The role of market share on the effectiveness of zero deforestation commitments in the Brazilian Amazon


Abstract: Sustainable supply chain policies aim to decouple food production from environmentally destructive practices, including via commitments to eliminate deforestation. Despite mixed evidence regarding their effectiveness, the adoption of these “zero-deforestation commitments” (ZDCs) has grown steadily, particularly in high deforestation-risk sectors like the Brazilian cattle industry. We provide the first spatially explicit estimates of the market share of ZDC cattle companies, using the three Brazilian states that collectively constitute 75% of the cattle herd and 80% of deforestation in the Legal Amazon region. We then evaluate the relationship between increases in market share and municipal-level deforestation to assess whether commitments are more effective where committed companies have higher market penetration. Our analysis shows that an increase in the market shares of companies with ZDCs is associated with lower municipal-level deforestation. These results indicate that the effectiveness of supply chain commitments in reducing deforestation is contingent on high participation rates, otherwise opportunities for producers to avoid or evade committed companies remain high

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