Salmon farmers sign up to support Amazon soy moratorium

News
514

Nearly half of the global salmon farming sector involved.

In an open letter to the Brazilian Government published on Tuesday by investor network FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return), 84 global companies, investors and associations with Brazilian soy in their value chain have stated their support of the Amazon soy moratorium.

Backed by British businessman, Jeremy Coller, The FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) group is backed by USD 5.6 trillion in investment assets.

Grieg Seafood, Cermaq, Lerøy, Mowi, Bremnes Seashore, Nordlaks, Nova Sea, Multiexport Foods, Scottish Sea Farms as well as the feed producer Biomar have also all signed up.

Deforestation rates
Brazil is one of the world’s major producers of soy and the Amazon soy moratorium, a collaboration between civil society, industry and government, has produced a drop in Amazon deforestation (from 30 per cent to less than 1.5 per cent) – even though the  production of soy in the Amazon has increased through using existing agricultural land.

“However, according to recent Brazilian Government data published 18th November, since 2012, deforestation in the Amazon (mostly illegal and largely for cattle ranching) increased by 114 per cent, from 460 thousand hectares to almost 1 million hectares,” writes FAIRR.

“Given global demand for soy the forecasted (4 per cent annual growth, mainly because it is a key ingredient in animal feed), the Amazon Soy Moratorium is clearly necessary to complement the Forest Code by supporting soy expansion only on existing agricultural land,” it added.

Norway imported SPC extracted from 670,000 tons of soy in 2015, for use in fish feed. Ninety-four per cent of this soy came from Brazil. PHOTO: Andrea_44/Flickr

Brazil
“We are deeply concerned about increasing deforestation rates in Brazil and efforts by some local soy growers to dismantle the Amazon soy moratorium. That would affect the reputation of the entire Brazilian soy industry,’ said Grieg Global Communications Manager Kristina Furnes.

“We support continued leadership that Brazilian stakeholders have taken since 2006 when the Amazon soy moratorium was established, which only allows soy production to expand on existing agricultural land. Since implementation of the moratorium, deforestation from soy 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%, because existing agricultural and was used. It shows that local economic development and protection of forests can go hand in hand,” added Furnes.

Acknowledging a problem
Skretting Norway said that it buys only soy from areas without deforestation from Brazil. In an editorial titled “Acknowledging a problem: Soy, forest fires and responsibility” on SalmonBusiness in September, Skretting’s Sustainability Manager Trygve Berg Lea challenged the notion that if the company were to lose its most important raw material protein, what will it replace it in the short term?

Furthermore, salmon eat just 0.1 per cent of Brazil’s soya.

Norwegian Rainforest Foundation policy advisor Ida Breckan Claudi said:

“It is very good that the salmon farming industry is at the forefront of the work to halt soy related deforestation and that they demand that the soy moratorium must be upheld. Other protein producers with soy in their value chain should also engage and clearly state that they will not buy soy produced on destroyed rainforest from Brazil”.

The open letter and full list of signatories can also be read here: https://www.fairr.org/engagements/amazon-soy-moratorium/