Forests: Commodities

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 19 September 2023.

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Photo of Dave Doogan Dave Doogan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy Security and Net Zero)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of UK's contribution to illegal deforestation through the importation (a) cocoa, (b) coffee, (c) soy and (d) other forest-based commodities produced on land illegally occupied or used.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK plays a leading role in supporting global efforts to protect and restore forest landscapes, driving international action to tackle deforestation and ensure forests are sustainably managed. This effort is underpinned by a commitment of £1.5 billion to international forests between 2021-26.

The UK Government works with businesses and smallholder farmers to support the development of sustainable agriculture and forest management models through the Investments in Forests and Sustainable Land Use programme, providing jobs and livelihoods while protecting and restoring forests. The UK is also a co-funder of the Tropical Forest Alliance, a public-private initiative hosted by the World Economic Forum which mobilises over 170 companies, governments, and NGOs to tackle commodity-driven deforestation. The UK Government is working with developing countries to help them strengthen regulation and governance of forests to curb illegal logging through the long-standing Forest Governance Markets and Climate programme.

This package of work also includes new due diligence legislation through the Environment Act 2021 to tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains. While a wide number of commodities have played and continue to play a role in driving global deforestation, we identified seven key commodities in our 2021-22 consultation that are responsible between them for driving the majority of recent and ongoing deforestation. These commodities include: cattle (beef and leather), cocoa, coffee, maize, rubber, palm oil, and soy. The consultation also sought evidence on other commodities driving deforestation. We published an impact assessment alongside consultation, available here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/international-biodiversity-and-climate/implementing-due-diligence-forest-risk-commodities/consult_view/

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