Say no to deforestation leather from Brazil

Say no to deforestation leather from Brazil

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Rainforest Foundation Norway started this petition to Volkswagen and

Dear CEO,

I am writing to you with great concern that the use of Brazilian leather in the automotive and fashion industry is contributing to driving deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. 

Deforestation of the Amazon reached a 12 year high last year, with over 1 million hectares destroyed, and cattle raising is the one activity causing the most deforestation in Brazil. 

New research published by Rainforest Foundation Norway, in collaboration with Aidenvironment, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, and Ecologistas en Accion, has found that Brazilian companies supplying leather to the car industry are heavily involved in deforestation. Several of these companies are also supplying the fashion industry, with sneakers as one of the main recipients. Your industry’s supply chain is stained with deforestation, and there are currently no adequate systems in place to ensure that this is not happening.  

Any company buying leather products from companies involved in deforestation, is stimulating the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the world’s most valuable ecosystems and effective tools in the fight against catastrophic climate change. 

As a successful multinational brand, it is your responsibility to ensure that there is no deforestation as well as conversion of native vegetation and human rights violations in your supply chains. You have a clear opportunity to be part of the solution to help Brazil decouple deforestation from the production of beef and leather, and we urge you to use it! 

I am calling on you to urgently eliminate deforestation from your supply chain! 

This can be done by following these steps: 

·       Adopt a zero-deforestation supply chain policy by the end of 2021 at the latest, covering all forest risk commodities, with a clear commitment to eliminate all deforestation (legal and illegal), conversion of native vegetation and human rights violations from your supply chains. You must require that your suppliers are fully deforestation-free in all their operations, including their sub-suppliers. The policy should be aligned with the Accountability Framework Initiative. 

·       For leather, the policy must have a cutoff date for deforestation of no later than 2020 and include requirements that cattle are not sourced from farms (including indirect suppling farms) involved in slave labor, invasion of indigenous territories, protected areas or public lands, or that have any governmental embargoes. 

·       Ensure that robust systems for supply chain traceability are implemented, to identify the origins of the leather (back to birth farm), including land tenure and the fiscal and environmental situation of the supplying farms.  

·       Engage with suppliers to communicate expectations and help monitor their efforts to become deforestation-free across their entire supply base.  

·       Temporarily block non-compliant suppliers but continue to engage to allow reintroduction of suppliers once they are in compliance. 

·       Report annually and transparently on progress, preferably using platforms connected to other actors in the marketplace, including investors, such as CDP and Forest 500. 

See the full report for all details, including a comprehensive list of recommendations that applies to both car and sneaker manufacturers. 

We sincerely hope that you and your company want to be a part of the solution and take measures to avoid driving deforestation. Thank you in advance. 

Yours sincerely, 

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