Julien Denormandie (far left) meets with representatives of the vegetable oils and proteins sector and of the livestock sector on Tuesday December 1, 2020 to discuss France’s commitment to an increase of 40% in its cultivation area for protein plants, including soybeans, over the next three years. France’s goal is to recover a portion of its agri-food sovereignty and to “stop importing deforestation.” Ministry of Agriculture and Food Photo by Xavier Remongin / agriculture.gouv.fr. Coincidence or not, one day after the release of data by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) — showing that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has topped 11,000 square kilometers, reaching a 12-year high — the French government officially launched its plant protein development plan, which had been in preparation since at least last January. Julien Denormandie, French Minister of Agriculture and Food, stated that the goal of the plan is “to recover part of [France’s] agri-food sovereignty, reducing dependence on vegetable protein, and to stop importing deforestation.” Denormandie’s reference to imported deforestation, though nonspecific, was almost certainly aimed at Brazil, infamous for its tropical deforestation due to agribusiness expansion in the Amazon, especially under the Jair Bolsonaro administration. At present, France is the European Union nation importing the most Brazilian soy flour — a total of nearly 2 million tons annually. Under the new plan, those imports will be drastically reduced. Between August 2019 and July 2020, Brazil saw the highest rate of Amazon deforestation in more than a decade, with an increase of 9.5% compared to…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer