Soft Commodities Forum

The global demand for food – and soft commodities such as grains and oilseeds – continues to grow as the world’s population expands to an anticipated 9 billion people by 2050, accompanied by growth in incomes. These trends put pressure on land use and pose challenges to the sustainability of agricultural supply chains. The purpose of the Soft Commodities Forum is to advance collective action around shared sustainability challenges. The work of the Soft Commodities Forum is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Baker McKenzie.

The founding principles

The Soft Commodities Forum (SCF) is a global platform for leading soft commodities companies,convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for the purpose of advancing collective action around common sustainability challenges.

The Forum is made up of WBCSD member companies who share a vision of ensuring sustainable agriculture supply chains and working in partnership with government, producers, consumers and civil society to create a safer, more sustainable food system. 

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The challenge

Sustainable agricultural production is critical to the member companies of the Soft Commodities Forum, who are committed to eliminating deforestation in their supply chains. The companies are involved in soy origination and processing in Brazil, including the Cerrado region, which has experienced significant rates of agricultural expansion over the last decade. The first focus area of the Forum is to tackle land use challenges in the Brazilian Cerrado.

The business case

Consumers are demanding more transparency about how food is produced and if it is sourced responsibly. The private sector – working in partnership with governments and civil society - can advance efforts to create a safer, more sustainable food system. The Forum’s member companies are committed to eliminating deforestation in supply chains. 

The solution

The Forum will recommend standards for monitoring and traceability of land use in supply chains in the Cerrado. In addition, the Forum will promote – in collaboration with financial institutions and investors -- the development of new financial mechanisms to incentivize producers in the Cerrado to avoid conversion of native forests and vegetation, reward positive production practices and preserve access to key markets. Balancing environmental, social and economic interests in the agriculture sector requires all actors to engage and participate in solutions.  

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