• Announcement
13. June 2022

What is Germany's role, on the one hand, as a trader and, on the other, as a consumer of agricultural commodities that pose a deforestation risk?

To answer this question, the TRASE Initiative analysed national deforestation statistics, production and trade statistics as well as detailed TRASE data and concluded:

The risk of Germany´s imported deforestation was particularly high via the consumption of imported final products and has not substantially changed over the past years. With about 229, 600 ha between 2014-2018 the risk of imported deforestation was higher than that of France or Italy.

What else do the results show?

  • Germany's direct agricultural imports were linked to 58,500 ha of tropical deforestation between 2016 and 2018 - an area two-thirds the size of Berlin.
  • The deforestation risk associated with Germany´s total estimated consumption, including imports via other countries which may turn commodities into processed goods, is more than twice as large, at 138,000 ha of deforestation over the same period.
  • Deforestation risk via direct imports was concentrated in 5 key commodities over the survey period: soy (28%), coffee (26%), palm oil (19%), cocoa (18%) and cattle (3%).
  • More than 90% of directly imported deforestation risk comes from 9 countries alone, including Brazil (24%), Colombia (15%) and Indonesia (13%).

In recent years, the TRASE initiative has traced the links between production regions, trading companies and import markets, revealing the risks of imported deforestation as well as other environmental and social risks. Detailed data is available for the agricultural supply chains of soy and beef in particular, but also for other products such as palm oil, cocoa or coffee. This has created significantly more transparency in international agricultural supply chains in recent years.

Building on this data and complemented by further production and trade statistics, the German footprint was analysed in more detail for the first time.  

The study was supported by financially supported of by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and by the supportaccompanies ofby GIZ´s Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA).

Please find the detailed results of the study in detail here.