France's BNP to halt financing soybean clients on converted Amazon land

15 Feb 2021 | Rei Geyssens

French lender BNP Paribas said on Monday it will no longer provide financing services to customers who grow or buy Brazilian soybeans or beef on Amazonian rainforest land that has been cleared or converted since 2008.

France’s largest listed bank said that as a financial institution exposed to the Brazilian agricultural sector, it must contribute to stop deforestation in the Amazon.

It added that it will encourage its clients to not produce or buy beef or soybeans from land cleared or converted from January 1 this year in the Cerrado – the vast tropical savanna that is being eyed as potential land for Brazil's agricultural expansion.

“BNP Paribas will not finance customers producing or buying beef or soybeans from land cleared or converted after 2008 in the Amazon,” the bank said in a statement issued on Monday.

BNP said Brazilian beef and soybean production has accelerated deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado which “legal or illegal, jeopardises the ecological integrity and future of these two biomes”.

The bank will require all its clients to commit to full traceability of their beef and soy supply chains, direct and indirect, by 2025.

Financial products or services will only be provided to companies with a strategy to achieve zero deforestation in their production and supply chains by 2025 at the latest.