CHINA- COFCO International, the overseas agriculture business platform for China’s largest food and agriculture company, COFCO Corp., successfully passed an independent benchmarking process, certifying its ability to provide deforestation and conversion-free soy. 

This accomplishment aligns with the stringent requirements of the European feed industry, as stipulated in the 2023 FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines.

The benchmarking process, overseen by the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) and administered by the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, marks a significant stride for COFCO International in its commitment to sustainable agriculture.

The COFCO International Responsible Agriculture Standard, a voluntary certification program for agricultural producers and chain of custody suppliers, played a pivotal role in this achievement. The standard emphasizes conservation and integrating sustainable agriculture practices into supply chains.

Incorporating COFCO International’s policies, including its Supplier Code of Conduct and Sustainable Soy Sourcing Policy, the standard aligns with responsible industry benchmarks such as FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. 

It also embraces international principles, including the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Conventions and Recommendations, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the International Bill of Human Rights.

COFCO International’s dedication to sustainability has garnered recognition, with the company being named a Morningstar Sustainalytics 2023 Top-Rated ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Company in July. Notably, it secured the second position among more than 100 companies in the Sustainalytics agriculture sub-industry group.

The company’s sustainability achievements can be attributed to advancements in emissions reporting, climate risk management, deforestation policy, biodiversity programs, and initiatives to enhance the carbon and water intensity of its operations.

COFCO International, with a global focus on the grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee, and cotton supply chains, operates in 37 countries across the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. 

The successful completion of the benchmarking process underscores COFCO International’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices and responsible sourcing, setting a positive example for the wider agriculture industry.

Agreement with Modern Farming Group

Earlier in November, COFCO International and Modern Farming Group, which makes milk products, signed an agreement “to supply and accept soybeans” coming from sustainable production areas in Brazil.

According to a statement from the World Economic Forum’s Tropical Forest Alliance, the deal is valued at more than US$30 million and marks the first soybean order in China under a “clear deforestation- and conversion-free (DCF) clause.

The agreement is part of efforts to curb commodity export-driven deforestation in global soybeans, beef, palm oil, pulp, and paper markets.

China, which buys grains and meats from large suppliers including Brazil and the United States, is the main destination for many agricultural commodity exports produced in the South American farm powerhouse.

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