Brazil's new environment minister reached an agreement with the grain
processing industry to ban purchases of soy from deforested Amazon until July
2009, winning praise from environmentalists.
"This same initiative will be extended to two other sectors -- the timber sector
and the beef sector," Environment Minister Carlos Minc said while praising the
grain industry and non-governmental organizations for a "pioneering" initiative.
Environmentalists called Minc's initiative essential to the protection of the
world's largest rainforest. Deforestation in the region quickened in the past
months as world grain prices continue to set record highs.
The moratorium is a commitment by the local Vegetable Oils Industry Association
(Abiove), which includes big crushers such as Cargill Inc, Bunge Ltd, ADM Co and
Louis Dreyfus, and the Grain Exporters Association (Anec) to extend the
expiring, one-year ban that began in July 2006. ...