EU will block food imports that are linked to deforestation


Beef, wood, palm oil, soy, coffee, cocoa, leather, furniture and chocolate will be banned from entering the European Union if their production contributed to all - not just illegal - deforestation. Reversing deforestion, one main commitment agreed upon at COP26, is one of the actions to be taken to preserve terrestrial biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, and to capture carbon dioxide. 

Two weeks after the historic declaration at COP26 of ending greenhouse emissions, EU executives have drafted a law that will ban (almost) all imports linked to deforestation in a pledge to conserve the world's remaining forest cover. The law also requires that companies providing EU citizens with foods, have to demonstrate that their agricultural products are free of deforestion. Food companies and supermarkets will hence face due diligence and institutes will (and are already) use satellites and geolocation techniques to track the advance of deforestation and forest degradation.

Many products that Europeans consume are directly or indirectly linked to the felling of great swatches of pristine forest in tropical regions, to create agricultural land at an industrial scale, such as in South East Asia and the Amazon forest. A major part of these crops, e.g. soy, are used for feeding animals, so that rich people in Europe and other first world regions, can eat meat all the time. The lack of rule of law and corruption have allowed such destructive supply chains to persist. In the last 30 years, the EU alone has caused 10% of global deforestation. 

Therefore, this new law, although imperfect in some respects, is a major leap forward, and will hopefully help emerge new, sustainable food supply chains and a sustainable economy based on innovation and a more plant-based way of eating. 


On a personal note:

  • As a meat taste-loving person who turned vegetarian, I can confirm that some plant-based meat tastes much better than most real meat, a great choice of veg meat is based on peas. Read our article on the Vegetarian Butchers from the Netherlands. 
  • As a consumer, you have power. Check ingredients of whatever you buy, be critical and support local initiatives and products. It is true that local is often more expensive, but prices would drop if we stop massive buying of cheap foreign products. 


The Guardian: EU aims to curb deforestation with beef and coffee import ban:

The Guardian: Cop26: world leaders agree deal to end deforestation:

Picture: Pixabey.

An article by Kathelijne Bonne.

Good Climate News is an initiative by the Bonne sisters from Belgium, Elisabeth, Helena and Kathelijne. "We believe in the power of good news".

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