Commodities

In tropical nations, many developing and debt-ridden, the forest is cleared in the hope of securing an economic future. But recent history show that little security can be found in deforestation.

Huge industrial interests, including timber, agriculture and mining, see an “endless,” profitable supply of cheap resources just waiting to be taken. Meanwhile, family farmers and loggers feel they have no option but to deforest in order to feed their families.

California receives imports from several countries known for their rainforests like Mexico, Malaysia, Ecuador, Indonesia and Vietnam. Top commodities include timber and rubber, which derive from rainforests.

Almost 80% of the developed world’s diet originated in the tropical rainforest.

Fruits like tomatoes, avocados and oranges and vegetables like corn, potatoes and rice are some of the foods from the rainforest. We even use spices in our everyday lives like black pepper, cayenne, cocoa, cinnamon, sugar, turmeric, coffee and vanilla are staples in like chocolate candy, birthday cakes and cappuccinos.

In tropical nations, many of which are developing and debt-ridden, deforestation erases the hope of securing an economic future. Huge industrial interests, including timber, agriculture and mining, see a profitable supply of cheap resources just waiting to be taken. Meanwhile, family farmers and loggers feel their only option is to deforest in order to feed their families.

California receives imports from several countries known for their rainforests like Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia, Ecuador, Indonesia and Vietnam. Top commodities include timber and rubber, which derive from rainforests.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a comprehensive trade agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Mexico’s total exports to all countries approached $22.5 billion in 2012. The United States is Mexico’s largest food trading partner, buying 75 percent of Mexican exports of grains, oilseeds, meat, and related products and supplying 73 percent of the country’s imports.

Mexico does not produce enough grains and oilseeds to meet internal demand, so the country’s food and livestock producers import sizable volumes of these commodities to make value-added products, primarily for the domestic market. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. agricultural imports from Mexico consist of beer, vegetables, and fruit, which grow in favorable climates during seasons that complement those of the United States.

Brazil’s leading exports include soybeans and products, beef, poultry meat, sugar, ethanol, coffee, orange juice, and tobacco. Its food sector accounts for about 28 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Population growth will continue expanding the quantity and quality of food products demanded by Brazilian consumers. The value of Brazil’s agricultural exports reached $62.4 billion in 2010, more than a quarter of total exports.

Though we depend on trade affecting the rainforests, they provide a multitude of natural resources that we use in our everyday lives.

Forests and Crops Make Friendly Neighbors in Costa Rica