3 minutes

Over the last few months, the European Commission has been discussing the adoption of a new Regulation to curb deforestation and forest degradation driven by the expansion of agricultural land. Already named “Zero Deforestation”, this proposal aims at aligning the policies on import with EU sustainability goals. When adopted, the new Regulation will substitute the existing EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), expanding its scope and introducing stricter requirements for importers.

This article analyses the main features of the new Regulation. Through a comparative analysis between the new proposal and the EUTR, this article wants to shed some light on the changes and implication of the “Zero Deforestation” Regulation. While the main focus of the EUTR was only on timber legality, the new Regulation introduces specific criteria for five additional agro-commodities, specifically cattle, palm oil, soy, cocoa, coffee, and some derived products such as leather and chocolate. The new Regulation also foresees more detailed requirements for the obligations and due diligence procedures. Specifically, the document introduces innovative elements such as the central information system for recording operator due diligence declarations and country benchmarking. This due diligence statement will also provide essential information for monitoring, namely the geographical coordinates of the farm or plantation where the commodities were grown.

At the same time, the article identifies some critical aspects of the “Zero Deforestation” Regulation. For instance, the new proposal risks to put more economic and bureaucratic burden on both operator and competent authorities, which are already underfunded and understaffed. In connection to this, as the new Regulation involves more actors and from different sectors, greater efforts are needed to ensure a uniform implementation across all EU member states.

Faced with these impending changes, Etifor has developed a new approach to support companies and organisations in making their supply chains deforestation-free. With careful analysis and assessment, our team can identify the best strategy to adapt to the new legislation, assessing risks and adopting innovative tools to comply with the regulation. Learn more about EMMA!

The Upcoming EU Proposal on “Deforestation-free Products”: from Theory to Practice through the Lessons Learned from the EUTR Implementation

Elena Massarenti (Etifor), Nicola Andrighetto (Etifor), Mauro Masiero (University of Padova)

Paper presented at 11th conference of the Italian association of agricultural and applied economics (AIEAA), held on 16th – 17th June 2022 at the University of Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy), organized session: Cap, Farm to Fork and Green Deal: Policy Coherence, Governance, and Future Challenges.