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Land Use Change

Home » Sustainability Report 2022 » ESG » Environment » Land Use Change

Land use change is defined as the effect human beings have on land and associated ecosystems. The way land is used to produce agricultural goods is central to many environmental and socio-economic issues facing the world today, with historically profound consequences for biodiversity, climate change and vulnerable communities whose livelihoods primarily depend on land use.

LDC’s primary activity is to source, process, transport and distribute agricultural products. As our activities are connected with the use of millions of hectares of land for agriculture, we recognize our responsibility to encourage and support responsible land use in our global supply chains, acting to eliminate deforestation, native vegetation conversion, and biodiversity and water resource loss for agricultural purposes, as a key priority in our sustainability strategy.

At the 38 citrus farms managed by LDC in São Paulo State, Brazil, we have mapped biodiversity priority areas at each farm, as a basis to develop specific Biodiversity Protection and Conservation Plans to monitor and protect sensitive areas. We have so far mapped a total of around 11,000 hectares of areas for conservation, in which we have planted more than 28,500 native tree seedlings in 2022.

We have also established specific policies for priority supply chains with high exposure to deforestation and biodiversity loss, including soy, palm and coffee. These policies have guided our work to engage with and train suppliers, drive supply chain traceability and apply land use monitoring on our supply base, addressing any instances of non-compliance.

In early 2022, we took an important further step with our commitment to eliminate deforestation and native vegetation conversion for agricultural purposes in all our supply chains, by the end of 2025. This commitment is central to both our business and climate plans, going beyond sectoral commitments and roadmaps by adopting deforestation and native vegetation conversion reference dates at November 2016 for palm and January 2020 for soy and other commodities.

To meet this goal, and in consultation with key stakeholders, we have developed a methodology to assess supply chain deforestation and conversion risks, and verify deforestation- and conversion-free product volumes. This methodology was applied to our global supply chains in order to identify hotspots and establish our deforestation- and conversion-free baseline, as a foundation to formulate an action plan toward our 2025 target.

Collaboration & Partnerships

We strongly believe that in a complex global food system, responsible land use can only be achieved through collaboration among farmers, agribusinesses, customers and end-consumers, but also governments, the financial community and other supply chain stakeholders. Accordingly, LDC actively participates in multi-stakeholder initiatives aiming to forge sector-level transformation.

COP27 Roadmap

After a group of agribusinesses (including LDC) issued a Statement of Purpose at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (or COP 26) in 2021, committing to develop a shared roadmap for halting forest loss from agricultural production consistent with a 1.5°C pathway, this roadmap was launched at COP 27 in 2022, indicating the sectorial commitment to end supply chain deforestation by 2025 and setting an emissions reduction target related to land use change.

Roadmap signatories continue to work in 2023 to develop implementation plans, to be published at COP 28.

Soft Commodities Forum

LDC is a founding member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Soft Commodities Forum (SCF), which brings together six leading agribusinesses to look for feasible solutions toward reporting frameworks on supply chain deforestation risk in Brazil’s Cerrado biome.

In 2022, the SCF launched the Farmer First Clusters initiative to implement projects in priority municipalities that will incentivize responsible land use and conservation of forest and native vegetation, and mobilize resources (in and beyond the supply chain) to scale up these projects. Engagement is since ongoing with governments, foundations, companies active further downstream in the value chain, as well as other food and agricultural value chain stakeholders.


LDC is a member of Visión Sectorial del Gran Chaco Argentino (ViSeC) a sectoral initiative promoted by The Nature Conservancy and the Argentine Edible Oil Association (CIARA) that aims to promote an environmentally responsible and economically viable value chain. In this forum, key players in Argentina’s agricultural production, processing and trading sectors come together with government agencies and other stakeholders to develop collective solutions to reduce environmental and land use change impacts from agricultural expansion in the Gran Chaco biome.

In 2022, ViSeC initiated the development of a national traceability platform for zero deforestation soy in Argentina. Once completed, producers, aggregators, crushing plants and other soy supply chain actors will be able to upload and access supply chain data on the same digital platform, ensuring full transparency of the chain.

Global Supply Chain Risk Assessment

In 2022, we conducted an extensive deforestation and land conversion risk assessment for all of LDC’s global supply chains. Working with external service providers, our Remote Sensing team overlaid 2017–2021 deforestation and conversion data with planting area data for specific crops, in order to identify at-risk regions at global and country levels.

The exercise produced a list of at-risk municipalities and regions across supply chains, as a basis to apply a risk-based approach to further deforestation and conversion due diligence, whereby all sourcing from at-risk regions requires further traceability, deforestation monitoring and supplier engagement.

We aim to repeat this risk assessment exercise every two years on an ongoing basis, to capture possible changes in land use patterns and adjust our due diligence accordingly.

Farmer & Supplier Engagement

Pursuing our work to drive change at the heart of the food chain, by engaging with the farmers whose production methods are key to conserving natural resources and habitats, in 2022 we supported and trained hundreds of farming communities connected with our business across three continents, with the aim of empowering them to increase their yields sustainably through regenerative agriculture practices.

Achieving our responsible land use ambition will only be possible if our suppliers are aligned with the same commitment, and while LDC originates agricultural products directly from farmers, we also procure from non-farmer suppliers such as cooperatives, aggregators and trading companies.

Engagement with these suppliers accelerated in 2022, through two training workshops for Indonesian suppliers, a webinar for suppliers in Latin America, and one-to-one meetings with individual suppliers. These covered LDC’s deforestation-free commitment and related supplier expectations, traceability and deforestation monitoring, compliance with EU deforestation regulation and other topics.

We will continue to roll out dedicated engagement programs for indirect suppliers, with a focus on those in at-risk regions, and offer support in driving supply chain traceability and due diligence efforts.

Traceability and Monitoring

To this point, supply chain mapping and traceability is a prerequisite for supplier due diligence, which is why LDC continues to push to advance traceability in priority supply chains, including palm and soy, whereby suppliers are requested to provide detailed information about their sourcing base, supported by satellite imaging of areas where we have farm, plantation and mill data to detect if deforestation is taking place.

For our global palm supply chain, we receive deforestation and peat alerts on a bi-weekly basis to take action in case of validated non-compliance, in accordance with our grievance resolution protocols.

As we continue to drive traceability for other supply chains, we will replicate existing monitoring tools to cover more supply bases.


Eliminate deforestation and native vegetation conversion for agricultural purposes from LDC supply chains

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Completion: 2025

New Target

Extend satellite monitoring to all at-risk regions for LDC global supply chains

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Completion: 2024

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