I know many constituents have a keen interest in the environment, so I wanted to alert everyone to the government's consultation on introducing a new diligence requirement on larger businesses which would prevent them operating in the UK from using products that have been grown on land that has been deforested illegally.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is proposing to target a relatively small number of larger businesses that use forest risk commodities in the UK and meet an employee number and turnover threshold. This would allow us to regulate those businesses who are most likely to be able to send a positive signal to producers and minimise regulatory burden on smaller businesses in the UK whose action in the supply chain would be less likely to have an impact.
The consultation was launched on 25 August and will run until 5 October, constituents can access it here - https://consult.defra.gov.uk/eu/due-diligence-on-forest-risk-commodities/
The proposed legislation will place a mandatory requirement for UK companies to carry out due diligence on their supply chains, ensuring compliance with local laws that protect against deforestation and the conversion of other ecosystems. Businesses that fail to comply would be subject to fines, with the precise level and full list of commodities to be set at a later date.
This approach is designed to work in tandem with the existing efforts of governments, communities and business in producer countries to enforce national laws, benefiting law-abiding producers and companies.
This consultation is one part of the government’s response to the recommendations of the Global Resource Initiative, which was published in March. DEFRA are also taking forward another key recommendation by making the transition to more sustainable livelihoods and supply chains a key focus of our COP26 Presidency. More broadly, ministers will be publishing the government’s full response to the report in the autumn.
I encourage all of my constituents who have got in touch about environmental issues to submit their thoughts to this consultation.