Blog and News Defra Consults on Mandatory Due Diligence for Forest Risk Commodities

Defra Consults on Mandatory Due Diligence for Forest Risk Commodities

A consultation has been launched on UK legislation that would require companies to complete forest risk commodity due diligence checks on their supply chain. The proposed law aims to prevent illegal deforestation.

Deforestation has contributed towards climate change, mass habitat loss, changes to soil structure and water flow, and many more negative impacts throughout the world. One of the main drivers of deforestation has been to clear land for the production of commodities such as palm oil, beef, leather, cocoa, pulp and paper, timber, rubber and soya.  

The law would require certain large companies to report publicly on their efforts to ensure that the products they are purchasing for production or trade, have not been produced in agricultural land that has been created illegally. The law would also  allow the UK government to execute fines, and other civil sanctions to companies who continue to purchase forest risk commodities produced illegally.

The proposed legislation is another example of action being taken by governments to require companies to identify and manage risk in the supply chain. Companies should have the required management systems in place to ensure that their products meet the expectations of stakeholders in terms of managing environmental impacts.

In order to support the government to implement a legislation that is effective, and manageable for businesses to complete, the thoughts and opinions of companies must be communicated through this consultation. The consultation will close on 5th October 2020.

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