Quarter of European 2019 soy was deforestation-free

02-07-2021 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

Just over a quarter of soy used in Europe was certified deforestation-free in 2019

42% complied with the Fefac Soy Sourcing Guidelines (SSG). These are guidelines for the purchase of sustainable soy, drawn up by the European animal feed organisation Fefac. 80% of the soy used in the EU came from areas with a low risk of deforestation. This is evident from the new European Soy Monitor of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).

The Netherlands tops the list

In 2019, there was a slight increase in the use of SSG-compliant and deforestation-free soy in Europe. Despite this, the amount of SSG-compliant and deforestation-free soy decreased for most individual countries. In the Netherlands, all soy used was SSG-compliant and also certified deforestation-free. This puts the Netherlands, together with Norway, at the top of the list of countries that use the most sustainable soy.

33 million tons of SSG-compliant soy produced

In total, almost 30 million net tons of soya meal was used in the EU. For the calculation of the figures, import and export of soybeans, soy meal and embedded soy (soy used for the production of animal products) and European production were offset against each other. Worldwide, approximately 33 million tons of SSG-compliant soy were produced. Of this, it is estimated that nearly 16 million tonnes end up in the EU.

Demand for conversion-free and traceable soy

According to IDH, some soy traders were reluctant to share information about their soy programmes, volumes, origin and destinations. Some traders reported a lack of demand for their own SSG-compliant soy programme, while demand for traceable and conversion-free soy was on the rise. “It seems that many of the merchants are focusing on selling RTRS (a sustainable soy programme) and other dominant certified soy standards and are also starting to offer their own solutions for conversion-free and traceable soy. We expect that trend to continue in the future.”

IDH uses the term deforestation-free soy in its report for soy that falls under 6 soy programmes, including RTRS and Proterra, where deforestation-free is a criterion.

Carolien Kloosterman Business editor
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