The benchmark tool, allowing owners of responsible soy programmes to verify their compatibility with FEFAC’s Soy Sourcing Guidelines, is now available.
FEFAC has sent invitations to responsible soy programme owners to apply for the benchmarking process, together with a guidance document on the online procedure. In order to undergo the full benchmarking process and be recognized as formally compliant with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines, the responsible soy programme owners are requested to work with ITC (International Trade Centre, the joint agency of United Nations and World Trade Organization). They need to reference their standard or programme in the Standards Map database, widely recognised as the global repository of information on voluntary private sector and multi-stakeholder sustainability schemes. FEFAC is pleased with the interest already shown by several programme owners to undergo the benchmarking process.
For FEFAC, the benchmarking exercise will show to what extent available responsible soy programmes comply with the European feed industry's minimum requirements. FEFAC President Ruud Tijssens: "We are confident ITC is up to the task to show us how all existing supplier programmes compare to our common feed industry requirements regarding good agricultural practices, the prevention of illegal deforestation, environmental stewardship and employee rights".
FEFAC has been eager to emphasise that the Soy Sourcing Guidelines are not a new standard, but rather a starting point to engage with key soy supply chain partners in order to realise a physical mainstream market transition of responsible soy supplies to Europe. FEFAC President Ruud Tijssens: "The publication of the Soy Sourcing Guidelines provides FEFAC with the possibility to enter directly into discussions with the soy farmers in exporting countries and trading companies. There is no "quick fix" to the creation of a mainstream market supply of responsible soy, this is a long-term investment in sustainable sourcing". FEFAC estimates however that reaching a "critical mass" supply threshold of 10 million tonnes of responsible soy meeting the requirements of the Soy Sourcing Guidelines would allow FEFAC to envisage the next phase for improvement of the present Guidelines.
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