The WWF published the 2016 edition of WWF’s Soy Scorecard in advance of the 11th annual conference of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) taking place in Brazil this week. The feed industry is not happy with the way this Scorecard is being put together.
This Scorecard assesses 133 leading European retailers, food service companies, consumer goods manufacturers, dairy companies, meat, egg and feed companies on actions related to sourcing responsible soy and eliminating deforestation from the animal products they sell. The companies are based in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Increasing meat consumption is the main driver of soy expansion. Around 75% of the world’s soy goes into animal feed. In Europe this proportion is even higher – an estimated at 93% of the soy going into Europe is for animal feed. Regarding the animal feed companies, the soy scorecard showed that only 2 companies are ‘leading the way’ (Raisio Group in Finland and Lantmännen in Sweden) and 2 feed companies are ‘well on the path’ (BioMar in Denmark and De Heus Group in the Netherlands). The rest of the (in total) 27 feed companies received the label ‘started the journey’ or ‘Not yet in the starting blocks’. Also some of the companies didn’t responded to the WWF request (16 in total).
Although WWF is pleased to see some real frontrunners especially in the retail and dairy sectors, the organisation calls on all companies in the soy supply chain to be transparent about their use of soy, source responsible soy that is produced by RTRS and ProTerra (currently the only 2 credible schemes for responsible soy), and to commit and join forces with others to stop deforestation and conversion of all natural habitats in soy supply chains. “Feed companies buy soy directly, so are ideally placed to take action and buy responsible soy. With the current low price of credits to support responsible soy production, there is no excuse for these companies not to start sourcing responsible soy now”, WWF said.
The feed industry is not happy with the way WWF is assuming that the feed indsutry is not doing a good job in buying responsible soy. In a response to the Soy Scorecard, Fefac (the European Feed Manufactures’ organisation) states on its website: “We have taken the initiative to come up with Soy Sourcing Guidelines as a professional recommendation for feed companies to source soy that is produced in a responsible manner”. Fefac estimates that currently more than 5 million tons of soy compliant with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines are used by the EU compound feed industry. “WWF is and has always been a very important partner in the transition towards responsible soy. However, the current questions in the Soy Scorecard fail to acknowledge the current developments in the market and the producing countries (e.g. the focus on only 2 responsible soy schemes – RTRS and ProTerra – while many other credible responsible soy schemes deserve acknowledgement)”, Fefac states.
Read more about alternatives to soy in animal feed in the All About Feed’s New Proteins dossier.