The Soft Commodities Forum invites investment in a new financial model to eliminate soy-driven deforestation and native vegetation conversion in Brazil’s Cerrado

The launch of the strategy is detailed alongside updates of shared accountability standards and increased supply chain transparency in the Soft Commodities Forum’s bi-annual report. 

Published: 14 Dec 2022
Type: News

Geneva, Switzerland, 14 December 2022: WBCSD’s Soft Commodities Forum (SCF) disclosed today the details of the Farmer First Clusters landscape transformation strategy, as well as progress in data accountability and supply chain traceability.

A leading landscape approach for the prevention of soy-related deforestation and conversion

Launched in November 2022, the Farmer First Clusters (FFC) Initiative aims to administer and direct funds to halt soy-driven deforestation and conversion in high-risk municipalities by taking a community-centered approach to transformation within four key Cerrado landscapes: Western Mato Grosso, Southern Maranhão, Western Bahia, and Tocantins.

The initiative works through six solutions, clustered according to local realities: Payments for Surplus Legal Reserve, Technical Assistance for Sustainable Production and Forest Code Compliance, Restoration of Degraded Areas, Integrated Farming (livestock, agriculture and forestry), Expansion of Agriculture over Pastureland, and Green Finance. These solutions form a landscape strategy that places producers and local communities at the heart of the decision-making process.

Through this initiative, SCF members will collectively invest up to USD 7.2 million to establish a financial model providing soy producers with adequate incentives to halt deforestation and conversion in municipalities where the risk of conversion is high. The SCF estimates that consolidating the Farmer First Clusters financial model requires USD50 million and invites other food and agricultural value chain stakeholders to join in accelerating investments that benefit climate, nature and livelihoods.

The project will address 8 of the SCF’s 61 focus municipalities in its initial phase before scaling up into additional municipalities in its scope.

Increased accountability standards and indirect supplier traceability

The SCF’s December report also outlines progress toward data accountability and indirect supplier engagement as key levers toward zero deforestation and conversion goals.

Key progress markers include:

  •  all SCF member direct supplier performance is verified through third-party auditing;
  • alignment among SCF members on a protocol for third-party verification of indirect suppliers;
  • the SCF surpassed its initial indirect supplier engagement goal by achieving collaborative engagement with 14 priority indirect suppliers, to establish action plans to increase indirect supplier monitoring and evaluation capacity.

“Transition finance for farmers is key to halt deforestation and conversion, especially in high-risk landscapes like the Cerrado in Brazil.  The Farmer First Clusters Initiative will accelerate investments that benefit climate, nature and livelihoods with a landscape approach to incentivize soy production in the Cerrado that supports forests and land conservation and drives regenerative agricultural solutions. Building on the launch with leading agribusinesses, achieving scale will require co-investment and collaboration with investors, value chain partners, on-the-ground organizations and governments for transformation through this collaborative endeavor.” - Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President, WBCSD

“The Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition of Action is excited to work collaboratively with the Soft Commodities Forum’s Farmer First Clusters Initiative to drive positive impact at the landscape level in the Cerrado. Through effective collaboration across the value chain, the Coalition supports the FFC in aligning principles, interventions and incentives with the scope of action of downstream actors. The goal is to create efficiencies and accelerate solution finding towards conversion-free soy landscape transformation in high-risk geographies by co-investing in context-specific and high-impact shared solutions. The collaboration on landscape engagement complements the ongoing dialogue to align on Deforestation and Conversion Free definition and progress monitoring. Together, the two workstreams enable progress towards a forest positive future.” - Debora Dias, Senior Manager for CGF Forest Positive Coalition

Read the press release in Portuguese.

For more information, please contact Lucie Smith at

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