While an effective agreement has been achieved for preventing unsustainable expansion of soy in the Amazon, deforestation from soy production is still happening at an alarming rate. Areas such as the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, and Gran Chaco are still vulnerable to high rates of deforestation. Soy is the commodity with the largest share (40% – Henders et al. 2015) of deforestation embedded in exports compared to production. In the EU, soy accounts for almost half (47%) of imported deforestation.

The Cerrado in Brazil, is a global biodiversity hotspot that is also critical for carbon storage and rainfall, and thus Brazil’s agricultural productivity, but it is currently suffering high rates of deforestation and native vegetation due to soy and also cattle expansion.  

Last September, over 60 Brazilian NGOs and civil society organisations released the Cerrado Manifesto calling for ‘immediate action’ by buyers of soy and meat to protect the remaining native vegetation in the Cerrado.

In response to this, last October, 23 global brands, including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Unilever, Walmart, Ahold Delhaize and McDonald’s, publically signed a Statement of Support for the Cerrado Manifesto (“SoS”). As of today, the number of signatories has reached 66 and is on the rise, including many global egg customers (list below). Current SoS signatories include retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, fish, meat and dairy producers and feed companies. The aim of the SoS is not to stop buying soy and meat from the Cerrado but rather to support the development of a more sustainable pathway forward for agricultural production in the region. Signatories commit to working with local and international stakeholders to achieve this.  

The initiative is also backed by the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the organisation that represents the world’s leading CEOs of food retail and food manufacturing businesses. Ignacio Gavilan, Environmental Sustainability Director at the CGF addressed delegates at the IEC London Business Conference in April, elaborating on why this is such an important issue for the global egg industry.

Ignacio stated that.” Supporting sustainable soy production from such a key sourcing area is an important step from a supply chain resilience perspective. Continued degradation of the Cerrado is likely to increase the risk of drought and other negative effects on soy production into the future.“

The SoS signatories are continuing to call for other companies to add their name to the SoS to demonstrate that business takes this issue seriously and to help accomplish faster progress for protecting the Cerrado and achieving agricultural resilience in the region. The SoS signatories are also starting to turn their commitment into action with the development of an SoS Implementation Plan.

For further information about becoming a signatory to the SoS, please contact Ignacio Gavilan.

Click here to view presentation from Ignacio Gavilan on “Environmental sustainability & deforestation: future soy supply” at the IEC Business Conference London 2018

Current SoS signatories (66)

Ahold Delhaize NV

Ajinomoto Co Inc

Aldi NL *

Arla Foods

Auchan Retail


Barry Callebaut

Bel Group (Fromageries Bel SA)

Bidfood NL *


Boni Markten *

Boon Sliedrecht *


Casino Group

Colgate-Palmolive Company

Co-operative Group Ltd

Coop Switzerland

Coop Supermarkten NL *



Deen Supermarkten NL *

Detailresult *

De Kweker *

EMTE Supermarkten *

Groothandel in Levensmiddelen Van Tol *


Grupo Bimbo

Grupo Exito

Hilton Food Group

Hoogvliet Supermarkten *

ICA Gruppen AB

Inter IKEA Group

J Sainsburys Plc

Jan Linders *

Jumbo Supermarkten *

Kellogg Company

L’Oréal SA

Lekkerland *

Lidl UK GmbH

Lidl Nederland *

Makro Nederland *

Marks & Spencer Group Plc

Mars Inc

McDonald’s Corporation



Mondelēz International

Nando’s Chickenland Ltd

Nestlé S.A.

Nettorama *

NorgesGruppen ASA

NS Stations Retailbedrijf *

Nutreco NV

Plus Retail *

Poiesz Supermarkten *



Sligro *

Spar NL *

Tesco Stores Plc


Vakcentrum *

Vomar Voordeelmarkt *

Waitrose Ltd

Walmart Stores Inc

Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc.

* Dutch Food Retail Association (CBL)