The UK is a small player in the complex global market for soy, importing only
0.33% of the world’s annual crop of soy beans and soy oil.
Some UK imports are used by FDF members and we support the need for those
imports to be from more sustainable sources.
To tackle this, we support the aims and the multi-stakeholder approach of the
Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) to bring certified sustainable soy to the
market, which is similar to the approach successfully adopted for the
on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
FDF encourages the active participation from its members in this global
initiative and looks forward to it delivering against its aims.
1. Eurostat and USDA 2012
- In total, over 153 million tonnes of vegetable oil are produced worldwide every year, of which 27.3% is soy oil,
the world’s second largest oil crop. China (25%), USA (21%), Argentina (17%)
Brazil (16%) are the biggest producers of soy oil, contributing 79% of the
world’s total production.
- As part of a global strategy on sustainable sourcing of commodities, the RTRS
was formally established in May 2006. The RTRS is a multi-stakeholder process
containing a total of 150 members in more than 20 different countries, including soy producing countries in South America, USA, Europe, India and
China. RTRS aims to build a global and participatory process that promotes
economically viable, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable soy
- Following a two year process which included a year of field trials, in June 2010
the RTRS General Assembly approved the amended Principles and Criteria (P&C) in
the form of a certification scheme – the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production.
- Since June 2010 the necessary instruments have been put in place to facilitate
trade in RTRS certified soy. A ‘progressive entry level for RTRS production
standard certification’ will enable gradual implementation and ensure
producers move from regular production to implementation of the RTRS Standard.
Several producers in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay are preparing to certify
production of soy.
- For companies wishing to buy RTRS certified soy, two mechanisms have been
- For physical flow: the ‘Chain of Custody’ allows certified production via the
Mass Balance or Segregation supply chain mechanisms
- For non-physical flow: A ‘Certification Trade Platform’ will be launched in
April 2011. The RTRS IT Platform will be comparable to the Book and Claim
used by the RSPO (e.g. GreenPalm), through which certificates are bought and
on a virtual platform.
- In addition to the RTRS process, the soybean crushing industry in Brazil
initially agreed in July 2006 to a two-year moratorium on the procurement of
from newly deforested land in the Amazon biome; the forested area of the Amazon
region in Brazil. The moratorium has subsequently been extended four times,
recently when celebrating in October 2011 when it was extended until January 31
2013. This initiative is seen as a complement to the RTRS process.
2. USDA 2012
Last reviewed: 25 Apr 2012
3. USDA 2012
4. RTRS 2012