BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — EU commodity groups had a mixed reaction to a new law preventing companies from selling into the EU market commodities linked to deforestation.

The agreement was reached by the European Parliament and Council on Dec. 6. It will require companies to have a due diligence statement showing their supply chains are not contributing to the destruction of forests before selling goods into the EU.

COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC said the regulation is a necessary initiative and they welcomed aspects of the deal, including guidelines, the 18-month timeline for implementation and lower percentage of checks for low-risk countries.

The groups said they appreciated that the agreement refrains from broadening the scope to corn and other ecosystems from the outset, without further assessment of the implications. The agreement applies to soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee and some derived products including leather, chocolate and furniture.

The groups were not in favor of a requirement for traceability and implied chain of custody that they said will have a number of unintended consequences.

“These consequences will be felt deeply, particularly as this may lead to the exclusion of smallholders, the most vulnerable players in these supply chains, given the tight implementation deadline, or to disinvestment from high-risk areas,” the groups said. “Failure to set in place similarly ambitious accompanying measures for government-to-government engagement and partnerships, with incentives and support, will not help overcome the many legal, organizational or logistical impediments arising, as operators will be looking at implementing the EU regulation throughout these complex supply chains.”

The deal needs to be examined in more detail and its implications fully assessed, the groups noted.

COCERAL, FEDIOL, and FEFAC said they remain fully committed to supporting solutions for the implementation of the regulation to make it work in practice and at the same time to tackle global deforestation.

COCERAL is the European association of trade in cereals, oilseeds, pulses, olive oil, oils and fats, animal feed and agrosupply. FEDIOL, the EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association, represents the interests of the European oilseed crushers, vegetable oil refiners and bottlers. FEFAC represents 23 national associations in 23 EU member states as well as associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia and Norway with observer/associate member status.