Brazilian soy traders help preserve Amazon

Published: Thursday 31 August 2006

Bowing to pressure from consumer and environmental groups, Brazilian soy traders have stopped buying soybeans grown in the Amazon basin for the time being. The move is an effort to preserve the world's largest rainforests, the Amazon. The moratorium will continue for two years and apply to soybeans planted in newly deforested land of the Amazon. Soya is the leading cash crop in Brazil. Rapid expansion of soy farming, much of it illegal, is leading to large-scale deforestation in the Amazon. More than one million ha of the rainforests have fallen in recent years to plant soybeans, says a Greenpeace report. Initially soy industry had bristled at the suggestion that soy played a role in the destruction of the Amazon. But with consumers, especially in Europe, demanding proof of origin of soy products, industry groups have now announced the moratorium. The initiative is to reconcile environmental conservation with economic development, they said in a statement.

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