CHINA- COFCO International and China Sheng Mu Organic Dairy Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of COFCO Group and the largest organic dairy company in China, jointly announced on January 15 the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to procure deforestation and conversion-free soybeans from Brazil.

The MOU outlines an initial agreement for the supply of 12,000 tonnes of soybeans annually, with a shared commitment to increase the volume progressively. COFCO International will conduct third-party verification to ensure compliance with deforestation and conversion-free standards throughout the supply chain.

This announcement comes on the heels of another significant development, as COFCO International and Mengniu Group inked an MOU for 50,000 tonnes of soybeans in November 2023. Notably, this agreement marked the first soybean order in China with a clear “deforestation- and conversion-free (DCF)” clause. 

The initiative was part of the pilot action under the Green Value Chain Taskforce, an undertaking initiated by the Tropical Forest Alliance of the World Economic Forum.

COFCO’s commitment to combat deforestation aligns with its broader efforts to enhance its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standing. In 2023, the company witnessed improvements in its ESG Risk Rating from Morningstar Sustainalytics, reflecting advancements in emissions reporting, climate risk management, deforestation policy, biodiversity programs, and initiatives to reduce the carbon and water intensity of its operations.

COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corp., China’s largest food and agriculture company. COFCO International has a presence in 37 countries spanning the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region focused on global grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee, and cotton supply chains.

The commitment to source deforestation and conversion-free soybeans reflects COFCO’s dedication to sustainable practices and aligns with the growing global awareness of the environmental impact of agricultural supply chains. 

The company’s engagement in third-party verification underscores its pledge to transparent and accountable sourcing practices, setting a positive precedent for sustainable business in the agriculture industry.

In December 2023, COFCO International 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.

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