The EU's aim is that, in future, companies will be able to clearly identify the geographical location where their imported products were produced. Stricter rules are being worked on, in particular for imports of soya, beef, palm oil, timber, cocoa and coffee, which would only be allowed into the EU if it can be reliably demonstrated that the production of the products has not accelerated deforestation.
The EU's approach is important and the new rules would be a clear ethical and environmental improvement on the current situation - at least if the rules are respected. The Commission's decision would certainly also encourage the development of European crop production.
Ruohonjuuri's products to combat deforestation
SHADE COFFEES. The Gran Palomar coffees that have become a favourite with Ruohonjuuri's customers over the years are shade coffees - and shade coffees are a concrete choice for biodiversity.For example, the Gran Palomar coffees that have become a favourite with Ruohonjuurti's customers over the years are shade coffees - and shade coffees are a concrete choice for biodiversity. Shade coffees are grown in a biodiverse way, in the midst of nature, with trees shading the coffee bushes. Gran Palomar coffees are therefore not plantation coffees, i.e. they are not intensively produced in monoculture plantations that have been cleared of forest.
Many of the other Cafetoria organic coffees sold at Ruohonjuuri are also grown at high altitude in the mountains, where the coffee bushes grow slowly with less oxygen and are shaded by taller plants. The high altitude also protects the coffee from many insect pests, eliminating the need for pesticides and resulting in a higher canopy.
So by choosing shade coffee you can play your small part in the fight for biodiversity - against deforestation!
Growing wild in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil nut trees are driving local people to protect their forests. For many people in the Amazon region, Brazil nuts are the only significant source of income, which is why they are especially cherished. So by eating Brazil nuts, you are doing a small act to protect unique ecosystems and combat deforestation - and getting a selenium boost for your own health.
The deliciously tasty Brazil nuts in the Aduki range grow wild and strong in the Amazon rainforest of Bolivia. Their exploitation creates work for 15,000 local collectors, who pick the nuts from the ground after they fall from the trees, weighing just under two kilos. The peeling, cleaning and packaging of Brazil nuts creates a total of 45 000 jobs. Brazil nut harvesting preserves rainforest biodiversity and prevents deforestation.
BEANS AND LENTILS. Picking beans instead of meat helps both to mitigate climate change and to fight deforestation.
The carbon footprint of vegetarian food is significantly lower than that of animal-based dishes. While one kilogram of beef consumes 15 carbon dioxide equivalents, beans can manage with 0.65.
There is also a loss of habitat, i.e. biodiversity, from livestock farming as forests are cut down for pasture. It's also highly inefficient to recycle plant proteins through animals. It's astonishing that even in Finland, about 95% of soya is used for animal feed and only about 5% for human consumption. A basic mixed eater will in practice crumble more soya than a vegetarian in a year.
A large proportion of the raw materials used in natural cosmetics are grown organically, which is a superior production method for preserving biodiversity.
The decline in pollinators threatens food production: 75% of food crops need pollinators to produce a crop. Without the hard work of pollinators, we would have no berries, fruit or nuts to pick. Buzzers are also naturally part of the food web, so when pollinators disappear, so do the birds that eat them.
So, in terms of food production, organically grown products are the choice against the wildlife catastrophe. The diversity of crop rotations, crop varieties and pollinator-friendly farming practices in organic production increase the diversity of living conditions for many wild animal and plant species.
At Ruohonjuuri, for example, we sell honey products from the Pesonen apiaries, which Esa and Minna Pesonen have been supplying to Ruohonjuuri for twenty years. The Pesonen apiaries are located in the Sastamala and Hämeenkyrö areas, where the terrain is a mixture of fields, forests and small watercourses. Their hard-working bees have a wide range of flowers and their pollination stamina is excellent.
Only good products
Every Ruohonjuuri product is a better choice for people and the environment - and for biodiversity. We know the background of our products and work closely with the small businesses that produce and import our products. We do not cheapen our partners' lives, but invest in long-term cooperation, which also extends to long-term work for a better world.
The shelves at Ruohonjuuri are bursting with products that are backed by concrete actions to defend biodiversity. Having visited the fields of Frantsila herb farm and A. Vogel's gardens (all of which could be described as a paradise for buzzers), we are convinced that together we are changing the world!
Nature is getting poorer as we humans try to get richer
Biodiversity loss has serious consequences for the planet and, of course, for human living conditions, food production and the economy. So, alongside climate change, it's important to fight against loss of biodiversity - in other words, to work for biodiversity.
All life on Earth depends on thriving environments with a rich diversity of plant and animal species. As a result of human activities, there are fewer and fewer plants and animals on Earth. Even entire species are becoming extinct. According to the nature panel IBPES, up to a million species of flora and fauna are threatened with extinction.
The main cause of the decline is land-use change, which is destroying and polluting habitats. Much of the loss of habitat is caused by current food production, which involves the clearing of rainforests for pastures for cattle or palm oil plantations, for example. This exacerbates erosion, i.e. the wearing away of the land, and exacerbates the loss of habitat. The expansion of the built environment and energy production also contribute to habitat loss.
Climate change is also accelerating habitat loss, with poaching and over-fishing also having a serious impact. As climate change and habitat loss are strongly linked, mitigation of climate change often helps biodiversity. It is therefore important that the fight against climate change always takes into account the impact of actions on biodiversity; each plant and animal species has its role in nature and its place in the food chain.
When we protect biodiversity, we are also defending all the things that enable human life, health and well-being - such as breathable air, clean water and food. Even if our individual contribution to the world is limited, each of us can make a difference. In fact: even our every word and our every action nudges the world a tiny bit in one direction. Together, we change the world!