Making the Law Work

In 2021, the UK Government passed the Environment Act, under which businesses will be required to establish and implement a due diligence system to ensure the forest-risk commodities they use are legal.

Subsequently, in December 2023 the Government announced its intention for this due diligence legislation to cover non-dairy cattle products (beef and leather), cocoa, palm and soy and for the regulations to apply to organisations with a global annual turnover of more than £50 million and whose use of these commodities exceeds 500 tonnes annually.

To date, we are still waiting for the UK Government to lay the secondary regulations which would bring the due diligence legislation under the Environment Act into effect.

On 4 January 2024, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published the second report of its inquiry into Sustainable timber and deforestation, entitled The UK’s contribution to tackling global deforestation. It included recommendations for the Government on the due diligence legislation, associated guidance and other issues.

This document summarises the key points of the UK Government’s response to the EAC report, with EIA’s recommendations.