China’s largest food processor and manufacturer COFCO International has announced that its Argentine branch has made its first fully traceable and segregated soyabean meal shipment aligned with the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

The company loaded 18,000 tonnes of certified deforestation-free soyabean meal on the MV Dublin Eagle on 16 May at its Timbúes port terminal on the Paraná River near Rosario for delivery to Irish feed manufacturer R&H Hall, COFCO said on 16 May.

The segregated model applied to the shipment required the certified produce to be separated from non-certified produce throughout the whole supply chain, the company said.

COFCO said the shipment, along with previous shipments of deforestation-free soyabeans to China, were important steps towards meeting its commitments to achieve deforestation and conversion-free soyabean supply chains and reduce emissions from land use change.

“Thanks to early industry and government investments in Argentina’s Visec monitoring platform, which was developed to reduce the cost of traceability and serve the country’s entire soya chain, the country is now well-placed to supply Europe with EUDR-compliant soyabeans, meal and related products,” COFCO said.

Visec was expected to cover all soya shipments from Argentina by the end of 2024, including by intermediaries such as cooperatives.

Aimed at promoting the consumption of deforestation-free products within the EU to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, the EUDR was adopted by the European Parliament in 2023 and will come into force on 30 December.

Under the EUDR, any operator or trader who places soyabeans, palm oil, coffee, cattle, cocoa, wood and rubber or their derived products on the EU market must be able to prove that the products do not originate from land deforested since 2020 or have contributed to forest degradation. They will also have to provide precise geographical information on the land where these commodities have been grown.