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Earthworm and Louis Dreyfus Company collaborate to ensure responsible soy sourcing from Brazil to France
Earthworm and Louis Dreyfus Company collaborate to ensure responsible soy sourcing from Brazil to France
News Jan 17, 2024

Tackling imported deforestation: Earthworm Foundation and Louis Dreyfus Company collaborate to import Brazilian soybean meal verified according to the ZDC methodology

5 min read


As soy cultivation remains a significant factor in deforestation and conversion, Earthworm and Louis Dreyfus Company are collaborating to ensure responsible sourcing from Brazil to France.

  • Launched in May 2023, this groundbreaking collaboration aims to import Brazilian soybean meal to France over a one-year period, verified according to the Zero Deforestation or Conversion (ZDC) methodology, equivalent to 30% of LDC imports in France.
  • Developed by Earthworm Foundation, the ZDC methodology ensures that the imported soy is not linked to deforestation or the conversion of natural ecosystems after 1 January 2020.
  • Transported by LDC, the ZDC-verified soybean meal will be available in the French market for livestock feed suppliers.
  • The project aligns with the new European regulation against deforestation and forest degradation (EUDR), scheduled to take effect on 30 December 2024. In practice, the ZDC methodology offers a broader scope, considering not only deforestation analysis but also ecosystem conversion.
  • To date, the collaboration has already enabled the verification of the following four cargoes filled with soybean meal from LDC facilities in Brazil :
    • MV Kyzikos departed on 12 May 2023 from Paranaguá and arrived in Lorient on 31 May.
    • MV Palais departed on 4 July 2023 from Paranaguá and arrived in Lorient on 27 July.
    • MV Andermatt departed on 17 August 2023 from Paranaguá and arrived in Lorient on 8 September.
    • MV TUO FU 8 departed on 15 October 2023 from Paranaguá and arrived in Montoir on 16 November.
A member of the Earthworm team in the field, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

“Faced with the worrying observation of continued deforestation and conversion of ecosystems in Brazil, the mobilisation of all players in the sector is more necessary than ever to enable the market to shift towards responsible soy,” declared Fabien Girard, Europe Regional Director at Earthworm Foundation.

“We are very happy about this unprecedented collaboration with LDC and the significant progress that results from it in the traceability of soy imported into France. This project shows that it is now possible to import ZDC soy, thereby allowing French and European players to consume soy directly or indirectly without the risk of contributing to deforestation or the conversion of remarkable ecosystems in Brazil.”

Forest, soy and livestock in the state of Goias in Brazil.
Reception of soybeans at a crushing plant in Brazil.

LDC has committed to ending deforestation and conversion of high conservation value native vegetation for agricultural purposes in all its supply chains by the end of 2025.

“Promoting responsible and sustainable practices within complex supply chains, such as soy, poses challenges that we cannot overcome individually. In this regard, it is imperative that every link in the value chain, including European actors, financially engage with Brazilian farmers to enable them to meet European legislative requirements that go beyond the Brazilian regulatory framework,” said Raphaël Latz, Managing Director of Louis Dreyfus Company France, and Europe Head for Distribution. "The active commitment and close collaboration of downstream companies and stakeholders, such as LDC and Earthworm Foundation, are paramount."

This project has also received the support of Lactalis France, which is committed to raising awareness among its partners and producers in the livestock feed supply chains.

The ZDC methodology is a protocol for verifying the risk of deforestation/conversion in the physical flows of soy. It establishes that imported soy is not linked to deforestation or the conversion of natural ecosystems, whether legal or illegal, after the deadline of January 1, 2020.

Its implementation involves four steps:

1. Collect traceability information from the importer and its suppliers to trace the origin of the soy flow from the cargo to the production areas.

2. Assessing the risk of deforestation/conversion associated with soy volumes. The assessment occurs at two levels: production municipalities and farms in cases where municipalities are at risk. This assessment is made possible through satellite imagery data provided by Agrosatélite and is conducted throughout the supply chain, including in mixing areas.

3. Verifying the consistency of the information to assess the risk for the entire soy content in the cargo.

4. Proposing a risk management action plan. The analysis of flows highlights the improvements required, such as traceability or non-conformity management, to increase the share of ZDC soy volumes for upcoming cargoes.

Since 2020, Earthworm Foundation has been coordinating the Soy Manifesto, an initiative to bring together all stakeholders in the soy supply chain around concrete commitments to achieve 100% soy sourcing, which is physically controlled to ensure that it is not linked to legal or illegal deforestation and conversion practices.

Our long-term vision is for a soy supply chain that is positive for nature and people – a supply chain where ecosystems are protected and human rights are respected.

Young soybean plants on mulch, Brazil.

Soy cultivation is one of the main drivers of imported tropical deforestation.[1] It was linked to approximately 9% of deforestation in South America between 2000 and 2016.[2]

Particularly affected is the tropical savanna of the Cerrado in Brazil, a unique biome worldwide, which has already lost 50% of its natural vegetation and is disappearing more rapidly than the Amazon rainforest.[3] Deforestation is estimated to contribute to about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.[4] It is a major driver of climate change.

In 2020, the French agri-food industry imported approximately 3 million tons of soybean meal – largely used for animal feed for meat, eggs, and milk production – with the majority (57%) coming from Brazil.[5]

[1] Source : WWF (2021) : « Quand les Européens consomment, les forêts se consument ».
[2] Source : Harvest and Rainforest Foundation Norway (2022) : « The State of the Soy Industry ».
[3] Source : Greenpeace (2017) : « Soja et déforestation ».
[4] Source : Rainforest Alliance (2018) : « Quel est le lien entre déforestation et changement climatique ? ».
[5] Source : IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (2022) « European Soy Monitor; Insights on European uptake of responsible, deforestation, and conversion-free soy in 2020 ».

About Earthworm Foundation

Earthworm Foundation is an impact-driven non-profit that partners with businesses, civil society, communities and governments to reduce the impact of raw materials on people and the planet. Our supply chain, social and environmental experts work across five continents to improve conditions for people, forests and soils impacted by the production of cocoa, packaging, palm oil, soy, rubber and more. We focus on implementing responsible sourcing commitments in supply chains and innovating practical solutions to social and environmental challenges across sourcing landscapes.

To learn more, visit or follow us on LinkedIn.

Media contact: Raphaël Fiorese |

About Louis Dreyfus Company

Founded in 1851, Louis Dreyfus Company is one of the leading traders and processors of agricultural products. Our rich history of expertise, combined with an extensive network of assets, enables us to supply our customers in a safe, reliable, and responsible manner. Our activities cover the entire value chain, from agricultural production to consumers, with the following range of products and services: cereals and oilseeds, coffee, cotton, juices, rice, sugar, freight, carbon solutions, agricultural inputs, and financial assets. Each year, we contribute to feeding and clothing approximately 500 million people by transforming and transporting around 80 million tons of agricultural products. Operating in more than 100 countries, Louis Dreyfus Company employs approximately 17,000 people.

For more information, visit and follow us on X, LinkedIn, and WeChat (ID: we_are_ldc).

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