New research identifies drivers for soy and cattle producers to become more sustainable

New research identifies drivers for soy and cattle producers to become more sustainable

Photo by Charlotte Streck

Research from Climate Focus and Imaflora finds that supply chain commitments, in their current state, are insufficiently addressing producer barriers to sustainable production. The study focused on the beef and soy sectors in Brazil and the beef and dairy sectors in Colombia. While many companies have made commitments to address deforestation and are taking steps to implement them, there are few positive incentives and little assistance to help producers transition to better land management practices. 

Differences between soy and cattle sector
Differences between the cattle and soy supply chains also play a role in how they are implemented. Commitments in the beef sector refer to general pledges to end deforestation and improve traceability, while commitments in the soy sector focus on specific approaches towards implementation such as certification and moratoria. Additionally, in the case of Brazil, the soy sector is more integrated, and financial and technical capacity barriers are less pronounced than in the beef sector which enhances the ability of companies to translate commitments into results at the producer level.

Success factors that enhance impact of supply chain efforts 
Despite limited examples of progress in motivating producer behavior change, the study identified a number of success factors that can enhance the impact of supply chain efforts. These include increasing the scale and scope of commitments, engaging companies that are representing a large market share of a given commodity, strengthening integration and transparency of the supply chain, and having effective public-private cooperation.

This research was undertaken for the Meridian Institute and contributed to developing a broader theory of change and framework for research on supply chain sustainability. It was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

More information on the project here.