The Swedish Platform on Risk Commodities

In Sweden, we annually use large amounts of crops that entail risks in the supply chain linked to climate change, deforestation, reduced biodiversity and human rights violations. In the spring of 2022, the Swedish platform on risk commodities was initiated. It is an initiative that consists of 34 organizations and companies that together with Axfoundation would work for a more sustainable production and consumption of risk commodities such as soy and palm oil.

The Issue

We depend on different types of crops as inputs in what we produce and consume. Risk commodities refer to those agricultural products that are difficult to replace and that are produced in a way that can entail unacceptable risks for the local and/or global environment, or for the people who are in one way or another affected by the production.

These can be links to deforestation that negatively affects the climate, large losses of biodiversity and important ecosystem services such as water supply and pollination, the use of chemicals with negative effects on the environment and human health, human rights violations and land conflicts. At the same time, the production of these crops contributes to economic development in the countries concerned.

An example of a risk commoditiy is soy, which is primarily included in the feed given to food-producing animals. As much as 90% of all soy imported into the EU goes to feed to produce meat, dairy products, eggs and farmed fish. Another example is palm oil, which today is one of the world’s most important vegetable oils. Palm oil and palm kernel oil are partly used directly in certain products, but above all they are used as starting materials for the raw material industry. Other examples of these commodities are coffee, cocoa and wood.

Our Solution

Climate change, deforestation, reduced biodiversity and increased poverty are challenges linked to crops such as soy and palm oil. The Swedish platform on risk commodities was a development of the Soy Dialogue and a Swedish forum for work with challenges linked to the value chain for soy and palm oil. Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI Sweden) was responsible for the management and development of the platform, to engage current and recruit new members for the greatest possible impact.

Our Work

Sweden has a long tradition of cross-industry collaboration with successful collaborative efforts in the soybean and palm oil issue. Axfoundation was, among other things, a part of coordinating the Soy Dialogue since 2018, and took the first steps in the establishment of the Swedish Initiative for Sustainable Palm oil in Cosmetics and Detegents (SISPO).

Partners

In 2021, Axfoundation worked on developing the platform together with WWF Sweden, Livsmedelsföretagen and Svensk Dagligvaruhandel. It resulted in the broadening of the Soybean Dialogue into the Swedish platform for risk commodities, nowadays coordinated by ETI Sweden.

Do you want to know more? Contact coordinator Miriam Thunborg.

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