The State of Mato Grosso in Brazil is a biodiversity hotspot, spanning three biomes: the Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal. It is also the largest sub-national jurisdictional producer of soy, corn, beef and cotton in Latin America. Land clearing for timber, followed by cattle ranching in the cleared area, is the biggest driver of illegal deforestation. More than half of the ranches are highly unproductive. Intensifying cattle production to free up land for responsible farming is key to stopping deforestation. Through the state-led Produce, Conserve and Include (PCI) strategy, IDH partners with leading producers, municipalities, NGOs and others to maintain and conserve 60% of the native forest while doubling economic output by 2030, including by developing compacts (agreements) between public-private stakeholders. The program operates in the context of Brazil’s Forest Code, which makes private land-users the primary custodian of forests.

Market transformation

By 2020, IDH aims to conserve 756,000 hectares and restore 123,000 hectares of forest, and intensify 312,500 hectares of degraded pasture land, leading to 937,500 hectares of avoided deforestation in Mato Grosso. IDH We aim to do so by increasing the production of grains and beef through intensification and better use of degraded land. Including smallholders by improving their access to credit and markets, as well as ensuring land tenure rights for smallholder plots, are other important components. We connect the PCI approach in Mato Grosso to the sustainable sourcing criteria of the European feed industry, which sources a large portion of soy from that region. The landscape program in Mato Grosso is therefore closely linked to the market-focused Soy program.

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Impact Focus

KPI progress 2017

  • Changes in Business Practices

    Private Sector Investment Ratio target 2020 1
    Target 2017 1
    Result 2017 2
    Through the PCI approach, IDH connected the European feed industry to Brazilian soy producers. As a result, IDH, FEFAC (the EU feed industry), FEDIOL (the European refiners), Aprosoja (a soy producer), the Mato Grosso Soy and Corn Farmers Association and ABIOVE (the vegetable oil industry in Brazil) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January 2017, to promote responsible soy, protect community livelihoods and connect the industry to European market demand. The agreement is the first time a formal working relationship has been established between Brazilian soy producers and key European purchasers, and will contribute to Brazil’s national targets to reduce carbon emissions as part of the Paris Climate agreement. As part of the agreement, we started the Soja Plus project with Aprosoja on verified sourcing in the Sorriso area in Mato Grosso, covering 2 million hectares. This will provide technical assistance to soy producers to comply with the EU environmental guidelines – giving them a “passport” to EU markets.
  • Changes in Landscape Governance

    Effective stakeholder convening Targhet 2020 (not set) 0
    Target 2017 (not set) 0
    Result 2017 7
    IDH supported the institutionalization of the PCI strategy in Mato Grosso, leading to a commitment of US $20 million from the German Development Bank (KfW). In addition, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) pledged £24 million. Our work has gained international recognition and paved the way for investors, making PCI less dependent on IDH. We developed Produce, Protect and Include (PPI) compact plans with public, private and civil society stakeholders in the regions of Juruena Valley (Mato Grosso) and Paragominas (Pará State). They have been, or will be, launched in 2018. The plans outline a common vision for sustainable production, protection of natural resources and inclusion of local communities. There are plans to develop VSAs with long term governance linked to (global) value chains.
  • Field Level Impact

    # workers/producers reached Target 2020 950
    Target 2017 800
    Result 2017 861
    In 2017, IDH co-designed and funded three field-level projects. The first is with Amaggi and Aliança da Terra to create verified sourcing areas (VSAs) for soy, based on the environmental regularization program (PRA) and FEFAC sourcing guidelines. The second is with Grupo Roncador (a beef producer) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to support calf suppliers to intensify production and implement the PRA. And the third is with Aprosoja, to provide soy producers with access to the EU market. We also made headway on a three-year cattle intensification project with TNC and Grupo Roncador in the Central Araguaia Valley of Mato Grosso. In 2017, 49 calf suppliers joined the project, representing 114,727 hectares of land.

With the signing of the memorandum, the Soja Plus program will enter the benchmarking process to be recognized as a responsible production program, serving as a Brazilian soybean passport for the European market.

Endrigo Dalcin, President, Aprosoja

Relevant SDGs

Gender focus

Around 25% of the members of the PCI Executive Committee are women.

Lessons Learned

Compliance with the national Forest Code leads to a reduction in deforestation caused by soy farming. However, continuous attention needs to be paid to new drivers of deforestation, such as land speculation and clearing followed by cattle ranching, rural settlements, and protected areas poorly managed by the local, state and federal authorities. There is a gap between state policymaking and local implementation. Developing regional PCI compacts will help bridge this gap.

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