The association said in a statement that it was ‘puzzled’ by the announcements from UK supermarket chains Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda, The Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons that they could no longer guarantee that their poultry was fed on 100% GM-free feed.
M&S, for example, said in a statement: “This change in policy is absolutely necessary because there is now a much reduced supply of non-GM feed available to UK farmers.”
“We believe the retailers’ decisions have been based upon incorrect information,” Abrange said in a statement.
The association said that one of the large suppliers of non-GM soy to the UK had been telling its customers since December that it would no longer be able to supply non-GM soy because of supply concerns.
“This assertion is, however, not accurate,” Abrange said, adding that about a quarter of Brazil’s soy harvest this year was non-GM.
“This year, Brazil has enjoyed a record soybean harvest over 82 million metric tons, bigger than the United States and definitely large enough to more than provide Europe’s entire soy meal demand, including the United Kingdom’s,” it said.
However, Abrange added that there was a temporary shortage in non-GM soy supplies to export markets but this was part of a wider problem of increased pressure on Brazilian export facilities. Increased demand for Brazilian exports of all kinds has led to a shortage of berths for mooring ships in ‘virtually every Brazilian port’.
“This situation is temporary, as exporters are actively seeking solutions to circumvent the export slow down,” it said.
“Although one large supplier of non-GMO soy has withdrawn from the market, others continue to supply, and assure that they are still quite capable of consistently delivering material to UK customers.”