Brazilian soy in the Spanish pork industry

Leading Spanish pork and feed companies use soy from Brazil that contributes to the deforestation of the Amazon.

Soy

Soy arrives to Spain from Brazil to be used in animal feed. It is shipped to Spain from the Brazilian ports of Vila do Conde and Itaqui that are situated close to the Amazon rainforest, and from Itabuna which handles soy from the Cerrado. According to CESFAC, the Spanish feed industry association, 41% of the soy imported from Brazil comes from the Cerrado and 31% from the Amazon.

In Spain

Brazilian soy arrives in Spanish ports including Barcelona, Cartagena, and Bilbao, where it is processed before being sold onto feed manufacturers such as Nanta Group, Piensos Sol, Cefusa (part of Group Fuertes) and Vall Companys Group.

What do they have in common?

Some meat corporations manufacture animal feed for use in their own livestock farms including Nanta (which produces Inga Food) Grupo Fuertes (which produces El Pozo), Cooperativa Agropecuaria Guissona (which owns BonÀrea stores), and Vall-Companys (which makes Patel products and supplies Campofrío). Others such as Campofrío Food Group (brands include Campofrío, Navidul and Revilla) buy in feed for use on their farms.

Spain is the second biggest producer of animal feed in Europe. In 2020, two-thirds of the 3.5 million tonnes of soya beans imported into Spain came from Brazil – 87% of which was used in the production of livestock feed.
Researchers also found that many meat companies with links to Cerrado soy are benefiting from EU funds designed to support - at least in part - more sustainable agriculture and a reduction in emissions from the agri-food sector. For example, 21 companies including Campofrío, Vall Companys, and Grupo Fuertes, have applied for funding worth over 5 billion – largely from European recovery funds - to transform the meat sector including increasing sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.
The Spanish pork industry had a turnover of Euro 15 billion in 2018. Over 53 million pigs were produced on over 86 thousand livestock farms – most of them intensive – using 4.5 million tonnes of soy in 2019. The Spanish feed industry maintains 71% of the soya imported to Spain is of “low deforestation risk” however its own survey found that half of animal feed producers have no information on the sustainability of the soya they use.

This report is the result of research work by a team analysing and tracking the use of soy by large pork and feed producers in Spain for over six months, including the role of two of the largest importers of soy into the country: Cargill and Bunge.

For more information please visit the website of Carro De Combate:

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