Meals corporations should embrace transparency and accountability to finish deforestation

Wai-Chan Chan is managing director of The Shopper Items Discussion board, a CEO-led group of outlets and CPG producers that collaborate to drive optimistic change.

Forests are disappearing at a terrifying fee. Globally, we’re dropping roughly 34,000 sq. miles of pure forest yearly; that’s an space of forest the scale of London each week, or round one soccer subject each two seconds.

With this huge loss come big penalties. Forests are essential to offering meals, air, water and sustaining life on Earth. By means of storing carbon, they’re our ally in preventing the local weather disaster. We all know that the destruction of our forests should cease so it’s no shock that the upcoming United Nations COP26 Local weather Change Convention has made the struggle towards deforestation one among its highest priorities.

Given this urgency and the size of the problem, what’s required is a transformational collective effort, throughout enterprise, authorities and native communities. Progress can be accelerated by the facility of the collective, by combining our particular person learnings with shared action-oriented approaches. However belief is crucial for this method to be efficient. And for belief to take root throughout so many stakeholders in so many various sectors and communities, we’d like transparency and accountability.

The Shopper Items Discussion board helps the world’s retailers and client items producers to collaborate, alongside different key stakeholders, to safe client belief and drive optimistic change. With its international attain, CEO management and concentrate on retailer-manufacturer collaboration, CGF is in a novel place to make change and assist deal with key challenges impacting the business, together with environmental and social sustainability, well being, meals security and product information accuracy. 

Wai-Chan Chan

Courtesy of The Shopper Items Discussion board


One yr in the past, CGF members launched the Forest Constructive Coalition of Motion, which brings collectively client items corporations with a collective market worth of $1.8 trillion. The coalition is dedicated to working in the direction of ending deforestation by driving full-sector transformation for 4 key commodities — palm oil; soy; pulp, paper and fiber-based packaging; and beef — by participating with provide chain actors and supporting landscape-level interventions.

Importantly, we’re collectively and individually investing in applications on the bottom which are serving to make the forest-positive imaginative and prescient a actuality for everybody, particularly forest-based communities and peoples. To this finish, the Coalition is utilizing its collective attain and data, international networks and assets, to interact and collaborate with producers, suppliers and merchants, in addition to governments and civil society, to advocate for forest-positive options. 

Whereas collaboration is vital to driving client items giants to turning into forest-positive companies, so too is transparency. Companies must be judged on the progress they’re making whereas being sincere in regards to the challenges they face. This is the reason making a tradition of transparency and accountability has been a transparent and fast precedence for the Coalition throughout its first yr, together with the event of sturdy key efficiency indicators to measure our efficiency towards commitments. We’re additionally sharing our plans with key stakeholders, offering them a platform to touch upon our technique and stories and to offer constructive suggestions. Based mostly on this suggestions, we regulate. It’s a important piece that’s additional supported by our stakeholder engagement platform, Evergreen.

We acknowledge that the earlier efforts of member organizations to deal with deforestation have lacked transparency, specificity and follow-through on assembly concrete targets, sharing actions publicly and holding one another accountable. We additionally know that we’ll not achieve success in our objective of driving transformative change with out having the ability to actually measure our progress.

In September 2021, we achieved a serious transparency milestone with the publication of our first annual report that covers our members’ particular person and collective progress, with hyperlinks to their current supplies during which they report towards our KPIs. These are early days, and we acknowledge that every coalition member has approached information assortment and public reporting otherwise. Some have extra mature reporting and disclosure processes than others, and we’re working in the direction of establishing a baseline understanding. 

Meals producers and retailers throughout the business should undertake an equally bold transparency mindset on a broad scale which can be important to strengthening public belief in our efforts to deal with deforestation. So, the members of CGF’s Forest Constructive Coalition have labored to align themselves with current public reporting platforms within the improvement of KPIs — in addition to participating in dialogue to encourage harmonization throughout the business.

Transparency is a catalyst for change. The ambition of any such collective reporting is the extent of partnership and transparency we hope to encourage throughout the broader business as we invite others to affix us in a shared imaginative and prescient of a forest-positive future. We encourage extra corporations to decide to transparency as we work in the direction of ending commodity-driven deforestation.

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