Climate Bonds Standard expands to Agri-Food Deforestation & Conversion Free Sourcing: First Look at the Criteria!

Opening for Feedback the New Label for Agri-Food Deforestation & Conversion Free Sourcing Criteria for Certified Entities 

In an era where climate change and biodiversity loss are among the most pressing issues facing our planet, the imperative for sustainable agri-food systems has never been greater. As part of this, Climate Bonds Standard now expands Certification to agri-food Entities sourcing agri-food commodities that are free from deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystem and open doors for them to become Certified Entities under the Climate Bonds Standard.

The Criteria provide a comprehensive framework designed to steer entities within the agri-food value chain towards best practice for sustainable sourcing. 

With agri-food chains accounting nearly 90% of deforestation and conversion in recent decades, primarily to meet the demand for commodities such as cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, pulp and paper and soy, transformative actions are needed. These activities not only contribute significantly to climate emissions but also to the alarming rate of biodiversity loss worldwide. Ensuring that our food supply chains are free from deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems is crucial for achieving a climate-secure future and halting biodiversity decline.


Key Components of the Criteria

Clear Timelines and Traceability: The Criteria establish definitive timelines to curb the entry of products linked to deforestation and conversion into global supply chains,  coupled with stringent guidance on traceability, due diligence and disclosure in line with new European Union Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR)  which restricts the trading of seven commodities i.e. cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy, rubber and wood to/from EU if linked with deforestation. This ensures consistency at global level along with providing a roadmap for entities targeting the EU market to achieve early compliance.

Focus on Climate, Biodiversity, and Social Equity: While the primary focus is on mitigating climate change and safeguarding biodiversity. This includes the protection of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples, drawing on other market standards and recent policy developments to support the evolution of agri-food supply chains towards greater sustainability.

Eligibility and Applicability: The Criteria are applicable to a broad spectrum of entities within the agri-food value chain, including those involved in sourcing of land-based agricultural commodities. This encompasses a wide range of participants from traders, processors, manufacturers, to retailers, ensuring that a significant portion of the sector can achieve certification. The inclusion criteria is not limited to cover specific commodities. Therefore, cover commodities known for deforestation and conversion risks (e.g., cattle, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper and, soy) but also extend to other agri-food commodities and products at all levels of processing, including those used in livestock feed.

Comprehensive Coverage: All agri-food products derived from the included commodities, regardless of their processing level, fall under the scope of these Criteria. This ensures that the Criteria have a broad application across the sector, encompassing even highly processed products and those contributing to livestock feed.

Cut-off Date: The Criteria mandate that no deforestation or conversion of natural ecosystems should occur within the supply chains of Certified Entities from 31st December 2020 onwards.

Risk Classification of Origin: Different traceability, due diligence and monitoring requirements are set to prioritize high-risk origin. For the commodities that are also covered by the EUDR, the risk classification provided by EUDR will be adopted once available. Meanwhile, for those and for all other commodities Climate Bonds provides a list classifying countries into high and low-risk categories based on Global Forest Watch data, subject to annual review and updates.




The New Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Label

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Concurrent with the initiation of the Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Criteria, Climate Bonds is introducing a new label for agri-food entities achieving certification, representing their compliance with deforestation and conversion free practices. This label, set to be released for public consultation alongside the criteria's introduction, is designed to signify sustainable practices within the agri-food sector. The label signifies an agri-food entity's adherence to best practice standards and offers assurance of the credibility and integrity of their DCF Sourcing practices for agri-foods.

In anticipation of the label's official release, we extend an invitation to all stakeholders to participate in the consultation process. To provide feedback follow the link here.


Webinar: A Deep Dive into Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Criteria

Join us for a comprehensive webinar on "Embracing Agri-Food Deforestation & Conversion Free Sourcing under Climate Bonds Standard for Entity Certification." This event will provide an in-depth look at the criteria, its applicability, and the certification process, offering insights into aligning practices with global sustainability goals. Register here.


The Last Word

The launch of the Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Criteria, coupled with the introduction of a new label for Certified Entities, signifies a pivotal step forward in our journey towards sustainable agri-food systems. We encourage all stakeholders within the agri-food value chain to explore the potential of these Criteria and to participate in the public consultation for the new label, contributing to a deforestation and conversion free future.

For more information on the criteria, certification process, and the upcoming webinar, please visit our website.


‘Til Next Time,

Climate Bonds.

May 7, 2024 
13:00 London / 14:00 Paris
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