BEIJING, CHINA — COFCO International, a China-based agribusiness giant, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, are partnering to improve soy sustainability.

IFC will support COFCO International’s subsidiary in Brazil to develop a more traceable and sustainable supply chain in the Matopiba region. It includes direct and indirect non pre-financed suppliers. The work will focus on screening soy farms in Cerrado’s Matopiba region to ensure compliance with environmental and social criteria and build farmer capacity to apply more sustainable farming practices.

The screening will use farm contours, satellite imagery and other geographical information and official data. The object is to guarantee that supplying farms are free of forced labor, are not located on indigenous land, conservation units or embargoed areas, and are in compliance with the Amazon Soy Moratorium.

Agrosatélite, a Brazilian company specializing in remote sensing satellite images and geographic intelligence, has been selected as the project’s technical partner.

The project also includes the establishment of land conversion profiles for individual farms and assessment supplier compliance with the Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR). A mandatory electronic registration that combines geospatial data of rural properties with their environmental information, including legally protected areas.

The project is expected to cover 85% of COFCO International Brazil’s direct suppliers in the Matopiba region by 2021, and to fully cover the region by 2023.

The partnership is another way COFCO is building on its goal to achieve full traceability of all soy purchased directly from Brazilian farmers by 2023.

“Traceability was never our final destination but rather a tool to go further,” said Wei Peng, head of sustainability for COFCO International. “With this project we will be able to further screen non pre-financed suppliers for key sustainability criteria and identify those with whom we want to engage more closely.”