Leading grains merchant commits to zero deforestation and native vegetation conversion

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

LDC has committed to converting to native vegetation in its supply chain. Pic: Thomas_Zsebok_Images
LDC has committed to converting to native vegetation in its supply chain. Pic: Thomas_Zsebok_Images

Related tags: Louis Dreyfus Company, deforestation, native vegetation, Carbon, Grains, Sustainable agriculture, Global warming

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has ramped up its sustainability journey by pledging to eliminate deforestation and converting to native vegetation from its supply chain by the end of 2025.

An important enabler of the group’s biodiversity conservation and decarbonisation targets, the commitment is in continuity with initiatives like the creation of a dedicated Carbon Solutions Platform.

The merchant and processor of agricultural goods also recently introduced product-specific sustainability codes and policies to conserve forests and native vegetation for commodities considered to be higher risk in relation to deforestation – namely, palm oil, coffee and soy.

The world’s most pressing challenges

“Ensuring sustainable agriculture and food production are among the world’s most pressing global challenges, and our commitment to zero deforestation and conversion of native vegetation is essential in addressing these challenges,”​ said Michael Gelchie, LDC’s CEO.

“To achieve our target, we believe in a collaborative approach that takes into account the needs and concerns of all supply chain participants, particularly farmers, on whose production activities we all depend for global food security, and whose methods are key to the conservation of natural resources and habitats.”

Gelchie added that eliminating deforestation and native vegetation conversation associated with agriculture is one of the most significant contributions towards meeting the world's 1.5°C Paris Agreement target to limit global warming.

“The commitment is a key step in LDC’s efforts to contribute to a net-zero economy through a decarbonisation roadmap that includes action to drive down emissions within our own operations as well as in our value chains – in this case upstream, at the farm level,”​ said Gelchie.

Clear timeline

The company said its next step is to carry out risk assessments across its supply chain to prioritise actions, particularly from regions with higher deforestation and conversion risks.

“This commitment is aligned with LDC’s track record of transparency and public reporting on supply chain risks and efforts to mitigate these, which we feel will be complemented by a commitment to complete avoidance of deforestation and native vegetation conversion with a clear timeline,”​ said Guy Hogge, LDC’s global head of Sustainability.

“Joined in our conviction by a growing body of policymakers, consumer goods companies, the financial community, and other stakeholders who are increasingly making similar commitments, we look forward to working in concert with supply chain partners to achieve our target through product traceability, land use monitoring and third-party verification, and above all continual engagement with and support to suppliers and farmers in our network.”

LDC was founded in 1851 and has evolved into a leading global player with activities spanning the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of platforms, including grains & oilseeds, coffee, cotton, juice, rice and sugar, among others.

The Netherlands-headquartered company claims to help feed and clothe more than 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 80 million tons of products.

It is active in over 100 countries and employs around 17,000 people.

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