100% responsible soy within four years
Dutch businesses in the soy value chain and IDH have jointly announced their intent to begin the transition towards responsibly produced soy – which should reach a 100% level by 2015. To achieve this objective, a total of 7 million euro will be invested by the participating parties, who announced the breakthrough at the start of the International Supply Management Congress in Amsterdam. “This represents a milestone in the field of sustainable trade”, said Joost Oorthuizen, Executive Director of the The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
Participating organisations include the Dutch Feed Industry Association (Nevedi), IDH, FrieslandCampina and other members of the Dutch Dairy Association, the Dutch Meat Association, Dutch retailers Albert Heijn, C1000, Jumbo, Lidl, SuperUnie - as central buyer for 13 supermarket chains, LTO Nederland, the Product Board for Poultry and Eggs and the Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils. The plan is supported by WWF Netherlands, environmental organisation ‘Natuur & Milieu’ and the Solidaridad development organisation.
This past summer, the Dutch food & feed industry expressed its ambition to become the international frontrunner in the use of responsible soy cultivated according to the principles of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). Today, trade and industry have agreed to join forces to achieve the transition to responsible soy. The overall objective is to achieve a 100% use of responsible soy for the production of meat, dairy, eggs and other foods in The Netherlands by 2015. Over the next few years, the participating companies aim to purchase increasingly large volumes of responsibly produced soy: 500,000 tons in 2012, 1,000,000 tons in 2013 and 1,500,000 tons in 2014.
The total investment required to achieve this transition is estimated at approximately 7 million euro. Half of this amount will be financed by trade and industry, while The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) will finance the other half. According to Joost Oorthuizen: “This investment will enable growers in South America, as well as other supply chain parties, to implement the necessary improvements for achieving RTRS-certification. By opting for RTRS-certified soy, we want to ensure that no valuable nature is destroyed as a result of soy cultivation.”
During the transition period, maximal efforts will be made to buy responsible soy sourced via the so-called mass balance supply chain option. In addition, during the transition period, RTRS-credits will be purchased so as to encourage growers to be included in the physical supply chain at a later stage. The participating organisations aim to establish a foundation that will coordinate this transition. “Ultimately, the criteria for responsibly produced soy need to be included in generic quality standards. Only then will the transition to 100% responsible soy be ensured”, says Henk Flipsen, CEO of Nevedi.