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The RTRS participated in an event hosted by the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and Unilever

 “High Level Meeting on Deforestation-free Commodity Supply Chains by 2020: How to Accelerate Progress”

The Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) participated in the ‘High Level Meeting on Deforestation-free Commodity Supply Chains by 2020: How to Accelerate Progress’ hosted by the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and Unilever, on 24-25 October in London, UK.

The meeting, chaired by the HRH Prince of Wales, Charles Philip Arthur George, and Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, brought together leading global food distribution companies and government officials from Brazil, Ghana, Indonesia and Gabon.

In his opening address, the Prince of Wales listed four topics of global relevance to be considered and discussed during the meeting:

  1. The importance of verifying that work is being done to eliminate deforestation from all production circuits of global supply chains.
  2. Biodiversity conservation in ecosystems, such as the Cerrado or Chaco, in the face of agricultural expansion.
  3. The role of financial institutions and the need to implement investment policies that favour sustainable production.
  4. The need to join efforts of jurisdictions and governments from the different countries to implement zero deforestation policies.

In this way the Prince of Wales gave governments and the private sector a leading role in the development of economic instruments and incentives to favour producers who introduce sustainable and responsible practices, and called to step up efforts to support the work of  large companies in the commodity supply chains, currently taking legitimate initiatives to guarantee zero deforestation.

As an entity representing stakeholders of the soybean chain from all over the world, RTRS believes it is critical to have instruments and/or mechanisms to reward the efforts of producers to preserve native vegetation areas (even when the regulatory framework allows for conversion, as is the case in el Cerrado). RTRS takes a relevant role in this context.

RTRS Executive Director Marcelo Visconti, who participated in the meeting in London, said: “It is a global and multisectoral challenge. RTRS standard is a tangible option for the market, a real solution that promotes zero deforestation in soybean production, among other aspects of high social and legal impact. It is a transparent and reliable certification that reduces risks across the supply chain”. He additionally stressed that “as a global round table, RTRS encourages collaborative work with other associations, initiatives and protocols, to discuss, together with governments and the private sector, ways to provide benefits and support to producers who strive every day for sustainability”.

November 2017