Joint Reaction to the Provisional Deal between European Parliament and Council on the EU Regulation for deforestation-free supply chains

The European Parliament and the Council concluded, last night, trilogue negotiations on the EU Deforestation Regulation. COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC, acknowledge the efforts to swiftly strike a deal and set an ambitious EU framework that will prevent commodities associated with deforestation to be marketed in the EU. An EU regulation tackling deforestation is a necessary initiative which should give a strong signal to players and governments around the world.

COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC, welcome aspects of the deal on the EU regulation that will prove positive for the implementation through the palm oil and soy supply chains, such as guidelines, the timelines for implementation of 18 months, and lower percentage of checks for low-risk countries. COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC also consider positively that the agreement refrains from broadening the scope to maize and to other ecosystems from the outset, without further assessment of the implications.

On the other hand, COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC regret that the requirement for traceability and implied chain of custody, as defined, will have a number of unintended consequences. These consequences will be felt deeply, particularly as this may lead to the exclusion of smallholders, the most vulnerable players in these supply chains, given the tight implementation deadline, or to disinvestment from high-risk areas. Failure to set in place similarly ambitious accompanying measures for government-to-government engagement and partnerships, with incentives and support, will not help overcome the many legal, organisational or logistical impediments arising, as operators will be looking at implementing the EU regulation throughout these complex supply chains.

The deal between European Parliament and Council on the deforestation regulation needs to be examined in further detail and its implications will require further assessment. COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC remain fully committed to support solutions for the implementation of the Regulation to make it work in practice and at the same time to tackle global deforestation.