News last update:6 Aug 2012

Cargill reopens its port in the Amazon

Despite environmentalists who say the port encourages destruction of the rain forest by making it easier for soy farmers, loggers and ranchers to get their products to market, Cargill reopened its deep-water Amazon River port.

Cargill opened the $20 million port three years ago to cash in on the rising global demand for soybeans, which had become Brazil's richest agricultural export. However, Cargill has had to fight in court to keep it open after it was accused of failing to provide an additional environmental impact study before building the export facility.

The rain forest, as big as Western Europe, lost 6,450 square miles to deforestation between 2005 and 2006, Brazil's Environment Ministry says, and ports and roads that make it easier to export soy are a major factor. Cargill ships 1 million metric tons of soybeans each year from Santarem, 1,550 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, helping to make Brazil the world's second-largest soy exporter behind the United States.

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(Source: Forbes.com)

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