SIM Team Expanded

SIM is pleased to announce that Steven Ripley has joined the SIM team as Director, Investor Engagement.

Steven joins SIM from Tesco, where his relentless drive was key to establishing the Cerrado Programme 1 pilot programme, and in bringing the other retail investors onboard. 

Steven Ripley

“We’re thrilled Steven is joining our team. His passion and commitment to the RCF over the last few years whilst at Tesco has been instrumental in the success of the first Cerrado programme, and in establishing the model for retailer investment. The next few years will see the facility grow rapidly and we’re grateful to have Steven onboard to drive it forward.” Pedro Moura Costa, SIM UK CEO.

“It’s rare to encounter genuinely disruptive business models which can simultaneously create value for forests, make money for investors, be financially self-sustaining and infinitely scalable. RCF has all these characteristics and after 20 years working in forests and commodities, I’m convinced it will be a game changer. I couldn’t be more motivated to make it succeed.” said Steven.

Steven has spent his entire professional career (20+ years) working towards creating value for forests. He’s held positions with the United Nations, Global Canopy, IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative and Tesco, as well as a decade working for software firms developing commodity traceability systems. Career highlights include establishing the first fully traceable palm oil mill, (including smallholders), for Wilmar in Borneo, establishing forests as a central component of corporate reporting with CDP, and of course, getting the RCF up and running with the help of colleagues and friends at Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose. Steven holds a Masters in International Environmental Law and a Bachelors in Environmental Science.  

If you’re interested in RCF and want to know more about how you can support it, please write to Steven at:

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Eligibility Criteria for Cerrado Programme 1

The following eligibility criteria are required for participation in the Responsible Commodities Facility for Cerrado Programme 1 (see full description here):

Land use

The area of cultivation must not have had any deforestation and conversion of native vegetation since 1 Jan 2020*. Preference will be given to areas converted from abandoned pasture land to soy cultivation after 2008.

Forest Code Compliance

Farm land must be registered with the Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR). The farm must contain and maintain areas of native vegetation equivalent to those required for Legal Reserve and Areas of Permanent Protection (APPs) determined by the Forest code or have formally adhered to a Programme of Environmental Regularization (PRA) established by the state environmental agency**. The farm area must not overlap with public protected areas, indigenous lands and other traditional people and community lands (including ‘quilombolas territories’).

Land title

Farmers must have unquestionable right to use the land, be it as land title, land lease agreement, or another legally recognised form of land tenure (e.g., ‘posse’)

Legal Compliance

Farmers must demonstrate that they and their farms do not contravene any environmental or legal requirements, such as embargoes, environmental irregularities, contraventions of the labour legislation (including slave and child labour), non-compliance with the Soy Moratorium (if applicable), and internationally-accepted rules for the use of agrochemicals.

*Farmers occasionally request the conversion of small areas of native vegetation to conduct farm improvements (building storage areas, water reservoirs, etc.). Provided that these areas are small and not for the purpose of expansion of the agricultural area, RCF analyses and considers them eligible. In order to do so, RCF uses the concept of Minimal Level (of deforestation or conversion) as defined by the Accountability Framework Initiative Terms and Definitions, which states “To be considered consistent with no-deforestation or no-conversion commitments, minimal levels must generally meet the following conditions: Not exceed cumulative thresholds that are small both in absolute terms (e.g., no more than a few hectares) and relative to the area in question (e.g., no more than a small proportion of the site).”

**The RCF analyses Forest Code compliance by looking at single farms (defined as the area covered by a CAR) or bundles of individual CARs that, in combination, result in the desired area of native vegetation put under the protective status of the RCF.  This bundling should not be understood as a means of compliance with the Forest Code requirements and is not intended to release the farmer of the regularization process committed under the Forest Code rules (enrolment in the CAR, engagement in a PRA, etc.). In order to differentiate its metrics from those of the Forest Code, the RCF refers to areas of Excess Native Vegetation (ENV) as opposed to Excess Legal Reserve, to avoid confusion with areas legally categorised under the Forest Code.