support to a new initiative designed to help end soy-associated deforestation in the Cerrado region of Brazil.
Tesco’s £10 million contribution over five years to the Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado initiative will support soy farmers in the region to protect native vegetation and transition to producing soy only on existing agricultural land.
The retailer has been joined by the animal nutrition business, Nutreco, and Grieg Seafood in pledging funds to support the soy farmers of the Cerrado.
Soy is a key ingredient in animal feed, and Tesco sources a large proportion of the soy it uses in its agricultural supply chains from the Brazilian Cerrado.
The funding will support the Cerrado to become a verified zero deforestation area for soy and help Tesco meet its commitment of achieving zero-net deforestation in its sourcing of soy, helping to make products on Tesco’s shelves, including chicken, pork, and eggs, more sustainable.
“We source much of our soy for animal feed from Brazil and the Cerrado region, so it’s only right we play a leading role in protecting this biodiverse region for future generations,” said Tesco Group CEO, Dave Lewis.
“The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado initiative is the first step in safeguarding a huge, biodiverse and carbon-rich area of Brazil, while also allowing farmers to continue to farm soy sustainably.
“This is an important next step in the Cerrado’s sustainability journey, but it will only be truly transformative if more organisations come forward and support it.”
In 2018, Tesco published its ‘Transition Plan’ to achieving zero-net deforestation in its sourcing of soy. With its commitment, the retailer hopes to accelerate its progress towards sourcing all of its soy from verified zero deforestation sourcing areas by 2025.