Brazil soy industry boycotts beans from the Amazon

BRAZIL - Brazilian soy crushers and exporters will stop buying soybeans grown in the Amazon basin for the time being, industry groups said on Monday, bowing to pressure from activist groups trying to preserve the rain forest.

The moratorium, which will last for two years, will apply to soybeans planted as of October 2006 in newly deforested areas of the Amazon, the world's largest rain forest.

The initiative, spearheaded by the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Producers (Abiove) and the National Grains Exporters' Association, "seeks to reconcile environmental conservation with economic development," the groups said in a joint statement.

Environmental and consumer groups have long complained that the rapid expansion of Brazil's soy frontier was speeding up the deforestation of the Amazon. Brazil is the world's second-largest soy producer, behind the United States.

Until now, Brazil's soy industry had bristled at the suggestion that soy played a role in the destruction of the Amazon, arguing instead that independent loggers and grazers were bigger threats to the rain forest.

Source: Reuters
calendar icon 25 July 2006
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