Combining private sector expertise with in-depth local knowledge

Latin America and the Caribbean

Key ecosystems in the region include the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest; the Cerrado, a savannah ecosystem; the Atlantic Forest, reduced to 10% of its original cover; the Gran Chaco lowlands and Mexico’s Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

Latin America is a major producer and exporter of agricultural commodities such as soy, beef, sugar, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, and timber. Brazil, for example, is the world’s largest producer of sugar, while in Mexico the sugar industry employs almost a million people. However, the intensive agricultural and livestock production has also led to deforestation and conversion, land conflicts and human rights abuses, particularly within local communities and Indigenous Peoples.


With our broad presence on the ground throughout Latin America, we bring an exceptional knowledge of how things work in the region. This expertise is critical to help brands and retailers understand the challenges within their supply chains, but also to support effective engagement at mill and farm level. Our work focuses on the production and sourcing of beef, soy and sugarcane across the region, but we also working on timber, cocoa and red seaweed.

By supporting policy development, we can help turn responsible sourcing commitments into actions. And, by working with companies in different positions of the supply chain, we can help them to identify the leverage points for positive change, engage partners with action plans, and monitor and report progress and performance.

Our focus has been on land use change and conservation. Since 2018, Proforest conducted six High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments across the region, primarily focused on smallholder production.

Our extensive experience in convening and facilitating discussions builds momentum for collective action. 

By driving long-term programmes in partnership with other organisations and bringing together different stakeholders on a pre-competitive basis, we enable discussions that result in effective collaboration across sectors. For example, we played a key role in the development of GTPS (Brazil’s working group for sustainable cattle ranching) and its governance structure.

Some of our work is global or transboundary in nature, including initiatives focused on certification systems (such as the Round Table on Responsible Soy or RTRS), global initiatives (such as IDH Verified Sourcing Areas) and the implementation of global corporate policies in multiple countries.

We build capacity in different stakeholders to bridge gaps of knowledge and communication, deliver improved practices and develop tools, guidance and practices that can be adopted by producers, supply chain companies, governments and civil society organisations. We developed the Soy Toolkit, which brings guidance for demand-side companies to implement the different steps of responsible sourcing of soy.

We developed the Sustainability Engagement Platform, an online system to help companies identify and map their supply chain quickly and use returned data into valuable insights to prioritise engagement and streamline progress and compliance with their sustainability criteria. 

In Colombia and Central America, we deliver practical training on using High Conservation Values-High Carbon Stock Approaches (HCV-HCS) and other technical tools to deliver on NDPE (No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation) commitments, as well as RSPO requirements – for lead assessors and producers. Recognising that a lack of access to certification systems can be a barrier for smallholders engaging with responsible sourcing markets, we have worked with RSPO to develop and deliver training for smallholder group managers for the RSPO Independent Smallholder Certification Framework.

  • Mars
  • McDonald’s
  • Fedepalma
  • Nestlé
  • Viterra (formerly Glencore)
    Viterra (formerly Glencore)
  • General Mills
    General Mills
  • Barry Callebaut
    Barry Callebaut
  • PepsiCo Logo