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ADM Commits to No Deforestation Policy for Soybeans, Palm Oil

As global agricultural businesses come under pressure from environmental and consumer groups, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has announced it is pledging to cut deforestation resulting from the production of soybeans and palm oil. The group plans to develop systems and methods of traceability for the crops it processes, raising transparency in the supply chain in order to protect global forests, according to company spokesperson, Victoria Podesta.

The policy “combines a clear commitment to no deforestation with progressive action focused on our most critical supply chains,” Podesta said Monday in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.

The world’s biggest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, in which ADM owns an 18% stake, announced its own no-deforestation policy in December 2013.

Global suppliers accounting for approximately 96% of globally traded palm oil have made similar pledges of sustainability and traceability, and have developed such systems to ensure its implementation, however, this is the first being instituted for soybeans, according to Lucia von Reusner with Green Century Capital Management Inc.

Over the past year, Green Century, a mutual fund manager that focuses on sustainability, has pushed both ADM and food companies including Kellogg Co., JM Smuckers Co, and ConAgra Foods Inc. to pledge to buy their palm oil only from sources dedicated to no deforestation.

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