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Building a sustainable, deforestation-free soy supply chain in Brazil


We’re collaborating with a leading supplier to make sure the soybean oil we use at our factory in Brazil comes only from a deforestation-free supply chain.

A photo of soybean fields in Brazil

Many of our Hellmann’s and Knorr products are made with one of the world’s most commonly used edible oils – soybean oil. Now we’re strengthening a sustainable partnership with a key soybean supplier to ensure the soybean oil we use at one of our major factories in Brazil will only ever be sourced from deforestation-free or non-converted land areas.

Our factory in Brazil’s Pouso Alegre region is collaborating with supplier CJ Selecta in a move that delivers on the terms of our stringent People and Nature Policy (PDF 2.03 MB) – a set of principles which uphold our commitments to protecting natural ecosystems, respecting human rights, supply chain transparency, and more.

The tighter supply conditions will extend traceability and transparency requirements that are already in place for direct suppliers to CJ Selecta’s factory in Araguari, so that the same governance applies to indirect suppliers too.

It marks a significant step forward for our sustainable soybean supply chain ambitions, which include a commitment to being deforestation-free by 2023, and to achieve 100% sustainable sourcing of our key agricultural crops.

Scaling positive impact

“We are very proud of this strengthened partnership and shared ambition with our trusted partner CJ Selecta,” says Marcelo Scarcelli, Unilever’s Head of Procurement, Naturals & Nutrition, who signed the agreement along with CJ Selecta CEO Guilherme Tancredi, CJ Group President Jerry Chun, and Commercial Manager Rodrigo Ribeiro.

“This initiative has the potential to scale positive impact within soy supply chains, bringing more of CJ Selecta’s indirect suppliers into the transition to sustainable soy. It also demonstrates the continuous efforts of Unilever and its brands to build sustainable solutions to help the planet while delivering options for consumers who are increasingly concerned and aware about the origin of ingredients they are bringing into their homes,” he explains.

CJ’s Selecta’s factory in Araguari, Brazil
CJ Selecta's factory in Araguari, Brazil

CJ Selecta CEO Guilherme Tancredi adds: “CJ Selecta believes that commitment and responsibility go hand in hand with the sustainable development of agriculture in Brazil. One of our main goals is to generate a positive impact by integrating this supply chain from the farm to the final client. This programme in partnership with Unilever should become a benchmark to the market and a milestone of our new environmental, social and governance products.”

Restoring and regenerating nature

Eliminating deforestation and conversion is not only an essential natural solution to the climate crisis, it can also help address social inequity. Encouraging improved farming practices can help boost the yields – and therefore incomes – of smallholder farmers and their families, which reduces pressure on forests.

We are contributing to the development of international standards which recognise farmers and suppliers for their efforts to address the big issues associated with soy production, such as vegetation loss in Brazil’s Cerrado. And we are founding members of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). Since 2010, the development of the RTRS standard has enabled farmers to improve their practices and gain accreditation.

We continue to work with farmers, NGOs, our suppliers, other agri-businesses and governments to support sustainable farming practices that improve soil health, water quality and yields by using regenerative agriculture methods, such as planting cover crops.

“At Hellmann’s, we pride ourselves on superior products and pioneering sustainability practices,” says Christina Bauer-Plank, Global VP of Hellmann’s & Dressings.

“I’m delighted that this move brings both those important elements together in a change that’s better both for people and for the planet.”

CJ Selecta is a Brazilian producer of SPC (Soy Protein Concentrate), soybean oil, lecithin and ethanol, among other products. It is part of the CJ Bio Division, under the Korean CheilJedand Group.

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