The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and the ProTerra Foundation have entered into an ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ in order to help the food and feed industries meet global demand for soy certified against sustainability criteria.
Only 2% of soy production is currently certified, yet there is growing demand – especially from the European market – for at least 10 mio tonnes of certified soy: double the amount traded today.
Although the agreement is not intended as a full harmonisation of the two standards, the aim of it is to help players in the value chain to source certified soy by reducing audit costs, training farmers and by providing more transparency in the market place.
Both RTRS and ProTerra are well established Standards with similar missions and visions to enhance responsible production. Both Standards operate in the context of rapidly growing intensive production of soy, in many countries and regions, addressing issues such as:
- the protection of Areas of High Conservation Value
- smallholders' land use rights
- the protection of workers in terms of human rights
- health and labour law
- the expenditure of natural capital in the form of fertile soils and water
- incorrect pesticides use in terms of quantity and toxicity
- spraying over no-go areas
- absence of good agricultural practices, such as lack of crop rotation
Companies and organisations such as WWF, The Retailers' Soy Group and The Consumer Goods Forum recognise RTRS and ProTerra Standards as credible certification schemes with robust environmental and social criteria to help meet responsible sourcing requirements.
By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, ProTerra and RTRS are taking a decisive step to make responsible and sustainable soy production possible and accessible.
Sibyl Anwander, Executive Director of the ProTerra Foundation and Agustin Mascotena from the RTRS said in a joint statement:
"The agreement between the two organisations is not intended to achieve full harmonisation between both Standards but will go a long way to improving the volumes of certified soy available to the food and feed supply chain. A concrete action plan has been established to make sure that the Memorandum of Understanding is the basis for a meaningful and results-orientated collaboration."
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