Implementation of the EUDR

In June 2023 the EU published Regulation (EU) 2023/1115 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 May 2023 on the making available on the European Union Single Market and the export from the Union of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation, better known as the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). As of 30 December 2024, the key articles of the EUDR will apply, leaving a short adaptation and preparation period.

Under the EUDR, any operator or trader who places commodities like soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee, rubber commodities on the EU market, or exports from it, must be able to prove that the products do not originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation. Relevant goods must also be covered by a due diligence statement and be produced in accordance with applicable local laws. FEFAC is a member to the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Protecting and Restoring the World’s Forests hosted by the European Commission, where updates to the stakeholder community are given on the implementation process of EUDR.

Key interests for the European compound feed manufacturers sector

The EUDR does not include ‘compound feed’ in the Annex I of relevant commodities or products, meaning the placement of compound feed on the EU market is excluded from the scope of the EUDR requirements. This also means that compound feed containing relevant commodities and products, such as soy and palm oil products, is not subject to the EUDR, except certain traceability requirements linked to feed containing soy and/or palm products destined to cattle. In these scenarios, FEFAC is keen to understand to which extent compound feed manufacturers have access to information of the due diligence statement delivered by the suppliers of soybean and palm oil products in order to fulfil these specific traceability information

(Large) Compound feed manufacturing companies which also carry out with soy trading operations, on the EU market, are in the scope of the EUDR and have to follow the applicable requirements for operators. Compound feed manufacturing companies which deliver directly soybean products to livestock farmers are included as a downstream trader, by making available a relevant commodity on the EU market.

Key interests for the soy-livestock value chain

FEFAC closely cooperates with its EU value chain partner organisations FEDIOL and COCERAL in discussions to tackle deforestation embedded in soy supply chains. COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC have welcomed the EU initiative to tackle deforestation and supported an EU regulation introducing mandatory due diligence. However, following the formal approval of the EUDR, COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC called on the European Commission and Member States to work closely with stakeholders to overcome the many implementation challenges of the EUDR. As repeatedly highlighted throughout the regulatory process, some of the provisions and the set timeline for implementation will pose significant problems for numerous soy value chain stakeholders in the supply chains and risk excluding many players in third countries from supplying the EU market, especially smallholder farmers. COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC as well as other commodity sectors have been calling for EU guidelines to provide assurances on which commercial practices are compliant with the Regulation.

Key practical implementation issues are

  • Obtaining geolocation/polygon to plot data of millions of smallholders who supply mills indirectly through collectors/aggregators: it is a common problem that middlemen do not want to or cannot share information about smallholders they buy from for fear of being bypassed or being prosecuted under national data protection rules. Without their collaboration, smallholders supplying through them will be excluded from EU supply chains as a consequence, which could lead to supply chain disruptions.
  • Obtaining and maintaining reliable and updated traceability data matching land ownership titles: in the absence of properly regulated land tenure and inadequate national farm registers, sourcing from farmers whose ownership rights, ownership changes, and land lease contract changes are not officially registered would be a risk to operators. Operators cannot comply with the EU’s requirements, which include complying with land use rights under national legislation in producing countries, if such official information is not available or in order.
  • Resolving data sharing impediments in producing countries: some producing countries consider land ownership data sensitive and prohibit their sharing.

The implementation issues are by no means limited to countries with perceived deforestation issues, as the key geolocation requirements apply to all soy-producing origins. According to FEFAC estimates, in 2021 approximately 91% of all EU27 + soy imports originated from low deforestation risk areas. FEFAC and FEFAC members have requested the European Commission and Member States to bear in mind that there will also be implementation challenges in soy producer countries where deforestation concerns have never been raised. FEFAC has also echoed concerns raised by AVEC (European poultry meat sector) that the EUDR creates an unlevel-playing field with poultry meat imports from 3rd countries, where no efforts and investments need to be made to ensure deforestation-free soy use in the country of origin. Overall, the EUDR includes a risk of imposing costly logistical investments for the European market only, while not making a measurable impact of tackling deforestation or incentivizing sustainable farm practices in country of origin.

Relevant documents and links

COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC Call for Targeted Country Partnerships and Clear Guidelines for EU Deforestation-free Commodities Regulation Implementation (19 April 2023)

European Commission EUDR landing page, including link to an FAQ