The UK is a small player in the complex global market for soy, importing only
0.3% 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 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. HMRC and USDA 2016
- In total, around 185 million tonnes of vegetable oil are produced worldwide
year, of which 28.9% is soy oil[], the world’s second largest oil crop. China (29%), USA (19%), Argentina
(16%) and Brazil (14%)
soy oil, contributing 77% 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 more than 190 members across the world, including soy producing and
importing countries such as Brazil, Argentina, the United States, India, China,
Singapore and several EU countries. RTRS aims to build a global and
process that promotes economically viable, socially equitable and
sustainable soy production.
- 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
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
standard certification’ will enable gradual implementation and ensure
producers move from regular production to implementation of the RTRS Standard.
Producers in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and India have been RTRS
certified and the first sale of certified soy to the European market took place
- 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: the 'RTRS Credit Trade Platform' launched in 2011 is
comparable to the Greenpalm Book and Claim system used by the RSPO, through
certificates are bought and sold on a virtual platform. The first 100,000
were sold in June 2011.
- 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 repeatedly been extended, most recently in
May 2016 when it was renewed indefinitely. This initiative is
seen as a complement to the RTRS process.
2. USDA 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2016
3. USDA 2015
4. RTRS 2014