Highlights of ProTerra EUDR Webinar

The webinar session, held on April 24th, explored strategies for establishing deforestation-free supply chains, sustainability initiatives, and other significant topics concerning the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). Formally adopted by the European Parliament and Council on June 29th of 2023, this regulation is due to come into force on December 30, 2024, affecting products imported into or grown within the EU market after that date.

Emese van Maanen, as the Managing Director of ProTerra, moderated the session, and began by emphasising the importance of meeting the EUDR’s requirements, underscoring the necessity for operators and traders to demonstrate that their products are not linked to recent deforestation or forest degradation. She highlighted the key role of collaboration and adherence to sustainability standards in achieving EUDR compliance. In her brief introduction to ProTerra, Emese mentioned updated soy certification numbers relevant to the EUDR and benchmarks that have been added for ProTerra system users.

The two invited speakers were then introduced: Hannelore Beerlandt (Advisor on global commodities to the European Commission) and Josh Taylor (Traceability Manager, ISEAL).

Hannelore discussed the current dynamics at the EU level, focusing on its impact on the coffee sector and its relevance to other industries. She outlined points such as the delay in new guidelines and FAQs for the EUDR, initial lessons learned, suggestions for studies and mapping, and the current dynamics in the EU from different stakeholder perspectives. She emphasised the importance of balancing the EUDR’s opportunities with market visibility and inclusiveness, particularly for SMEs and smallholders, also highlighting progress in well-regulated sectors such as cocoa and efforts in some coffee-producing countries to address issues such as deforestation and traceability, while acknowledging the challenges, especially for sectors with many smallholders.

Josh provided an overview of how sustainability systems are adapting to the EUDR, explaining its organisation, ISEAL, and its role in supporting sustainability schemes to meet EUDR requirements. He highlighted the importance of third-party verification systems in providing evidence for compliance and risk assessment, emphasising the need for trust in these systems. He discussed trends among ISEAL members, such as aligning definitions with EUDR and improving data collection and sharing practices. Josh also mentioned forthcoming guidance updates from the European Commission and ISEAL’s efforts to provide clarity and support to its members in implementing EUDR requirements.

This webinar highlighted the comprehensive coverage of sustainability offered by the ProTerra Standard, highlighting its global applicability across various crops and its specific focus on promoting social and environmental sustainability throughout the food and supply chain. Overall, it served as an insightful exploration of strategies and considerations essential to navigating EUDR compliance in today’s evolving regulatory landscape.

We would like to express our gratitude to Hannelore and Josh for providing their valuable insights and experiences, and to the participants for their active engagement.

Here are the links to the presentation and the webinar recording.

Stay connected and informed about future events and updates. If you have any inquiries or ideas for future subjects, feel free to reach out to us at info@proterrafoundation.org  We look forward to seeing you at our next event!