BRUSSELS, Nov. 17, 2021 (Press Release) -Commenting today on the European Commission proposal for measures to reduce the impact on the world’s forests of products sold in the EU, EuroCommerce Director General Christel Delberghe underlined the many individual and joint initiatives retailers and wholesalers have undertaken to help reduce these impacts.
“In the week after the agreement at COP 26 and as Europe imports and consumes close to a third of the globally traded agricultural commodities, it seems relevant that the Commission comes forward with a proposal to help business in avoiding contributing to further deforestation and climate change. Only with cooperation between private actors of the supply chain, local action by government in producing countries and harmonised enforcement of current and future regulations will we succeed in making a concrete and real impact on deforestation.”
The retail and wholesale sector is committed to play its part in helping fight deforestation and many leading operators have made concrete commitments.However, being part of a very complex supply chain, help and support is necessary to identify where the risks of deforestation are.We are pleased to see the Commission proposal and previous reports recognise the role of private schemes in contributing to the due diligence process and tackling illegal logging and deforestation. Similarly, the proposal for benchmarking third-country regions will help all in the supply chain in identifying areas of risk, and will be a major help in setting priorities in the due diligence mechanism and establishing the right policies and tools to target deforestation.
EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 28 countries and 5 million companies, both leading global players such as Carrefour, Ikea, Metro and Tesco, and many small businesses. Retail and wholesale is the link between producers and consumers. Over a billion times a day, retailers and wholesalers distribute goods and provide an essential service to millions of business and individual customers. The sector generates 1 in 7 jobs, offering a varied career to 26 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the retail and wholesale sector.