Brazil’s indefinite renewal of its Soy Moratorium to prevent deforestation in the Amazon has been welcomed by associations and NGOs.Brazil’s indefinite renewal of its Soy Moratorium to prevent deforestation in the Amazon has been welcomed by associations and NGOs.

The ban on not trading, acquiring and financing soyabeans produced on Amazon land deforested after July 2008 had been universally acclaimed as instrumental in breaking the link between soyabean farming and deforestation, Progressive Farmer said.

Originally established in July 2006, the moratorium has been renewed annually since 2008.

“The Soy Moratorium has proved to be effective in reducing deforestation in the Amazon as a consequence of soyabean and we therefore welcome its renewal,” said Henri Rieux, president of FEDIOL, the EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association.

Paulo Adario, senior forest strategist for Greenpeace International, said the move would ensure producers and trading companies could continue to rely on forest-friendly Amazon soya.

The renewal was announced by the Brazilian Soy Task Force (GTS), a coalition of industry, NGOs and the government.

Soya mapping of deforested areas in the Amazon Biome is carried out via satellite imaging and auditing.

The GTS said that while the area occupied by soya in the Amazon Biome grew from 1.8M ha to 3.6M ha since 2009, only 0.8% of that growth or 28,768ha occurred in newly deforested areas, according to the most recent mapping in the 2014-15 crop year.

“This large increase in soya production while respecting the moratorium is proof to the market: producing without destroying the forest is good business”, said Adario.

The moratorium will remain in place until it can be replaced by a monitoring system based on Rural Environmental Registration (CAR), according to the Brazilian Vegetable Oil Industries Association (ABIOVE).

Fabio Trigueirinho, general secretary of ABIOVE, explained in Progressive Farmer that the soya industry had planned to end the moratorium following the passing of a new Forestry Code governing farmers' environmental obligations in 2012.

However, a registry of land needed to be created before the new code could be imposed,

In soyabean regions, especially in the Amazon basin, that process was nearly complete. However, the government still had to create a system whereby soya purchasers could check they were buying from farms that conformed to the Forestry Code.

Therefore, the industry chose to extend the moratorium indefinitely until it was no longer needed.

Progressive Farmer said the Forestry Code would represent an easing of restrictions as it allowed for limited deforestation on properties.