European feed industry interested in investing in Mato Grosso sustainability program

In a meeting with the Mato Grosso Secretary for Economic Development (SEMA) on March 22, the FEFAC president, Ruud Thijssens expressed the organization’s interest in investing in the MT government’s PCI program to combat deforestation.

FEFAC – the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation brings together feed industry associations from 23 EU countries – a major market for Brazilian soy.  FEFAC imports 1,5 million tons of soy products annually from Mato Grosso alone, used for feed production especially for poultry and swine.

FEFAC requires information on the origin of its imports and its Sourcing Guidelines requires that raw materials such as soy should meet a number of sustainability criteria.

Thijssens stressed FEFAC’s commitment to not buy soy from illegally deforested areas, but to buy soy that “complies with the Forest Code, particularly in relation to the Rural Environmental Registry and the Environmental Adjustment Program” in the case of Mato Grosso.

The Environmental Adjustment Program (PRA) is a government program that brings farmers to comply with the Brazilian Forest Code – the country’s law on deforestation. PRA is part of the state government’s broader program “Produce, Conserve, Include” (or PCI) whereby it aims to eradicate illegal deforestation by 2020 and reduce carbon emissions by six gigatons by 2030 while increasing production.

Realizing PCI ambitions, which was presented by the state governor Pedro Taques in COP21, requires 39 billion reais, and the government has set up a multi-stakeholder coalition (that includes large soy and beef companies, NGOs, the state government as well as IDH) that will work towards achieving it. The role of IDH (through its ISLA program) is to bring in international investment through setting up a financial facility that provides innovative financial solutions for farmers. With funding from Dutch and Norwegian governments, IDH is currently in the process of building the facility.