FARM EUROPE’s POSITION ON IMPORTED DEFORESTATION
The European Parliament has approved a Resolution asking the Commission to propose binding measures against imported deforestation.
This is a landmark initiative that we warmly welcome. It comes after years of tergiversation and lack of any effective action to block imports into the EU market of products originating in recently deforested areas.
The EU has allowed growing imports of palm oil from regions where primary forest is being burnt, in particular in South-East Asia. The problem is also acute as regards imports of meat and soybeans from the Amazon basin, where it is well known that primary forest is being burnt for logging, meat production and soybean farming.
The public backlash has been raising, and the European Parliament has rightly taken the lead in the absence of decisive action from the Commission.
Farm Europe is no stranger to this debate. We have asked that imported deforestation be tackled forcefully. We have made concrete proposals.
The Commission has now the obligation to change gear and propose binding measures against imported deforestation.
The European Parliament proposes mandatory due diligence from all operators as the model to follow. We invite the Commission to build on this proposal and make it effective and water tight.
We are concerned that basing the whole system on due diligence might over rely on paper guarantees from operators, or certification organisations, in particular those in third countries where deforestation is taking place and controls are deficient.
The Commission should avoid to the largest possible extent the proliferation of loopholes.
An effective means of blocking imports from deforested areas is, as Farm Europe has proposed, to independently monitor the evolution of deforestation using remote sensing and accredited EU operators, and confront the information gathered with the declarations of the operators.