Companies are still hiding from their “massive responsibility” to source sustainable soy. WWF’s 2016 scorecard shows that the big foodservice firms are still not taking the issue seriously, with Whitbread, Ikea and Brakes all failing to even respond to WWF.
Of those that did reply to the NGO, the news wasn’t much better. Elior and Pret A Manger both scored zero out of 24 points, though the latter said it has engaged with WWF and is confident of making “significant progress this year”.
Compass (4), Sodexo (3) and Nando’s (2) all mustered some points but are well behind many of their retail counterparts. Nando’s said the soy used in its products is now all responsibly sourced and certified by either Proterra or RTRS. Sodexo said it has “made a start”, carrying out an “extensive inventory of current soy volumes”. Compass did not respond to requests for comment.
Of the 48 retailer and foodservice companies approached by WWF, 29 responded, of which 13 have made commitments to using 100% responsible soy. In all, 607,000 tonnes of responsible soy is being used. Those moving forward, notably the retailers, were praised, but foodservice firms are “lagging behind”, the authors noted. It was much the same story in 2014, as reported by Footprint.
WWF senior advisor for market change Sandra Muller was pleased to see some real frontrunners, especially in the retail and dairy sectors, buying most of their soy from the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) or ProTerra certified producers, “but it is clear that many companies take advantage of the lack of consumer awareness about soy in order to do nothing on this issue”, she added.
The average European eats 61 kilos of soy a year, most of it embedded in animal and dairy products. More companies need to assure their customers that their products do not contain irresponsibly-produced soy and reduce their reputational risk, said WWF, as it called for an EU Action Plan on deforestation and forest degradation to reduce the EU’s “disastrous footprint” on unique forests like the Cerrado or the Amazon.
“We urgently need clear rules, both to support progressive companies and to push the laggards to improve their performance,” said Anke Schulmeister from WWF’s European Policy Unit.
Footprint has approached each UK-based foodservice company in the scorecard, as well as France’s Sodexo and Sweden’s Ikea, and will publish their statements in the June issue of the magazine.