Members of industry in the Netherlands have jointly announced their intent to work towards a supply chain of 100% responsibly produced soy by 2015. Dutch retailers, manufacturers, traders, feed processors, and NGOs in the soy value chain – in addition to the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) – said a total of 7 million euro will be invested by the participating groups.
Joost Oorthuizen, general manager of IDH, said that the deal “represents a milestone in the field of sustainable trade.”
Earlier this year the Dutch food and feed industry expressed its ambition to become a leader in the use of responsible soy cultivated according to the principles of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). Members of the industry have agreed to join forces to achieve the transition.
“This investment will enable growers in South America, as well as other supply chain parties, to implement the necessary improvements for achieving RTRS-certification. By opting for RTRS-certified soy, we want to ensure that no valuable nature is destroyed as a result of soy cultivation,” added Oorthuizen.
The overall objective is to achieve a 100% use of responsible soy for the production of meat, dairy, eggs and other foods in The Netherlands by 2015. Over the next few years, the participating companies aim to purchase increasingly large volumes of responsibly produced soy: 500,000 tons in 2012, 1,000,000 tons in 2013 and 1,500,000 tons in 2014.
Companies and organisations participating include IDH, the Dutch Meat Association, Dutch dairy companies (including FrieslandCampina), farmers’ union LTO Nederland, the Product Board for Poultry and Eggs and the Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils.
It is understood that half of the 7 million euro investment requited will be financed by trade and industry, while the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) will finance the other half.
Henk Flipsen, CEO of Nevedi – the Dutch Feed Industry Association – said: “Ultimately, the criteria for responsibly produced soy need to be included in generic quality standards. Only then will the transition to 100% responsible soy be ensured.”
The project has also received backing from WWF Netherlands and other environmental organisation, including ‘Natuur & Milieu’ and the Solidaridad development organisation.