Last October, 23 global companies, including Ahold Delhaize, Marks & Spencer, METRO, Tesco, McDonald’s, Unilever and Walmart responded to the Cerrado Manifesto, a call for action by companies and investors in defence of Brazil’s Cerrado, from civil society stakeholders. The Cerrado, is a global biodiversity hotspot that is also critical for carbon storage and rainfall, and thus Brazil’s agricultural productivity but is suffering high rates of deforestation and native vegetation loss. The companies’ response was to sign a Statement of Support (SoS) committing them to work with local and international stakeholders to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in the Cerrado.
Since October, they have been engaging more widely and on 25th January announced a near tripling of the number of signatories to 61 companies. This larger group of companies, all who use Brazilian soy or cattle in their supply chain, have signed the SoS with an immediate priority to develop a roadmap and implementation plan to deliver on their aims and objectives, as per the press release available here.
ETANTE has supported this initiative from its early days last September and continues to provide strategic and communications advice and support for the Steering Group.