How far are we from a sustainable soy industry?

As the world is trying to overcome COVID-19 crisis, it is more crucial than ever to build more resilient and sustainable soy supply chains.

How far are we from a sustainable soy industry?

We are glad to share hopeful news regarding soybean meal used in animal feed production in Europe: the second European Soy Monitoring Report[1], released on 28 May 2020, by IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative[2], points to a transition towards responsible and deforestation-free soy imports in 2018, showing that we are slowly but surely moving in the direction of increased sustainability.

How far are we from a sustainable soy industry?

The report provides an overview on the current soy statistics and the status of relevant initiatives in producer countries and in Europe.

Some highlights:

  • 38% of the soybean meal consumption in Europe was compliant to the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines[3] and 19% was deforestation-free.
  • EU+ (EU 28 plus Norway and Switzerland) imported 15.5 million tons of soybeans and 18 million tons of soymeal (mainly from Brazil, the United States and Argentina).
  • Europe is increasing the domestic production of soybeans, reaching 10.4 million tons in 2018 (in 2011 it was 4.7 million tons).
  • There is a method, developed by FEFAC[4], calculating the risk of deforestation in specific regions which shows that 77% of all the soybean meal imported to the EU+ is sourced from regions with low deforestation risk.

Path forward

Achieving a sustainable soy industry is an effort that requires commitment from all actors involved in the supply chain. Moreover, for Europe to reach 100% deforestation-free imports for soy, there must be a strong support to improve high-risk producing areas, intensive collaboration and financing mechanisms that prioritize sustainable production.

ProTerra Standard has a long-standing history and experience in promoting sustainability in the food and feed supply chain and segregated non-GMO materials. It complies with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines and the Retailers’ Soy Group’s (RSG) minimum criteria for responsible soy[5] on the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Standards Map, contributing towards deforestation-free and responsible soy supply chains.