Illegal deforestation and Brazilian soy exports: the case of Mato Grosso
This brief, developed in partnership with Imaflora and ICV, draws on official data to estimate the amount of illegal deforestation taking place on soy farms in Mato Grosso, the state that exports the most soy from Brazil. It also assesses the exposure of global markets to soy from farms where illegal deforestation has taken place between 2012 and 2017.
- Over one quarter (27%) of the total deforestation in Mato Grosso (2012-2017) took place on soy farms.
- 95% of the deforestation on soy farms was illegal under Brazilian regulations because the necessary licences were not in place.
- 80% of the illegal deforestation on soy farms took place on just 400 farms, which represents just 2% of the total number of soy farms in the state. These farms are mostly large properties (73%).
- Over 80% of the soy produced on farms where illegal deforestation took place is estimated to be exported to global markets – 46% to China and 14% to the EU.
- Nearly a quarter of China's soy imports from Brazil came from Mato Grosso in 2018, and 21% of these imports were likely to have come from farms where illegal deforestation had taken place.
- Around one third of the EU's soy imports from Brazil came from Mato Grosso in 2018, and just under 20% of these imports were likely to have come from farms where illegal deforestation had taken place.