The Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) was set up in 2006 with the aim of becoming the global standard for responsibly cultivated soy, directly rewarding growers who respect the land rights of local communities and prevent the degradation of valuable nature areas. After years of planning, the first shipment of soy certified under the scheme was sold to the Initiative for Sustainable Soy (IDS) – a group of Dutch food, retail and feed companies – in June last year.
On November 22, Dutch companies signed agreements for the delivery of a further 280,000 tonnes of RTRS-certified soy – on top of earlier shipments – bringing 16% of soy processed in the Netherlands under RTRS certification, and doubling the 2011 quantity.
“This is a clear signal towards the soy producers in South America that there is a demand for responsibly cultivated soy,” said chairman of the Foundation for Responsible Soy Chain Transition Henk Flipsen. “Besides, we work together with European partners on the sustainability of the major trade flow for soy. Eventually, responsible soy must become the standard for the entire European market.”
Last year, members of the Dutch food industry representing 90% of soy used in the Netherlands signed an agreement to work toward a 100% sustainable supply chain for their soy purchases by the end of 2015.
The Dutch companies that form the IDS include Nevedi, Ahold, FrieslandCampina, Vion, Gebr. Van Beek Group and 2 Sisters Storteboom.
The RTRS has 150 members, including soybean growers, traders, and food and feed manufacturers. They work together to market certified soybeans that have been responsibly produced, and maximise the amount of soybeans that can be RTRS certified.