First time ever: Joint action plan for responsible soy

20-01-2017 | |
First time ever: Joint action plan for responsible soy. Photo: Koos van der Spek
First time ever: Joint action plan for responsible soy. Photo: Koos van der Spek

On January 19, Aprosoja, ABIOVE, FEDIOL, FEFAC and IDH have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of Brazilian responsible soy production and its market acceptance in Europe

It is the first time that a direct, formal working relation is established between Brazilian soy producers and key European soy purchasers, sharing a common vision and action plan fostering responsible soy production in Brazil and use in Europe.

This private sector agreement, supported by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), supports the Brazilian Forest Code’s objective of preserving natural habitats by promoting sustainable agricultural practices at soy farm level whilst safeguarding community rights in rural areas.

All parties recognise the complementarity of existing sectoral responsible soy initiatives in both Europe and Brazil. They believe that matching their vision and aligning their actions will accelerate mainstream responsible soy production in Brazil and soy trade in Europe.

In 2015, the EU imported 5.8 million tons of soybeans and 8.4 million tons of soybean meal from Brazil (source: Oil World).

Ruud Tijssens, President of FEFAC: “With this agreement we can proactively support the sustainable agricultural developments at soy farm level in Brazil and move ever closer to a mainstream market transition of physical responsible soy supply to Europe”.

Endrigo Dalcin, President of Aprosoja: “With the signing of the memorandum, the Soja Plus Program will enter the benchmarking process to be recognised as a responsible production programme, serving as a Brazilian soybean passport for the European market.”

Carlo Lovatelli, President of ABIOVE: “Europeans recognise the work of Soja Plus, an economic, social and environmental management programme for rural properties, to improve, in a practical and objective way, sustainability in soy farming. The programme aims to guide the producer to comply with Brazilian environmental legislation and thus, contributes to the supply of soy and soybean meal that deliver environmental services. Producers and processors have an interest in strengthening the image of Brazilian soybeans in Europe, the largest importer of protein meal for the animal feed industry.”

Henri Rieux, President of FEDIOL: “The strength of this agreement is that key players are committing in a chain approach to tackle the issue of sustainable soy production in Brazil and of up-take of sustainable soy products in Europe. We are confident that this improved dialogue will have positive impact and will allow us to better meet the requests of our stakeholders in Europe”.

IDH Soy Program Director Lucian Peppenelenbos: “This agreement is an important step for soy producers and industry to make a direct and verifiable contribution to the ambitious targets of the Brazilian government to stop illegal deforestation and reduce deforestation by 90% in the Amazon and 95% in the Cerrado by 2030”

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Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor