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Resource ID: #27032
This corporate accountability story combined original satellite analysis with traditional on-the-ground investigative reporting to examine links between deforestation and the world's largest agricultural commodities traders: The U.S.-based Cargill, Bunge and ADM. The story paid special attention to Cargill, North America's largest private corporation and the commodities trader that has spent millions on its corporate sustainability program and aggressively promotes itself as a nature conservationist. Reported from Paraguay, the story compared the Big Ag traders' soybean export operations in Paraguay with those in Brazil, where the three companies have won praise for upholding the Soy Moratorium, a voluntary ban on expanding the Amazon's soybean frontier. The Moratorium is widely credited with slowing rainforest clearing in Brazil over the last eight years. In neighboring Paraguay during roughly the same timeframe, however, the country's soybean cropland has expanded by nearly one-third with an additional 2.5 million acres brought into cultivation. This rapid expansion has set off a land rush that is, among other things, propelling the rapid disappearance of South America's second most bio-diverse forests, the Gran Chaco.