Final negotiations have begun between the European Council, Parliament and Commission on a regulation that will ban products from the EU market that result from deforestation.
It will impact what is placed on supermarket shelves, and, importantly, retailers might be held accountable.
The proposal focuses on coffee, cacao, cattle, palm oil, soy and wood products. Among these commodities, the palm oil sector is at the forefront of sustainability, reaching 93% uptake of certified sustainable palm oil in Europe, even before legislation.
The core of the proposal requires that only products that are both legally produced and demonstrably free from deforestation should be allowed on the EU market.
To guarantee this, companies must submit a due diligence statement which states that the product is not only deforestation-free but also shows the exact plot of land where it originated.
This can be achieved by making the first importer (operator) responsible for this due diligence statement.
All subsequent actors who handle the product commercially (traders), such as retailers, would then ensure that the information they receive from the operator is correct.
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