22% of soy used in Europe is compliant with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines and 13% is deforestation-free.
With the release of the European Soy Monitor, IDH and IUCN NL provide an overview of the state of the soy industry, and paths to sustainability. Soy is everywhere in today’s globalized economy. You can find it in tofu and vegetarian products, processed snack foods, and embedded in products across the dairy, meat, poultry, and aquaculture industries.
The impact of our collective soy consumption is enormous. Soy production is connected to a range of environmental and social sustainability issues in producing countries. Deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems in South America has been driven by the rapidly growing landmass dedicated to soy cultivation.
Sustainable production offers a path to empowerment for producers, value and sustainability for supply chain actors, and meets consumer demand for sustainable products. Countering the externalities of soy production is possible through the development of sustainable supple chains, but in 2017 only 22% (7.6 million tons) of the total soy use in Europe was compliant with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines (a baseline for responsible soy), and only 12% of European soy imports (4.2 million tons) was deforestation-free. Certifications like RTRS, ProTerra, Danube/Europe soy, ISCC+, and CRS make it easy for companies to demand sustainable soy, but adoption has remained low over the past 15 years despite strong commitments from the industry and government actors. Production of sustainable soy currently exceeds demand.
European Soy Monitor makes it clear that deep industry-wide changes are still needed to make responsible and deforestation-free soy mainstream.