Formerly the Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit, SPOTT is expanding to assess producers and traders of other commodities.

We are keen to receive your views on the commodity sectors that we should target for our future work to drive corporate transparency in commodity production. Contact us about the other commodities that interest you.

 

Rubber

Demand for natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) has dramatically increased over the past decade, leading to record-high prices and the expansion of industrial-scale and smallholder monoculture plantations. An estimated additional 4.3–8.5 million hectares of rubber plantations would be required to meet projected demand by 2024. This expansion threatens significant areas of Asian forest, including many protected areas and critically endangered waterbirds, ungulates and primates. Rubber companies have also been linked with adverse social impacts including evictions, coercion, increased poverty, decreased food security and poor labour conditions.

© M. arunprasad

Soy

Since the 1950’s, global soybean (Glycine max) production has increased fifteen times over and has risen 35% since 2011 in response to rising demand. The expansion of soybean production has contributed to deforestation in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, affecting several key biodiversity hotspots and leaving vulnerable species at high risk of extinction. In some instances, the development of large soybean plantations has led to allegations of human rights violations including worker exploitation and displacement of indigenous peoples and subsistence farmers.

© Thamizhpparithi Maari

Fisheries 

The world’s fish stocks face an uncertain future. Overfishing – driven by growing demand and a global fishing fleet that is two to three times larger than what the oceans can sustainably support – is a vast problem across the world’s oceans. At present, 53% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, and 32% overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion – if current trends continue, stocks of all species currently fished for food are predicted to collapse by 2048. The impacts of overfishing include the loss of species as a result of illegal, inefficient, and destructive fishing practices; and the loss of livelihoods in coastal fishing communities brought about by the collapse of fish stocks.

© Paul Toogood

Extractives

The extractives industry – including oil and gas, mining, and quarrying – provides energy and mineral resources to meet the needs of both developed and developing economies. The extraction of these resources is an important and growing part of the economy of many emerging nations. However, large deposits of these resources are often found in areas that are extremely valuable for biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services, such as the Arctic and Congo Basin. Mining and drilling activities in these areas can destroy and degrade wildlife habitat, disrupt migratory pathways, and encourage unsustainable levels of hunting, and agricultural expansion. Meanwhile, the carbon emissions and toxic pollution associated with extractives industries have negative effects on human and wildlife populations, and the global climate in general.

 

© Andrew Crouthamel