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European feed industry continues commitment to responsible soy

(Posted on 26/09/23)

The European Soy Monitor 2021 has been published, containing an overview of estimations on the use of responsible and deforestation-free soy in European animal feed production in 2021. The report points to 40% of soybean meal equivalent of total European soy consumption to be sourced according to the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines and 24% certified deforestation-free soy. The report also refers to FEFAC’s initial risk assessment which estimates that 93.9% of EU soy imports were sourced from low-deforestation regions, based on EU trade statistics and industry expert assessments.

Since the publication of the first European Soy Monitor of 2018 estimations, the feed industry has demonstrated remarkable progress in responsible soy usage. The provisional data for 2021 indicates that FEFAC members reported an increase of 21% compared to 2018.

Responsible soy, as defined by FEFAC, refers to soy provided through supplier and member schemes and programs that adhere to the criteria outlined in the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. These guidelines encompass good agricultural practices, environmental considerations, and social responsibility.

FEFAC President Pedro Cordero expressed his satisfaction with the continued progress, stating, “I am pleased with the continued positive trend that the European feed sector and its supply chain partners have been able to display as regards the industry’s use of responsible soy. I am confident that we will make further progress on the mainstream market transition of responsible soy use from both imported and home-grown sources.”

The European Soy Monitor Report plays a crucial role in contributing to the ongoing EU debate on the protection of world forests, aligned with the Green Deal action plan of the European Commission. As part of these efforts, FEFAC recently reviewed its Soy Sourcing Guidelines to include ‘conversion-free’ soy as an essential criterion for responsible soy schemes & programmes.

The commitment of the European feed industry to responsible soy sourcing has remained strong. FEFAC welcomes the findings of the IDH Soy Monitor, which acknowledges the importance of assessing deforestation risk exposure across all soy used in Europe. FEFAC’s internal estimates indicate that a significant part of soy used in the EU in 2021 came from regions with low deforestation risk, including the EU, United States, Canada, and Ukraine. These sources are considered “deforestation-free,” although not officially certified as such. Furthermore, FEFAC reports that responsible soy and certified deforestation-free soy have continued to gain traction, with total industrial usage surpassing 14 million tonnes in 2021.

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