News 1226 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Sustainable Procurement is main focus for soya

'Sustainable procurement' was the main focus of the Agricultural Industries Confederation's (AIC) presentation given at “RT7” - the Round Table on Responsible Soya (RTRS) Conference that was held in London last week.

As part of AIC’s on-going work, the feed sector has been reviewing its activity to enable the sustainable procurement of a number of feed ingredients which include soya, palm oil as well as fishmeal & fish oil. This is alongside increasing discussion on sustainability with retailers and the government.
The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is one of the main sustainability initiatives for soya. This organisation consists of a multi stakeholder group who have produced an auditable standard for the production of sustainable soya. The standard is currently being implemented globally and RTRS have a target of producing five million tonnes of RTRS soya by 2015.
A number of other soya sustainability initiatives also exist including Soy Plus, Pro Terra as well as industry and national initiatives. The feed sector is working with a range of these initiatives to ensure that the required sustainability criteria are met.
The Feed Material Assurance Scheme (FEMAS) also introduced a sustainability module in 2006 for the sourcing of sustainable soya from Brazil. This was in direct response to customer demand from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and this standard covers the areas of deforestation and worker welfare. A supply chain module has also been introduced by FEMAS in conjunction with RTRS which facilitates the movement of RTRS soya for a FEMAS certified participant.
Speaking on behalf of AIC, Chief Operating Officer John Kelley highlighted its support for the goals of all the sustainability initiatives that are available and stressed the need to develop a mass market for sustainable soya and to avoid the development of costly niche markets.
Other challenges of adopting sustainability criteria were also pointed out including “which sustainability scheme should the supply chain adopt?” and “how sustainable is sustainable?”
The AIC feed sector will continue to work on the development of sustainable procurement for soya as well as palm and fishmeal and fish oil in response to the supply chain capability and customer opinion on this important subject.

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