Agriculture and food

January 2022

January 13, 2022
The largest climate polluters in the Netherlands
After the victory in the Climate Case against Shell, Friends of the Earth Netherlands wants the other major polluters to take action now. On January 13, FoE Netherlands delivered an urgent letter to 29 major polluters, asking them to come up with their own climate plan before April 15. Profundo helped Milieudefensie to select the largest Dutch climate polluters on the basis of various criteria. These include foreign multinationals with large global GHG emissions, which have located their holding company in the Netherlands for fiscal reasons.

December 2021

December 9, 2021
Latin American palm oil linked to social risks and local deforestation
This report looks at the palm oil market developments and connected sustainability issues in Latin American countries. A production expansion is forecasted, with export markets in the Latin American region as well as in Europe as important drivers. However, also in Latin America, just as in Southeast Asia, palmoil production comes with land disputes and threatens valuable forest ecosystems.
December 7, 2021
Palm oil production in Brazilian Amazon threatens NDPE commitments
This paper shows how also palm oil expansion, next to soy and beef, can be linked to deforestation, fires, exploitative labour conditions, and land disputes. Results also show many companies with NDPE policies (No Deforestation, Peat and Exploitation) have ties with palm oil traders linked to deforestation in the Amazon.
December 8, 2021
Dutch financing of forest-risk sectors
Profundo and Milieudefensie investigated the financial flows between Dutch financial institutions and companies producing and trading high deforestation-risk commodities: palm oil, beef, pulp and paper, soy, rubber, cocoa and coffee. The Netherlands comes first among the EU member states in financing these commodities. Dutch banks ING, Rabobank and ABN Amro injected 3.1 billion euros in loans into these commodities between 2016 and 2021, two-thirds of which in palm oil and soy. At the end of 2020, pension funds, insurers and banks invested 362 million euros in shares and bonds issued by producers and traders of these commodities, three quarters of which in beef and palm oil.
December 1, 2021
Financiers and plantations of Swiss-based agricultural traders
This research identified the financial flows to the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders, which often have trading offices in Switzerland, as well as the plantations they own across the world. Many of these plantations are linked to social and environmental conflicts and controversies. But the Swiss government is not regulating the activities of these traders, not even indirectly as Swiss banks hardly play a role in the financing of these traders.

November 2021

November 25, 2021
Plate full of deforestation
The Dutch tv programme Zembla reports on the consequences of the EU dependency on soy imports for its outsized livestock sector. Profundo provided underlying supply chain analysis on the link between deforestation in the Brazilian Cerrado and soy imports to the EU market.
November 2, 2021
The Asian Web 2021: Tracking Regional Financial Flows
This research analyzes regional trends in financing to five sectors – agriculture, fossil fuel extraction (oil & gas, and coal mining), infrastructure, manufacturing and power generation – across FFA’s eight countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). Analysis of these trends further identified financial institutions from the eight FFA countries financing the five sectors in multiple countries. Furthermore a number of opportunities for strategic regional cooperation were identified.
November 18, 2021
Impacts of Dutch Circular Economy strategies on cotton production and post-consumer textiles
Profundo assisted PBL in this study, which discusses the potential positive and negative impacts related to cotton production and waste management of a range of circular economy strategies that target the textile value chain. Profundo mapped the cotton production trade with export links to the Netherlands, as well as the export of post-consumer textiles from the Netherlands. Furthermore, Profundo explored the potential socio-economic impacts of Dutch circular economy strategies on ​low- and middle-income countries that are connected to the Netherlands through international value chains.

October 2021

October 29, 2021
Financing of deforestation-risk commodities in tropical regions
Profundo assessed the finance received (in the forms of loans and investments) by over 300 companies directly involved in the beef, soy, palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber and timber supply chains, whose operations may impact natural tropical forests and the communities that rely on them in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa, and parts of South America. Profundo has updated the financing data for these companies, identifying which banks and investors are involved.

Brochure: Pushing the Paris Climate Agreement Out of Reach: The Countries Bankrolling Tropical Deforestation

Report: Risky Finance: The UK financial sector’s role in financing deforestation and conversion

Website: Update of financial data Forests & Finance

Agriwatch: Banker investerer stadig milliarder i virksomheder med forbindelse til skovrydning

BankTrack: Activists tell banks and investors on COP26 Climate Finance Day to stop doing business with the world's largest meat company JBS

BankTrack: First test of ‘Net Zero’ bank commitments as pulp & paper giants seek finance for expansion that could torpedo Indonesia’s climate goals

BusinessGreen: UK financiers accused of directly funding companies that threaten rainforest

Euromoney: Will Amazon deforestation finally lead to a financing drought?

Financial Times: Global finance industry sinks $119bn into companies linked to deforestation

Financial Times: Global leaders to sign pledge to halt deforestation

Forests & Finance: Banking Centers Of Brazil, Indonesia, China, The United States And Japan Are Bankrolling Global Deforestation, New Analysis Finds

Independent: WWF: Government should stop British banks funding deforestation

Investment Week: Asset management firms pledge to fight deforestation by 2025

Mongabay: Paper giants’ expansion plans raise fears of greater deforestation in Indonesia

Reuters: Banks still funding deforestation-linked firms in threat to global climate goals

Yahoo Finance: Clamp down on UK financial sector to save rainforests, says WWF

October 11, 2021
Investors and creditors of major Japanese companies
This research analyzed the largest creditors of, and investors in, eight Japanese companies active in energy, real estate, construction, telecommunications and trading of agri-commodities.
October 21, 2021
Bank profits linked to financing deforestation-risk companies
Using the data in the Forests & Finance database, Profundo calculated the earnings for investors and creditors generated through their investments in, and financial services to, deforestation-risk companies active in the beef, palm oil, pulp & paper, rubber, soy and timber sectors in tropical forest regions.
October 4, 2021
Assessments of the policies of the main financiers worldwide of deforestation-risk commodities
For the Forests & Finance project, Profundo has assessed the policies of the main 200 investors and banks responsible for financing deforestation-risk commodities in tropical regions (beef, palm oil, pulp & paper, rubber, soy and timber). The policies are assessed against a rigorous assessment framework, based on international standards relating to deforestation, biodiversity, climate change, rights of Indigenous peoples, human rights, labour rights, transparency, tax and corruption.

September 2021

September 30, 2021
Finance introduction training for CSOs in Latin America
This training supports the capacity development of CSO's in Latin America regarding the financial sector, with a focus on the financing of the oil & gas and palm oil sectors. The training also introduced and how the Fair Finance Guide (FFG) methodology works to assess content and scope of the sustainability policies of financial institutions and how it can be used to influence such policies and practices.
September 3, 2021
Financing of oil & gas and palm oil in Peru and Colombia
This study identified the most important companies active in the oil & gas and palm oil sectors in Peru and Colombia, as well as the financial institutions that finance these companies.

August 2021

August 17, 2021
Several Large Indonesian Palm Oil Companies Also Have Risky Mining Businesses
Indonesia is among the world’s largest mining countries. It is also a country of conglomerate companies with interests in various businesses, including deforestation-related sectors such as oil palm, industrial forestry and mining. This report shows that many of the company groups active in oil palm plantations are also active in mining - two activities that both come with large environmental and social risks.
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