In the five years to 2019, almost 240,000 hectares of land was converted to soy production – an area almost 12 times larger than Buenos Aires. Soy production was responsible for 25-33% of total land clearance in Argentina in 2015-2019.
Despite the scale of the problem, deforestation in Argentina is not insurmountable, as Trase analysis shows.
Departments in Argentina where 95% of soy deforestation was concentrated in 2015-2019 represent only 10% of total Argentinian soy production and only 4% of exports (see figure).
This means that the risk of soy associated with deforestation entering the supply chains for export markets such as EU, China, Vietnam and Indonesia is relatively low. And where there is a problem, it is possible to identify its location.
Departments such as Marcos Juarez and General Lopes (top right of figure below), which have high levels of soy production and soy exports, have no soy deforestation. In contrast, departments such as Almirante Brown and Alberdi (bottom left with large bubbles) have comparatively small production and exports, but large soy deforestation risks.
Soy traders can use Trase data to conduct risk assessments to identify which departments have the most risk and where they will need to prioritise their efforts on traceability, monitoring and supporting farmers on deforestation-free production. Traders sourcing from regions with soy deforestation will need to ensure they have farm-level traceability and soy from deforestation-free farms is segregated from soy from unknown sources or linked to recent deforestation. Traders can develop their own internal traceability systems and use external tools such as the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS).
This will enable traders in Argentina to clean their supply chains and meet emerging ‘due diligence’ regulations for deforestation-free products, maintaining access to the European and other valuable export markets.
To reference this article, please use the following citation: Reis, T. (2022). Opportunities for deforestation-free sourcing in Argentina. Trase. https://doi.org/10.48650/FRWB-1N06