Working with Companies


The Brazilian Amazon and the savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado are globally important for conservation but are also vitally important to the world’s agricultural economy, as Brazil’s beef and soy industries expand. Responsible economic development needs to happen in a way that preserves as much native habitat and biodiversity as possible. That’s why, since 2004, The Nature Conservancy has been working with Cargill to apply its science-based approach and expertise in conservation planning, and on-the-ground experience to help Cargill develop systems to ensure it only buys soybeans from farmers who are working to comply with Brazil’s advanced environmental legislation, the Forest Code.

We understand that if we want to influence thousands of farmers and work at the large scale necessary to make an impact on deforestation, then a good way to do that is engage the private sector. Cargill and other members of ABIOVE, the Brazilian soya industry association, source soybeans from thousands of large-scale and smallholder farmers in Brazil. Through improved agriculture management practices promoted by the Conservancy's responsible soy project, Cargill can work directly with farmers to help influence the manner in which soy is produced.

Since 2004, the Responsible Soy project has successfully promoted responsible soy production in the Santarém area in the Brazilian state of Pará, where Cargill has a soy terminal, by helping soy farmers comply with the Brazilian Forest Code. The success of the collaboration between the Conservancy and Cargill is evident from the reduction in illegal deforestation in the farms participating in the project since 2006, reaching near zero deforestation in most farms.

For a full report on Cargill and the Conservancy’s efforts in South America, read the corporate case study about our results.