MAJOR SOYBEAN COMPANIES HIT WITH FINES FOLLOWING "OPERATION SOY SAUCE"

06/04/2018

At the end of May, five transnational grain trading companies, along with dozens of their supplying farmers, were issued fines totaling 105.7 million Brazilian reais (US $29 million) by IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. The fines are part of “Operation Soy Sauce” carried out since April by IBAMA and federal prosecutors in the Matopiba region in Brazil’s Cerrado savannah. The Cerrado is one of the fastest growing soy regions thanks to cheap and abundant virgin land subject to far weaker deforestation rules than those applied to the Amazon rainforest. Currently, 11% of Brazil soybean production occurs in Matopiba, and more than half of its 337 municipalities have produced soy in the last decade. IBAMA hopes the penalties will draw attention to illegal deforestation throughout the country and make the soy sector more accountable for its failure to embargo crops from off-limit areas. For the full story, see https://www.reuters.com/article/brazil-deforestation-bunge-carg/brazil-fines-5-grain-trading-firms-farmers-connected-to-deforestation-idUSL3N1ST5T7 and https://news.mongabay.com/2018/06/29-million-deforestation-fines-game-changer-for-brazilian-soy-trade/.